Baynard sets TD rushing record for Wolverines


DOVER — Mike Drass paused the postgame press conference to give Jamar Baynard a fist bump.

Congratulations were in order. Wesley’s coach had just received confirmation Baynard had set a school record.

Baynard broke the Wesley record for career rushing touchdowns and rushed for 265 yards as the Wolverines defeated Stevenson 38-17 in the first round of the Division III football tournament on Saturday afternoon. Wesley (10-2) advanced to play at John Carroll (10-1), the top team in its part of the bracket, next Saturday.

Baynard scored three touchdowns to move to 48 for his career, breaking Brandon Steinheim’s career mark of 45. The 265 yards are the second-most in a single game by a Wesley player trailing only Kevin Nelson’s 282 set in 2004 against Chowan.

Baynard’s yardage was the first time a Wolverine rushed for more than 200 yards since 2007 when Aaron Jackson recorded 218 in the 2007 playoffs against Muhlenberg.

“The offensive line, they play well every week but this is the best I’ve ever seen them play,” Baynard said. “I just follow behind them and it’s whatever comes natural after that.”

As a team, Wesley ran for 341 yards while its defense held Stevenson to only 34 yards on the ground.

“On film they didn’t really let anyone run on them,” Baynard said. “We came in with a chip on a shoulder. It’s as simple as getting a push. We had trust in our guys. We tried to come in and pound the ball as much as possible.”

While it was Baynard who had the record-setting day, Bryce Shade is the one who turned the game in Wesley’s favor.

Shade pulled down a desperation heave in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown with six seconds left in the first half. He was being faceguarded by a Stevenson defender but was still able to leap high enough for a 37-yard touchdown reception from a scrambling Nick Falkenberg, giving Wesley a 17-10 lead.

“Nick made a play to stay on his feet,” Shade said. “I saw the ball the entire time. People said they couldn’t see me cause I’m so short. But when it was time to jump, i jumped at the right time and caught it.”

Shade finished with 12 catches for 123 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Falkenberg completed 21-of-35 attempts and passed for 199 yards.

All three of Baynard’s touchdowns came in the second half as the Wolverines outscored Stevenson 21-7 after halftime. Baynard scored on the first drive of the fourth quarter to cap off a 15-play drive where Wesley converted twice on fourth down, including once on fourth-and-17.

“It’s just confidence,” Drass said. “Here’s the one thing I’ll say about our offense. We’re not a team who will press the panic button. When you have confidence in yourself and you believe in the gameplan, it’s going to work.”

The Wolverine defense was paced by a pair of interceptions by Cappadonna Miller, a wide receiver who has been playing both ways late in the season. Roderick Caine had four sacks, tying the Wesley single-game record set by Chris Mayes against Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2010.

Samer Manna nine tackles to top the Wesley defensive unit who held Stevenson to its lowest scoring output of the season.

“I feel like our whole defense is playing great now,” Manna said. “We did play our best defense but we can always get better.”


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