Wesley notebook: Fry gives Wolverines a big spark

With only one full game under his belt, Drew Fry is something of an unknown to Delaware Valley. Wesley sports information

DOVER — Drew Fry said there’s something about the playoffs that he’s always liked.

When he was at Middletown High, the Cavaliers made the DIAA Division I state tournament all four years of his career.

“It’s nothing like a playoff game in college but I’ve definitely played in a few big games,” said the Wesley College freshman quarterback. “Everybody’s watching. You go out there and show them what you’ve been working at in practice.”

Nobody can argue that Fry didn’t handle the pressure of making his first college start in a playoff game.

After seeing only limited time in three games this season, all he did was complete 24-of-28 passes for 345 yards and five touchdowns as the Wolverines’ opened the NCAA Division III playoffs with a 58-21 win over Framingham State on Saturday.

Now Wesley wants to see what Fry can do for an encore.

The competition figures to be much more difficult on Saturday when the No. 10 Wolverines (10-1) host No. 9 Delaware Val-ley (10-1) at noon in the playoffs’ second round.

In four appearances this season, Drew Fry is 32-of-38 for 537 yards with seven TDs and no interceptions.

With only one full game under his belt, Fry is something of an unknown to the Aggies. He was on the bench when Wesley out-lasted DelVal, 24-18, in four overtimes on Sept. 14.

Then again, Fry is also an unknown to the Wolverines in some ways.

“He’s an ‘X’ factor,’” said Wesley coach and offensive coordinator Chip Knapp. “He’s a guy they don’t have a lot of film on. They don’t really have a great scouting report on him.

“The fact that he’s just getting started, we don’t know where his ceiling is going to be. He set the bar pretty high the first game. He’s added an element with his ability to throw the ball that makes us a much more dangerous team. … He’s added a bolt of energy to our team. We’re ex-cited to get out there and see what he’s going to do next.”

So far, though, the numbers speak for themselves. In four appearances this season, Fry is 32-of-38 for 537 yards with seven TDs and no interceptions.

The state’s Offensive Player of the Year as a senior at Middletown, he’s completing 84.2 percent of his passes with an efficiency rating of 263.7 that would easily be the best in Division III if he had more attempts.

“Well, he’s been described to me as a gamer,” said Knapp. “That is definitely true. Watching him in the game, he turned it up a notch.

“He’s doing well in practice but to see his play even get better in the game is great for a coach and the rest of our team to see. … I think he really enjoys just the atmosphere of playing in big games.”

Drew Fry talks with coach Chip Knapp on the sidelines.

So far, the soft-spoken Fry seems to have taken all this in stride. The 6-foot-2, 210-pounder has played with a lot of responsibility on his shoulders for a while now.

Fry said getting off to a good start last week definitely helped make him feel like he belonged.

“After a couple drives, I was like, ‘I can play with these guys,’” he said. “It just made me more comfortable.

“Everybody has to play their role. It all comes with experience, seeing a lot more reps and how teams play and learning the offense every day.”

For a guy who’s spent a lot of Saturday afternoons this fall just watching from the sidelines, Fry is being asked to play a big role for Wesley. But the youngster doesn’t feel like the moment is too big for him.

“You’ve got to be ready for it,” Fry said about this opportunity. “When I was told (he was starting), I just knew I had to go out there and play like I knew how.”

DelVal no stranger

Delaware Valley may not be a conference rival for the Wolverines but they might as well be.

Saturday’s game will be the ninth time the two programs have met since 2007. Wesley leads the series, 5-3, but six of the eight games have been decided by a touchdown or less and the two teams have split their four meetings since 2016.

“We know their players, we know their schemes,” said Knapp. “And they know ours. It’s kind of a rivalry now.

“They’re a program that’s had a lot of success so they’re not going to be intimidated by anyone. They’re coming here to win, they’re coming here to battle, they’re coming to make a statement — like we are.”

The first meeting was a little unusual in that it was tied 3-3 after regulation. The two squads then combined for 36 points in overtime.

Knapp said that first game will definitely have some bearing on today’s strategy. But it’s also important not to try to change too much.

“You’ve got to counter what they did to you last time,” said Knapp. “They did a good job and stopped us in a lot of things. You’ve got to look at other ways to beat them and you’ve got to be creative. There’s definitely some challenges.

“(But) you’ve got to go with what you know. You’ve got to be in your comfort zone. You can’t reinvent the wheel.”

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