Wolverines Run Over Stevenson in NCAA Tournament First Round

Wolverines Run Over Stevenson in NCAA Tournament First Round

DOVER, Del. - Jamar Baynard had a career day for the 18th-ranked Wesley College Football team, rushing for 265 yards and three touchdowns and carrying the Wolverines to a 38-17 victory over No. 20 Stevenson University in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Drass Field. 

The senior running back posted the Wolverines' second-most rushing yards in a single game on Saturday, and crossed the goal line with his 46th, 47th, and 48th career rushing touchdowns, setting the Wolverines' all-time career mark in scores on the ground. Baynard had all kinds of space as the Wesley road-graters along the offensive line cleared the way for 7.4 yards per carry.

Wesley moved the ball through the air as well with Nick Falkenberg throwing for 199 yards on 21-for-35 passing. Bryce Shade caught 12 balls and two touchdowns, including a tremendous touchdown grab on a hail mary pass at the end of the first half. 

Samer Manna led the Wesley defense with nine total tackles while Roderick Caine finished with eight including four sacks and two forced fumbles. His four sacks tie Wesley's single-game mark for most sacks by a player, set by Chris Mayes against Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2010. Cappadonna Miller picked off a pair of passes for the Wolverines as they limited the Stevenson offense to just 34 yards rushing and a season-low 17 points.

Wesley got off to a slow start as the Wolverine offense saw their first two drives end in turnovers. A pair of interceptions allowed the Mustangs to get on the board first, converting a four-play, 75-yard drive for a touchdown to open the scoring. 

The Wolverines responded with a field goal later early in the second quarter and scored a touchdown to take the lead with 6:14 to go in the frame. Nick Falkenberg found Shade for a seven-yard touchdown completion, capping a four-play, 69-yard drive to make it 10-7. Stevenson tied the game later in the second quarter with a field goal but left Wesley with time on the clock before halftime. 

The Navy and White scrambled to put together a quick drive, moving 44 yards in eight plays to get to the Stevenson 37-yard line. With 15 seconds remaining, Nick Falkenberg escaped a collapsing pocket, scrambled right, and threw and off-balance ball toward the corner of the end zone. Out of the pack of bodies, Bryce Shade elevated above the crowd to pull in the touchdown pass, giving Wesley a 17-10 lead just before halftime.

In the second half, the Wolverines got the ball and converted their first offensive drive for a touchdown. Baynard capped the drive with a six-yard touchdown run to put the Wolverines ahead 24-10. Stevenson answered quickly though, with Dan Williams connecting with Devin Salisbury for an 80-yard touchdown pass, cutting the Wesley lead to just seven points midway through the third quarter.

In the final frame, the Wolverines took over. Wesley allowed the Mustangs just 46 yards of offense on two drives in the final quarter, with the two offensive chances ending in a three-and-out punt and an interception. The Wesley offense did its job, scoring two late touchdowns on a pair of Baynard runs to extend the lead to 38-17 which held as the final.

The Wolverines move to 9-2 on the season, winning their 13th straight NCAA First Round contest. Wesley will travel to the Cleveland, Ohio area to take on John Carroll University in the NCAA Second Round.