Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 10:12pm Wesley rallies to slay VUL Dragons
By Sean Greene
Wesley College rallied for the 6th straight game to defeat the Virginia University of Lynchburg 24-7 at Miller Stadium in Dover Saturday afternoon.
In front of a homecoming crowd of 2,376, Wesley opened the game with an onside kick that was recovered by Miles Little.
Wesley (5-1) could not capitalize on the field position, as the offense started by losing 5 yards and throwing an interception in their first five offensive plays.
VIDEO: Sean Greene and Jason Bowen break down Wesley's win
Meanwhile the Dragons (1-5) took advantage of Sottilare's interception, beginning an 18-play, 84-yard drive, which finished on a 6-yard touchdown run by Richard Brannon.
The Wolverine offense finally picked up momentum on the following drive, as they earned 3 first downs to get into the red zone, but stalled before the goal line, having to settle for Dan Tryon's 25 yard field goal to cut the deficit to 7-3.
Wesley's defense stiffened after allowing a pair of first downs to Lynchburg, and Sean Hopkins made another key special teams play by returning a punt to the 50 yard line.
Facing a 3rd-and-22, Sottilare hooked up with Steve Koudousou on a diving 39-yard reception in the end zone, as the sophomore out-jumped a Dragon defender to maintain possession and his 6th touchdown of the season.
It appeared Wesley could have a chance to build on their lead, but after getting a first-and-goal at the 8 on a drive that started at their own 5, Wesley committed a pair of penalties and gave up a sack, forcing Dan Tryon to try a career-long 52 yard field goal which came up just short and right.
The second half started with another Wesley drive into Dragon territory, but this time Sottilare tossed an interception to Devon Hall, keeping the score at 10-7.
VUL had a chance to tie the game, as Chris Vasquez attempted a 47-yard field goal, but that came up short keeping the visitors behind.
The teams traded fruitless possessions into the fourth quarter, until Wesley, in a drive which started at their own 32, matched down into the red zone, and this time they unlocked the defense on a 4-yard pass from Sottilare to fullback Chris Cummings who had slipped into the right flat to collect his first receiving touchdown of the year.
Lynchburg's last chance quickly evaporated as Dyamond Ruffin stepped in front of an Avery Neloms pass for an interception, leading to a 60-yard drive which Eugene Byrd ended with a 4-yard touchdown run to complete the scoring.
Sottilare finished the game 20-of-35 for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns, although he threw the two interceptions. 10 different Wolverines caught the football, a week after 11 players had receptions against Birmingham-Southern. Jeremiah Howe had 4 catches for 26 yards while Brandon Robinson's 53-yard catch was the longest play of the day for the offense. The running game did struggle, with reserve Eugene Byrd's 5 carries for 24 yards in the 4th quarter amounting for the most ground yardage on the afternoon.
Lynchburg took advantage of an offensive line which averaged nearly 335 pounds a man to rush for 169 yards, including 102 by Brandon Johnson on 19 carries, but they managed to complete just two passes, one for no-gain, and the other by backup quarterback Tyler Harris to Ronald Green. Wesley had not allowed 0 yards passing in a game since facing the Apprentice School in 2000.
Wesley embarks on a two-game, cross-country road trip, beginning with their first ever game in California when they face the Menlo College Oaks Saturday at 3pm Eastern. (WDEL 2:30)