Turnovers plague No. 5/6 Wesley in 35-34 loss to No. 5/8 Frostburg St.

Photo by Angela Benfield
Photo by Angela Benfield

DOVER, Del. – Turnovers proved to be the downfall as the No. 5/6 Wesley College football team dropped a heartbreaker, 35-34 to the No. 5/8 Frostburg St. Bobcats in a battle of two top-10 New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) teams.

As a team, Wesley turned the ball over five times. Even with the turnovers, Wesley was still able to gain 418 yards of total offense, averaging 7.2 yards per play. The Wesley defense was able to get two turnovers of their own.

Khaaliq Burroughs went 15-of-30 for 333 yards, three passing touchdowns, a rushing touchdown and three interceptions. Burroughs found Alex Kemp for all three touchdowns. Kemp caught five passes for 148 yards. Ruhann Peele reeled in a pair of passes for 84 yards. Corterris Simpson snagged five passes for 57 yards.

Lee ran the ball 17 times for 99 yards. He also caught two passes for 31 yards.

Cappadonna Miller paced the defense with 11 tackles and a fumble recovery. Coray Williams and Dante Daniels recorded 10 tackles. Nazir Williams, Vincent Ebron and Daquan Knight each registered a sack on Connor Cox. Nazir Williams and Shymere Vessels tallied eight stops apiece. Daquay Harris-Winbush and Najee Wilson each made seven tackles. Harris-Winbush added a pair of pass breakups.

Isiah Mitchell intercepted his first collegiate pass in the third quarter and returned it 51 yards.

Wesley used their big-play ability to take a 14-point lead in the early parts of the game. Two plays into Wesley's first possession, Burroughs connected with Kemp on the seams for an 80-yard touchdown catch for Wesley's first points of the game.

After a fumble at the end of the first quarter by Jamaal Morant, that was forced by Tarrance Mitchell and recovered by Cappadonna Miller, Wesley capitalized on the turnover with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Burroughs to Kemp on a jump ball in the back of the end zone to give Wesley the 14-point lead with 14:11 to go in the first half.

Frostburg would score 21 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 21-14 halftime lead over Wesley. Connor Cox would score two rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown right before the halftime break.

Wesley needed to rally to swing the momentum back in their favor out of gates in the second half. Isiah Mitchell would jump a third-and-long pass and return it 51 yards deep into Frostburg territory. Four plays later, Burroughs would sneak it in from a yard out with five minutes to go in the third quarter to cut into the Frostburg lead, 21-20.

The Wesley defense held tight near the end of the third quarter, forcing back-to-back three-and-outs for Frostburg. Wesley would take the lead seconds into the fourth quarter when Burroughs found Kemp for the third time in the afternoon with a 37-yard connection. A failed two-point conversion would only give Wesley a 26-21 lead.

Frostburg regained the lead with 11:37 to go in the game when Christian Thornton got a lucky bounce off of a Wesley defender and was able to get into the endzone. The extra point gave Frostburg a two-point lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Marcellus Pack would take the kick back for a 98-yard touchdown return. Burroughs would find Simpson on the two-point conversion attempt to give Wesley the 34-28 lead over Frostburg with 11:23 left in regulation.

A good punt return set up Frostburg for the eventual game-winning drive. Morant would score from a yard out to give Frostburg the 35-34 lead with 2:43 left in the game.

On Wesley's final drive, the Wolverines were able to get it out of their own goal line and was looking to take the lead. Burroughs' pass was intercepted by Michael Morgan and sealed the win for Frostburg.

Wesley (4-1, 3-1 NJAC) will look to get back to their winning ways when they hit the road next Saturday when they take on the Kean Cougars. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.