Wesley wins shootout over Westminster, 42-34 to win ECAC Chapman Bowl

Photo by Angela Benefield
Photo by Angela Benefield

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – Behind a 28-point barrage in the third quarter, the Wesley College football team conquered the Westminster Titans, 42-34 to win the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Clayton Chapman Bowl on Saturday.

Wesley started off the game strong after forcing a three-and-out on Westminster's opening possession, Wesley drove down the field and scored on an eight-yard scramble by Khaaliq Burroughs to give Wesley the early 7-0 lead.

Westminster would score 14 unanswered points in the first and second quarters. A Cappadonna Miller interception would give Wesley the ball on with 1:40 left in the first half looking to tie the game. Facing a 2nd-and-goal to go play with 13 seconds left, E.J. Lee would bust in off tackle to nod the game at 14 just before the halftime break.

Westminster retook the lead on their opening possession of the second half when they capitalized on a short field and scored on a one-yard run by Isiah Canton.

Two plays after Vincent Ebron's first career interception put Wesley in the red zone, Lee would scamper in from a yard out to tie the game at 21 halfway through the third quarter.

A minute later, Cameron Miles would force a Shamon Walker fumble and Cappadonna Miller would recover the fumble at the Wesley 34-yard line. Two plays later, Burroughs connected with Alex Kemp on a fly pattern for a 68-yard touchdown to put Wesley up 28-21.

Westminster's Cole Konieczka found Nick Henderson on a 68-yard touchdown of their own on the ensuing drive, but John Cybak would miss the extra point to keep Wesley ahead by a point.

A 48-yard kickoff return by Marcellus Pack gave Wesley good field position on the Westminster 41. Burroughs would score on a sweep play from 17 yards out to put Wesley up by eight with 3:01 left in the third quarter.

Coray Williams would intercept Konieczka on Westminster's next drive to put Wesley on the seven-yard line. After a sack put Wesley on the 13-yard line. Burroughs found Corterris Simpson on a slant-and-go route down the sideline to put Wesley ahead 42-28 with seconds to go in the third quarter.

Westminster would cut into the lead in the middle part of the fourth quarter with a Bryson Paulinellie 17-yard touchdown reception. Westminster would try an onside kick on the ensuing kickoff but Ruhann Peele recovered the kick with 5:33 left in regulation. Wesley played ball control the rest of the game and stifled a late Hail Mary attempt by Westminster to clinch the bowl victory.

Khaaliq Burroughs was named the Most Valuable Player after the game after combining for five touchdowns and 270 yards of total offense. Burroughs went 18-for-27 passing for 219 yards and a pair of touchdowns while rushing for 51 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

Both teams combined for 925 yards of total offense. Wesley's defense came up big in the bowl game, coming up with five Westminster turnovers. The best passing defense in the nation intercepted Cole Kocieczka four times. Coray Williams picked off two passes and tallied 13 tackles. Cappadonna Miller had an interception and led the defense with 14 tackles and two tackles for loss.

Alex Kemp eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in his career. Kemp caught six passes for 118 yards and a touchdown. Ruhann Peele also reeled in six passes from Burroughs and totaled 64 yards.

E.J. Lee carried the ball 33 times for 108 yards and a touchdown.

Wesley finishes the 2018 season with a 7-4 overall record and a 5-4 record in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. With the win in the ECAC Clayton Chapman Bowl, Wesley continues their streak of 14 consecutive years with a postseason appearance and a playoff win.