Wesley happy to escape with win over Rowan

Wolverine receiver Ruhann Peele hauls in a long pass to put Wesley up 20-7 over Rowan in the second half. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

DOVER — Sometimes, in the sports world, it seems like what goes around really does come around.

At least it felt that way when Rowan’s PAT kick with just 7:36 left in Saturday’s game with Wesley College went sailing wide left.

Remember, it was just last fall that the Profs edged the Wolverines by a mere point on a missed extra point.

And, sure enough, Wesley got its revenge, edging the Profs, 21-20, in its New Jersey Athletic Conference football opener at Drass Field on Saturday afternoon.

The missed kick stunted Rowan’s comeback after the No. 12-ranked Wolverines (4-0) had a seemingly comfortable 21-7 lead earlier in the fourth quarter.

“It kind of was deja vu, but this time it was the other way around,” said senior defensive end Will Scott, a Dover High grad. “I saw it (the missed PAT) when it occurred. I’m just thankful it missed. It was just a blessing.

“If he would have made it, it could have been a different game. But it worked in our favor.”

Coray Williams of Wesley cuts past Rowan’s Calvin Harper for a big gain in the first half. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

The hard-luck Profs (0-1 NJAC, 0-4 overall) stormed back with two touchdowns in a span of only 36 seconds.

After pulling within 21-14 on a 26-yard scoring pass, the Wolverines had the ball at their own nine. Quarterback Jon Mullin was hit in the backfield and was being pushed backwards by a several Rowan defenders.

Suddenly, the Profs started celebrating in the end zone. Lineman Luke Genise had stripped the ball from Mullin and gotten it into the end zone for the touchdown with 7:36 remaining.

“The ‘D’ end just ended up ripping it from me,” said Mullin. “It was my fault. I should have had ball security.”

After the missed extra point, Rowan got one last chance, with the ball at its own 29 and 3:24 left. The Profs reached the 44 before an incompletion on a fourth-and-eight ended the drive.

Wesley then killed off the final 1:56 by giving the ball to sophomore Xavier Drummond (Sussex Tech) on four straight plays, with him gaining 23 yards.

The strip-fumble notwithstanding, Mullin had a pretty good day in the most extensive playing time of his four-year career. He completed 15-of-20 passes for 142 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

After firing a quick 10-yard scoring pass to Chuck Simpson in the second quarter, Mullin was looking for Simpson again in the third quarter.

But fellow receiver Ruhann Peele ended up just in front of Simpson in the end zone and went up high to bring down the 21-yard TD catch. Peele’s seventh scoring reception of the season gave Wesley a 21-7 advantage with 1:43 remaining in the third quarter.

“I was originally throwing to Chuck but Ruhann just made a play for me,” said Mullin. “It was a little weird because I was throwing to Chuck and Ruhann jumped for it.”

Peele finished with 119 yards on nine catches. Wesley also got 58 rushing yards and a five-yard TD from Dover High grad Marcellus Pack.

A the end of the day, the Wolverines’ red-zone defense also played a huge role in the victory.

At the end of the first half, Rowan had a first down on the Wesley two. After two running plays and an offsides penalty left the Profs at the six with nine seconds and no timeouts remaining, Rowan opted to run a third-down play.

The Profs completed a short pass in the flat, but Scott tackled the receiver just inches short of the goal line as time ran out.

Rowan also reached the Wesley one in the third quarter. Again, though, on a fourth-and goal from the six, Scott’s 14-yard sack ended the threat.

“When you get in the red zone, it just sparks something different in all of us,” said Scott, who posted a team-high 11 tackles. “That’s when you’ve got to let the ‘beast mode’ out and just go all out.

“Any time you make a stop, it gets everybody fired up. It gives you momentum. That’s what we practice — everybody doing their job.”

After losing three one-point games a year ago, coach Chip Knapp isn’t going to complain if the pendulum has swung back the Wolverines’ way this season.

They’ve won two games by a total of four points while getting another victory in overtime.

“We’ve been getting some breaks this year,” said Knapp. “Our season could go a lot of different ways but, right now, we’ve been able to win. That’s the name of the game.”

Extra points

Linebacker Mike Brewer (Woodbridge), who was wearing No. 4 in honor of former teammate and close friend Troy Haynes, had an interception. … Another Woodbridge grad, defensive end Shymere Vessels, had nine tackles. … David Pierre recovered a fumble. … David Morrocco started the game at QB but Mullin came in on the third series. … There was a scary moment in the fourth quarter when Rowan freshman center Pryce Bouchard suffered an apparent broken left ankle. He was taken from the field by ambulance. … The Profs still lead the all-time series, 8-5, but the Wolverines have won five of the last six meetings. … Rowan is 0-4 for the first time since 1968. … Wesley travels to Salisbury for a 1 p.m. game next Saturday.

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