Wesley rolls over CNJ at homecoming, 41-0

Wesley's Cappadonna Miller breaks past a TCNJ defender after a pass reception in the first half Saturday.  Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

Wesley’s Cappadonna Miller breaks past a TCNJ defender after a pass reception in the first half Saturday. Special To The Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh

DOVER — A malfunctioning scoreboard and rainy first half took some fun out of Wesley College’s homecoming game on Saturday afternoon.

Not much, though, since the hosts rolled to a 41-0 victory over The College of New Jersey before a crowd of 899.

The Wolverines defense punished their winless foe with big hits and 12 tackles for losses that involved seven players.

Add in a 36-yard interception return by Rodney Snider and forced fumble and recovery by Roderick Caine, and a good time was had by all.

“Giving up no points is the best,” said junior defensive end Isaiah Ingram, who had a team high nine tackles and 1.5 sacks.

“Our mindset is to force a three and out every time we’re on the field to give the ball back to our offense.

“If we can get a two and out by making a play earlier then that’s even better.”

Other defenders forcing CNJ (0-4) backward with tackles for losses were Ben Robinson, Caine, Nmandi Njoku, Ray Mangold, DaJahn Lowery, and Stephen Yorkman.

Wesley improved to 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference heading into next Saturday’s game at Kean, which head coach Mike Drass described as a “tough, physical group of guys who will never back down.”

While the offense sputtered during the first 30 minutes, speedy, quick freshman running back E.J. Lee picked up the pace by darting and juking for 157 yards and three touchdowns on 15 carries, all after halftime.

“He’s really quick and the hole doesn’t have to be there long for him to get through it,” Drass said.

The head coach wasn’t thrilled with the first half performance that included five penalties and a spotty passing game that went 10 of 21 for 131 yards and no scores. At one point, Drass slammed his headset into the turf while growling at officials and drew an unsportsmanlike penalty of his own.

Wesley led 13-0 at intermission.

“We weren’t real sharp in the first half and let some opportunities go by the wayside,” Drass said. “In the second half we complemented our running game with the pass and put together some nice drives.”

Lee, a newcomer from Germantown, Md., enjoyed the defensive show from his teammates and said that “Watching the ‘D’ get all those big hits just pumped us up for when it was our turn on the field and score a touchdown.”

The head coach talked enthusiastically about his team’s one-two rushing punch that includes senior Jamar Baynard, who amassed 131 yards and a touchdown.

“The best thing about those two guys is that they’re great people,” he said.

The scoreboard lost power near the end of the second quarter, when Wesley went ahead on a Baynard touchdown run and field goals from Nick Bruhn (30 yards) and Eric Speidel (20 yards).

Quarterbacks Nick Falkenberg and Dan Kesack continued to progress as replacements for graduated Joe Callahan, now with the Green Bay Packers. Falkenberg completed 11 of 21 passes for 120 yards a touchdown and interception, while Kesack went 7 of 12 for 95 yards.

“I’ve got a lot of confidence in both guys,” Drass said. “For the last 20 years we’ve had some of the best quarterbacks in the nation taking snaps for us, and the ones we have now are capable of doing very good things for us.

“We’ve just got to keep figuring out ways to put them into situations where they can utilize what they do best.

“The situation with the rain today wasn’t ideal for any quarterback.”

Reach staff writer Craig Anderson at canderson@newszap.com

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