No. 12/14 Mustangs Stunned by Wilkes on Senior Day, 38-35

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Wilkes University outgained No. 12/14 Stevenson University 536-384 and scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:13 left as the Colonels upset the Mustangs 38-35 in Middle Atlantic Conference football Saturday at Mustang Stadium.  The loss was the first of the year for Stevenson (8-1, 7-1 MAC) and snaps a 10-game win streak dating back to last season.

Wilkes (3-6, 2-6 MAC) won its second straight contest.

Stevenson, which came into the game needing a win to clinch the MAC title and accompanying NCAA berth, still controls its own fate as it sits tied atop the league standings with Albright, a 43-14 winner over Misericordia Saturday.  The Mustangs hold the tiebreaker with the Lions and can secure the league automatic NCAA berth with a win next Saturday at Lycoming (1:00 pm).

Stevenson, which trailed 24-21 late in the third quarter, appeared to take control with a pair of touchdowns in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter.  A 14-yard run by senior Devonte Williams capped a five-play, 52-yard drive and put Stevenson on top 28-24 at the 11:58 mark. 

The Colonels went three-and-out on their next drive and were backed up to their own 7, with a 41-yard punt placing Stevenson at midfield.  Facing third-and-10, junior Dan Williams found junior Dequan Ellison for a 48-yard strike to put the hosts up 35-24.

Wilkes countered with an 11-play, 65-yard drive that was capped by a 14-yard completion from freshman Jose Tabora to Zach Bogoly, followed by a successful two-point try, pulled the Colonels within three, 35-32.

Stevenson went three-and-out on its next possession, with the Colonels taking over with 3:51 left on their own 35 following a 42-yard punt.  Tabora went 5-5 passing on the ensuing drive, with a 27-yard strike to Aaron Coyne in the right corner of the end zone making it 38-35 with 1:13 left.  Wilkes missed the PAT.

Senior Preston Addo returned the ensuing kickoff 63 yards to the Wilkes 15, giving the Mustangs good field position with all three timeouts.  A sack followed by back-to-back incomplete passes set up a 33-yard field goal attempt for senior Tim Sternfeld, but Sternfeld missed with 40 seconds left.

Stevenson jumped out to a 14-0 lead just 1:54 into the game.  Wilkes started with the ball and on the first play of the game, Tabora was picked off by senior Austin Tennessee at the Colonel 30.  One play later, Dan Williams found Addo down the right side for a 33-yard touchdown completion and a 7-0 lead 22 seconds into the contest.

Wilkes went three-and-out on the ensuing drive and an 18-yard punt put the Mustangs on the Colonel 29 to start their second drive.   After a two-yard completion to Addo, Williams found senior Tyler Cherigo down the middle for a 27-yard touchdown completion and a 14-0 lead with 13:06 on the clock.

The guests pulled within 14-7 with 6:34 left in the first as a 42-yard completion from Tabora to William Deemer capped a nine-play, 82-yard drive that took 3:34.  Neither team scored again until a three-yard run by Tabora, set up by a 48-yard completion to Jeff Steeber, made it 14-14 3:49 before halftime.

Wilkes took a 21-14 lead with 6:01 left in the third on a one-yard keeper by Tabora that was set up by a 90-yard interception return by Jordan Stiles that was stopped by a tackle by Dan Williams.  Stevenson countered with a four-play, 66-yard drive capped by a 15-yard completion from Dan Williams to Addo to tie the game for the second time.

Dan Williams finished 19-37 passing for 322 yards and four touchdowns.  Addo caught six balls for 89 yards and two scores, while Ellison hauled in five passes for 87 yards.  Devonte Williams led with 59 yards on the ground on 15 carries.

Defensively, Tennessee had two interceptions, as he also had a pick at the Stevenson 20 in the third.  He finished with seven tackles and four pass breakups.  Sophomore Izaiha Pitts had a career-best 15 tackles to go along with an interception, while sophomore Ashton Leschke has eight tackles and senior Austin Meyers seven, including a sack.  The Mustangs had a takeaway for the 42nd straight game and an interception in the 24th consecutive contest.

Tabora finished 30-48 passing for 453 yards, with Deemer catching eight balls for 42 yards.

Following the contest, the Mustangs honored 17 seniors playing in their final regular season home contest.

Football vs Wilkes Postgame Interview with Ed Hottle
Nov 5, 2016