DOVER, Del. - After a less-than-ideal start to the season, the Wesley College Football team will look to rebound in a New Jersey Athletic Conference contest against Southern Virginia University on Saturday in Buena Vista, Va.
One of the main focuses for the Wolverines on Saturday will be winning the turnover battle. In the Wolverines' win over Frostburg State the squad forced three turnovers while taking care of the football and not conceding a turnover. In their two losses, Wesley has combined for 10 turnovers, with five in each game. Clearly the Navy and White can ill afford to give their opponents extra possessions.
Against Christopher Newport, Jamar Baynard finally broke out rushing for a season-high 115 yards and two touchdowns, including a season-long 41-yard scamper. Baynard has 226 yards rushing and four scores on the ground this season. E.J Lee has added another dimension to the Wesley run game, creating a change of pace from Baynard's bruising, smash-mouth approach to a more shifty, quick running style. Lee has run for 87 yards on 16 carries, averaging better than 5.0 yards per touch.
Under center, Dan Kesack has averaged 231.7 yards passing per game, including performances of 255 yards and 305 yards passing against Frostburg and CNU, respectively. He has seven touchdowns threw the air and one more on the ground in three games this year. He will look to continue dicing up conference secondaries as he distributes to the Wolverines' numerous weapons on the outside.
Bryce Shade and Alex Kemp have emerged as Kesack's top targets, with both receivers going for more than 200 yards receiving in three games so far this season. Shade leads the team with three receiving touchdowns while Kemp has snagged two. Cappadonna Miller and Xavier Allen have each reeled in a touchdown catch on the year as well.
The Wolverine defense has been led this season by strong play from the linebacking corps of Samer Manna, Roderick Caine, and Ben Robinson. The trio will continue to be ball hawks against SVU on Saturday. Manna leads the team with 9.7 tackles per game on the year while Caine has recorded 7.3 tackles per game, including a team-high 1.5 sacks. Robinson leads the squad in forced fumbles, jarring a pair loose so far this year. He's averaging 6.7 tackles per game as well.
On special teams, freshman Cooper Bentz has had the opportunity to shine so far this year, averaging 42.5 yards per punt which leads the NJAC. He has pinned opponents within their own 20-yard line on four of his 10 punts and crushed a 53-yarder earlier this season.
Southern Virginia enters Saturday's contest with a 1-2 record after consecutive NJAC losses to Frostburg State and Salisbury. The Knights have managed just 35 points on the season, including only seven points in their last two contests.
Michael Frye and Seth Hanson have been the team's main offensive threats, rushing for 162 yards and 115 yards respectively. All five of the Knights' touchdowns this season have come on the ground and each has been scored by a different player. Southern Virginia has only attempted 15 throws so far this season, completing just one to their own team and four their opponents.
Neil Davis has been the Knights' leader on defense recording 21 total tackles and three interceptions on the season. Marcos Garcia has recorded 18 tackles on the year including a pair of sacks. Simi Moala and SKyler Cloward have each recorded a team-high 3.5 tackles for loss for the Knights. On special teams, Richie Sparrow has blocked two kicks already this year.
Wesley has never lost to Southern Virginia, outscoring the Knights 288-49 in five meetings. Wesley downed the Knights 59-6 last season and outscored them 47-7 the year before that. If history holds true, the Wolverines will be able to build up their confidence as they head into a long stretch of tough conference games.
Kickoff is scheduled for October 1 at 1:00 p.m. in Buena Vista. For directions to Southern Virginia as well as a campus map, visit this link.