No. 24 Wesley shuts out TCNJ, 33-0

Photo by Tom Weishaar, One More Shot Photography
Photo by Tom Weishaar, One More Shot Photography

EWING, N.J. – The No. 24 ranked Wesley College football team cruised to a 33-0 shutout victory over the College of New Jersey Lions on Saturday in Wesley's New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) opener.

Wesley outgained TCNJ 467-203 in total offense, 232-177 in passing yards and 235-26 in rushing yards. Sophomore running back E.J. Lee registered a career-high 188 rushing yards on 18 totes and two rushing touchdowns. Lee also caught two passes out of the backfield for nine yards. In his first career start at Wesley, junior Khaaliq Burroughs went 18-of-23 passing for 226 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Senior James Okike and junior Alex Kemp each caught a touchdown pass from Burroughs. Okike totaled nine catches for 119 yards while Kemp notched 53 yards on four catches.

On defense, senior linebackers Mike Sabino and Samer Manna each notched nine tackles. Sabino added a half-sack for the Wolverines. Fellow senior DaJahn Lowery tallied six tackles and three pass breakups. Junior defensive tackles Nick Glover made six tackles, including two sacks. Freshman defensive end Stefon Woodruff collected four sacks and forced a fumble. Graduate student Greg Taylor picked off TCNJ's Trevor Osler in the fourth quarter. As a whole, the defense forced nine sacks on TCNJ.

Wesley opened the scoring 10:10 into the game when Ben Moore rushed a 13-yard speed sweep in for a touchdown to cap off a seven-play drive which was highlighted by two 20-plus yard pass completions from Burroughs to Okike.

Following a 76-yard run by Lee to the TCNJ 14-yard line and a three-yard run by Elijah Minter, Burroughs found Okike for a 11-yard touchdown connection. Nick Bruhn converted the point after to five Wesley the 13-0 lead in the waning moments of the first quarter.

Lee finished off a short 4-play, 67-yard drive with a 19-yard touchdown run that was set up by a Kemp 13-yard catch and an Okike 28-yard reception to give Wesley the 19-0 advantage with 7:41 left in the second quarter.

It took Wesley until 5:36 left in the third quarter to make the lead over TCNJ 26-0 when Lee busted through the Lions' defensive line for a 7-yard score. Bruhn added the point after touchdown.

In TCNJ's opening drive of the fourth quarter, Stefon Woodruff forced a fumble from Trevor Osler which was recovered by Isaiah Ingram at the Wesley 45-yard line.

Wesley capitalized on the fumble recovery when Burroughs found Kemp for a 9-yard touchdown reception with 10:01 remaining in the game. Bruhn's extra point made it a 33-0 ballgame in fourth. 

It is Wesley's first shutout since they held the same TCNJ Lions scoreless in their previous contest in 2016 (41-0).

The Wolverines (1-1, 1-0 NJAC) will be back in action Saturday, Sept 23 when they travel to Wayne, N.J. to take on the William Paterson Pioneers in NJAC action. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.