Wolverines dominate TCNJ 62-0 in conference opener

Khaaliq Burroughs

DOVER — It was a pretty safe assumption that Wesley College’s football team was going to win on Friday night.

But there was no guarantee that the Wolverines would play well.

Coach Chip Knapp, though, had to admit that there wasn’t much not to like about the way No. 7 Wesley dispatched the College of New Jersey, 62-0, in its New Jersey Athletic Conference opener on Friday night.

The Wolverines (2-0 overall) stormed out to a 27-0 first-quarter lead before blanking the Lions (0-2 NJAC, 0-3) for the third straight year. Wesley has now won its last 17 conference games.

“There’s going to be tons to work on — there always is,” said Knapp. “But the picture in your head going into the game. … you hoped it would go like it did.

“We had a bye week and we were chomping at the bit to play finally. I mean, this is what they love — playing football, not practicing and doing other stuff. They want to be out here and they got the opportunity.”

After an open date last weekend, Wesley was playing its first game in 14 days. But the Wolverines didn’t look rusty at all.

Alex Kemp

Dante Daniels’ interception on the game’s first possession set up the Wolverines at the Lions’ 41. On the next play, receiver Alex Kemp got behind the TCNJ secondary and quarterback Khaaliq Burroughs hit him in stride with a 41-yard touchdown pass.

The Wolverines scored on all four of their first-quarter possessions, eventually finishing with a 638-205 edge in total yards and a 27-13 advantage in first downs. Wesley punted just once compared to eight punts for TCNJ.

“The biggest thing is just making sure we stayed disciplined,” said senior offensive tackle Devin Miller, the Cape Henlopen High grad. “We keep playing our game — we don’t play down to any level. We just keep up our tempo and do our thing.

“We had an extra week to prepare, an extra week to get better. I feel that we displayed our efforts that we put in tonight.”

In a well-balanced attack, Burroughs completed 17-of-22 passes for 259 yards with three TDs and an interception. Eight of those completions went to Kemp, who totaled 108 yards and two touchdown catches.

Wesley also had a pair of 100-yard rushers in E.J. Lee, who had 100 yards and three TDs on 13 carries, and freshman Xavier Drummond for ran for a game-high 116 yards and a touchdown on just two carries.

Drummond, a Sussex Tech High grad, got his chance to play in the second half because the score was so lopsided. He picked up 30 yards on his first carry, only to fumble the ball at the end.

Drummond, though, bolted 86 yards for a TD on his second chance. A total of 13 players carried the ball for the Wolverines on Friday.

“Running backs are probably the hardest to evaluate because we don’t go live (in practice) these days like we used to,” said Knapp. “He (Drummond) is the one back that’s a little different from the rest. He has the strength and size.

“It was really exciting to see what he could do. I mean he could start on a lot of teams. It’s just a matter of time before he’s going to take off at Wesley.”

TCNJ had one great opportunity to score its first points against Wesley since 2015 when it intercepted a bobbled pass at the Wolverines’ 11-yard line in the second quarter.

But a 14-yard sack by cornerback Daquay Harris-Winbush on first down set the Lions back and they eventually were stopped on a fourth-down incompletion at the 16.

Wesley’s players know things aren’t always going to go as smoothly as they did on Friday night. Miller said they’ll have to put this victory behind them quickly.

“We just have to remind ourselves that, the next time we come in, we have to get right back to work,” he said. “We can’t settle for where we’re at now. We have to get better every day.”

Extra points

Dover High grad Marcellus Pack, who’s now playing cornerback, had his first interception as a Wolverine. Picking off the ball in the end zone, he returned it 45 yards. He also had a 42-yard kickoff return and an 11-yard punt return. … Receiver Coterris Simpson added a 54-yard punt return. … Four different QBs played for Wesley. … Defensive tackle Tommy Tanner had a team-high five tackles and forced a fumble. … The Wolverines host William Patterson on Saturday at 1 p.m. Wesley blanked Patterson, 66-0, last year.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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