Wolverines post 3rd straight shutout, dominate Southern Va. 49-0

Caeden Knight of Southern Virginia gets only a couple yards before he was brought down by Wesley’s defense. (Special to the Delaware State News/Gary Emeigh)

DOVER — The game was already decided, but there was still some drama for Wesley College in the second half.

The question on the crowd’s mind was, could the Wolverines earn their third straight shutout?

The answer was yes, after a surprisingly dramatic and at times humorous conclusion to a 49-0 blowout victory over Southern Virginia on Saturday in Wesley’s home opener.

The shutout streak looked to be over for a few seconds at the end of the third quarter. Facing a fourth-and-nine, Southern Virginia elected to kick a 49-yard field goal.

Jackson Hatch’s attempted sailed through the uprights but Wesley was whistled for a rare roughing the snapper penalty. That gave Southern Virginia a fresh set of downs and sent the Knights into the red zone for the first time.

Wesley quarterback Khaaliq Burroughs looks for a receiver on the right side in the first quarter against Southern Virginia.

Three plays later, Southern Virginia again was forced to kick a field goal. Hatch converted for the second time but Southern Virginia had called timeout just before the ball was snapped to prevent a delay of game penalty.

Wesley’s Daquay Harris-Winbush then got a hand on Hatch’s third attempt to preserve the shutout with a field goal block.

The Wolverines have not allowed a touchdown since the second quarter of their opening game loss to Delaware Valley. Wesley held Southern Virginia to 120 yards on offense, Lake Forest High product Mike Sabino led the defense with six tackles.

“It gives us something to strive for because we’re looking for a shutout every game now,” Sabino said. “We almost lost it there, that’s the first time I’ve seen a penalty actually kind of help a team. It’s definitely been a goal for us each game and the defense talks about before every game how we want to put up a goose-egg.”

Since all of the shutouts have been by lopsided margins, it means the Wolverines have been playing their second-string in the second half for the last three games. Coach Mike Drass says that shows how hard his younger players have been working.

“Shutouts are nice but when the young guys come in and preserve that shutout you take a lot of pride in that,” Drass said.

The Wolverines scored 42 of their 49 points in the first half.

Sophomore quarterback Khaaliq Burroughs ran for a touchdown and threw for three more. Burroughs was starting just the third game of his career after taking over for Nick Falkenberg who was injured in the first game of the season.

Wolverine tight end Andrew Eagle catches a quick pass and bulldozes his way in for a touchdown in the first quarter.

Burroughs finished with 181 yards passing and completed 15 of his 19 attempts.

“We think he’s a good quarterback,” Drass said. “It really stunk losing Nick, but that’s why the backup prepares like he’s the starter. He’s been doing a nice job.”

E.J. Lee added three rushing touchdowns, two in the first half and another in the third quarter.

James Okike, Alex Kemp (Caesar Rodney High) and Andrew Eagle all caught touchdowns for the Wolverines. It was the first touchdown of Eagle’s career.

Known mostly for his blocking, Eagle had joked during Wesley’s weekly press conference on Wednesday that if he ever caught a touchdown he would retire.

“I guess I got to find a new tight end,” Drass cracked. “He got himself open and got himself in the end zone. He’s a great kid and I’m so happy for him.”

Okike led all receivers with 102 yards on seven catches while Kemp caught five passes for 65 yards. Lee broke the 100-yard mark again with 104 on the day.

On defense, Cappadonna Miller recorded an interception off a tipped pass by Sabino. Stephen Yorkman also forced and recovered a fumble for the Wesley defense.

Against the Southern Virginia triple-option attack, the Wolverines only allowed 67 rushing yards on 37 rushing plays.

“We’ve been defending options for a long time so when we get an option team, we know how to defend the option,” Drass said. “We take our normal defense, put it to the side, and put our option defense in and get after it.”

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