Wolverines make NJAC debut with 44-3 rout of Frostburg

Wesley running back Jamar Baynard rushed for 136 yards on 18 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per carry.  (Submitted photo/Wesley College)

Wesley running back Jamar Baynard rushed for 136 yards on 18 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per carry. (Submitted photo/Wesley College)

FROSTBURG, Md. — The Wesley College football team opened the season in a big way, earning a 44-3 win over Frostburg State on Saturday afternoon in Western Maryland. The contest marked both teams’ inaugural game as members of the New Jersey Athletic Conference.

Wesley accumulated 704 total yards of offense, while holding its opponent to 201. The Wolverines passed for 479 yards and ran for 225 more.

All-American quarterback Joe Callahan proved he deserved all of his preseason accolades, throwing for 424 yards and five touchdowns on 26-of-34 attempts. The senior connected with wide receiver Bryce Shade for 162 yards and four of those scores, tying the single-game program record. Shade led nine different Wesley receivers with at least one catch.

Running back Jamar Baynard toted the ball for 136 yards on 18 carries, averaging 7.6 yards per carry. On defense, Ben Robinson and Julian Jones led the Wolverines with 10 total tackles each. Roderick Caine, Isaiah Ingram, and Rich Logan each recorded a sack while Andre Connally snatched two interceptions for the Wolverine defense.

The Wolverines and Bobcats played through a scoreless first quarter before the squad scored on the first play of the second quarter. Callahan found James Okike for a five-yard score and an Eric Speidel kick put the Wolverines ahead 7-0. After the Wolverines’ defense forced a three-and-out,

Wesley marched down the field and scored again with Callahan connecting with Shade for 20 yards and a score.

The Bobcats constructed their only scoring drive of the day in the second quarter. Connor Cox led the home team down the field for a 10-play, 47-yard drive that resulted in a 32-yard field goal, making the score 14-3. From that point, it was all Wesley.

On the third play of Wesley’s next drive, Callahan found Shade for an 87-yard touchdown completion, making the score 21-3 and sapping any momentum that Frostburg State had gained from its scoring drive. Wesley scored again before halftime, with Callahan and Shade hooking up for a third touchdown pass. The Speidel extra point was blocked to make it 27-3.

In the final minute of the first half, Frostburg drove down the field, attempting to gain some traction before the break. The drive was halted on the doorstep when Andre Connally picked off a pass on the Wesley 3-yard line to end the scoring threat.

In the second half, Wesley held Frostburg scoreless and allowed just 87 yards of total offense to the Bobcats. The Wolverines scored 21 unanswered second half points to run away with the contest.

Shade and Callahan connected for their fourth score of the day, Speidel nailed a 21-yard field goal, and Dan Kesack tossed his first career touchdown pass, finding Tory Robinson for a 37-yard score on a play action pass.

Callahan’s 424 yards passing marked his second-highest career total and his second consecutive 400-yard game. Bryce Shade’s 162 yards receiving and four touchdowns were each career highs. He caught just five touchdown passes last season. Andre Connally’s two interceptions were a career-high, and tripled his career interception total. The junior had only one career interception entering Saturday.

Wesley improves to 1-0 on the season and will return to action on Saturday, Sept. 19. The Wolverines host Christopher Newport University, another NJAC foe, at 1 p.m.

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