Wesley notebook: Mullin ready for first start as Wolverines’ quarterback

DOVER — Jon Mullin said his stomach didn’t drop when Chip Knapp gave him the news.

It was halftime and Wesley College’s football team was trailing at Endicott, 17-0, two weeks ago.

Knapp, the Wolverines’ coach, announced that Mullin was going to be Wesley’s quarterback in the second half.

Jon Mullin

“I just went in there and knew that the plays were going to be there,” said Mullin. “I just had to make them.”

Two quarters later, Mullin was the holder as kicker Nick Bruhn booted the game-winning field goal in Wesley’s 20-17 comeback victory.

“It was great,” said Mullin. “The atmosphere there … every third down, you’d hear the fans cheering. It was like a playoff game in September. It was tremendous to see everything come together.

“I saw it go right through,” he said about the game-winning kick. “I jumped right up and congratulated him.”

Mullin had enough to do with sparking that comeback magic that Knapp rewarded the senior by naming him the starting quarterback for Wesley’s 1 p.m. home game against Rowan on Saturday. It will be the NJAC opener for both the No. 12 Wolverines (3-0) and the Profs (0-3).

It will also be the first collegiate start of the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Mullin’s career. Knapp said Mullin has worked hard for the opportunity.

“He’s definitely paid his dues,” said Knapp. “This summer he was definitely one of the hardest workers. He never missed a day. He was preparing himself for this opportunity. Hopefully we’ll see it pay off this Saturday for him.

“When he got in the game at Endicott, he produced, he got results. We had a lot of offense with him — he made a lot of plays. That’s what we’re looking for.”

In the win over Endicott, Mullin completed 22-of-27 passes for 253 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions — all in the second half. Not bad for a guy who’d thrown a total of three passes in his first three seasons at Wesley.

In his three games this season, Mullin is 33-of-44 for 341 yards with no INTs.

Mullin said the summer conditioning he did with strength coach Bernie Nowakowski has helped put him in this position.

“Obviously it’s my last opportunity to see what I can still do,” he said. “This off-season was tremendous — it’s given me the boost I have right now.”

“I think he’s ready to play,” said Knapp. “We’re looking for him to do what he did at Endicott. Hopefully he can build on that. If he does, I think we’re going to have a good outcome on Saturday.”

More backfield changes

Mullin isn’t the only Wolverine who will be getting his first start in Wesley’s backfield on Saturday.

Knapp said on Wednesday that the Wolverines’ top two running backs, E.J. Lee and Abae Mansaray, are both sidelined. He said Lee is expected to have surgery and miss the rest of the season because of a foot injury that has bothered him since last season.

A senior, Lee would be eligible to redshirt and play next fall. He is fourth on the school’s all-time rushing list with 3,260 yards and third in rushing TDs with 40.

“He has to take himself out of practice all the time and that’s been real tough on him,” said Knapp. “He’s really shown his toughness.”

On Saturday, Wesley is planning to use Marcellus Pack (Dover), Xavier Drummond (Sussex Tech) and freshman Leroy Pendleton in the backfield.

Rowan still tough

The Wolverines aren’t putting much stock in the fact that this week’s opponent, Rowan, is 0-3.

The Profs have played a tough schedule, with their last two losses coming against Top-25 teams Linfield and Hobart.

Of course Wesley also hasn’t forgotten that Rowan pulled out a 28-27 victory over the Wolverines after scoring the final 14 points of the contest last fall.

“We’re looking at them as being not different than us,” said Knapp. “It’s two good teams going at it. We’ve talked about how Rowan has always played us tough.

“It just seems like that when teams beat us they act like they won the Super Bowl. … So it’s easy to remember and have motivation for the next time we play.”

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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