No. 12 Wesley's defense could not stop No. 14 Salisbury in the second half as the Wolverines fell 45-38 to the Sea Gulls in the 2019 edition of the "Route 13 Rivalry."
Salisbury led 24-21 at halftime after Bert Schrecongost's 21-yard field goal with :10 go.
That would be the last time the Wolverines defense could claim a victory in the game.
Salisbury scored touchdowns on all three of their full drives in the second half, going 72, 88, and 80 yards, on drives that took a combined 15:09 off of the clock.
Jack Lanham scored the first touchdown on a 3 yard run, and Shamar Gray ended the other two with scores from 7 and 13 yards away.
That forced Wesley to answer in kind, but the key drive came right away in the second half, as Marcellus Pack returned the opening kickoff 59 yards down to the Salisbury 32, but the Wesley offense went 4-and-out, ending a stretch of 5 drives out of 6 that did not collect a first down. During that time, Wesley's 14-7 lead became a 24-21 Salisbury advantage, but when Salisbury went on their first 72-yard drive of the second half, Wesley's offense never had a chance to tie the game the rest of the way.
Wesley could not have asked for a better start to the game, as Salisbury fumbled the football to Dante Daniel and on the next play Marcellus Pack from Dover ran 51 yards for a touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead.
After a 3-and-out, Wesley again got the football, and broke out a new Wildcat style formation with Ruhann Peele in the shotgun, and he ran a draw for a 9-yard touchdown, and with 7:40 to go in the opening quarter the Wolverines seemingly had control at 14-0, but it didn't last.
Then the script flipped, as Wesley's offense went either 3 or 4-and-out for their next three drives, and Salisbury took advantage of the short
First, Jack Lanham hit Lenard Prue for a 40-yard score, and then after Wesley failed on a 4th-and-1 on a sneak, Chad Gleason's 3-yard run ended a 2:05 drive.
The only break in Wesley's mid-game struggles came when Jon Mullin hit tight end Ricky Hess on a 79-yard seam route, as part of Hess' first career 100-yard receiving game.
Salisbury kicked that field goal, and when Wesley gave up their last chance to tie or take the lead, they were never closer than 10 with the ball the rest of the way.
Salisbury's QB Lanham led the attack with 139 rushing yards on 17 carries, part of a 417-yard ground assault against the Wolverines.
Gleason added 95 yards, Gray 88, Michael Fowler 51, and superback Hopeton Mair pounded out 45.
The loss tainted a breakout game by Pack, who rushed for 110 yards, caught a pass for 19 more, and had 8 kick returns for 229 yards. His 358 all-purpose yards tried to keep the Wolverines in the game, along with Peele's 8 catches for 131 yards and 2 touchdowns, but it wasn't enough to keep up with the Sea Gulls.
Mullin finished 16-for-23 for 279 yards and 3 touchdowns without an interception in the losing effort.
Wesley (4-1, 1-1 NJAC) likely must win out to have any chance of returning to the NCAA playoffs after missing last year.
That quest begins next Saturday at William Paterson.