Mustangs Set to Battle Perennial Power Wesley in NCAA Opener Saturday

Mustangs Set to Battle Perennial Power Wesley in NCAA Opener Saturday

No. 20/21 Stevenson (9-1, 8-1 MAC) vs.
No. 18/22 Wesley (8-2, 8-1 NJAC)
Saturday, November 19, 2016 - 12 PM
Scott D. Miller Stadium - Dover, Del. (2,500)
NCAA Championship - First Round

GAME NOTES (PDF) 

STORY LINES

  • The Mustangs have been ranked since week two this season and reached their highest ranking in the D3football.com (14) and AFCA (12) on October 24 and November 1.  2016 is the first season Stevenson has been ranked.
  • Stevenson is second in Division III in interceptions with 24.  Last season the Mustangs led the Division with 29 picks in 11 games.
  • Stevenson is making its first NCAA appearance, but third straight postseason appearance.  In 2014 it won the ECAC South Bowl, while last season it defeated Muhlenberg in the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series.
  • Stevenson's eight-game road win streak dating back to last season is tied for fifth-longest in Division III.
  • Stevenson has forced at least one turnover in 43 straight games and had at least one interception in 25 straight contests.
  • Stevenson and Wesley have one common opponent this season, Delaware Valley.  The Wolverines fell 21-14 to the Aggies on September 2, while the Mustangs shut out DelVal 19-0 on October 22.
  • Wesley is 82-6 at home since the start of the 2004 season and 21-2 all-time at home in the NCAA playoffs.

SERIES HISTORY

•  Stevenson and Wesley have never met in football. 

MUSTANGS DEFENSE AMONGST NATIONAL LEADERS

•  Stevenson led Division III in 2015 in turnovers (40), interceptions (29) and turnover margin (+1.91 per game).  The Mustangs also ranked No. 21 in scoring defense and No. 22 in total defense.  This season, the Mustangs are second nationally with 24 interceptions, while ranking No. 6 in turnover margin (+1.70), No. 11 in turnovers gained (28) and No. 30 in scoring defense (17.1 ppg).  Stevenson also does not turn the ball over, as it has just 11 turnovers, good for No. 18 in the country.

MUSTANGS CLAIM THREE MAJOR MAC AWARDS

•  The Middle Atlantic Conference announced its All-Conference teams on Wednesday.  Quarterback Dan Williams was named the league's Offensive Player of the Year, while defensive back Austin Tennessee was named Defensive Player of the Year.  Finally, sixth-year head coach Ed Hottle was named Coach of the Year.

     In addition, the Mustangs had a total of 17 All-Conference selections.  Earning First Team All-Conference honors were Williams, Tennessee, junior wide receiver Preston Addo, who was also honored as a returner, sophomore linebacker Ashton Leschke, senior defensive back Billy Lewis, and senior running back Devonte Williams, who was honored as a special teams player.  Collecting Second Team accolades were junior wide receiver Devin Salisbury, junior offensive lineman Nick Jachera, senior kicker Tim Sternfeld, senior defensive lineman Austin Meyers, and senior defensive back Jimmy Lauer.  Earning Honorable Mention All-Conference were sophomore running back Jainard Crawley-Lambert, sophomore fullback Patrick Najmola, senior offensive lineman Travis Soubie, senior defensive lineman Travis Bonds, and junior linebacker Mike Datu.

PICK SIX 

•  Stevenson opened the season with six interceptions in its win over North Carolina Wesleyan, a program record.  Billy Lewis finished with three interceptions, including a 38-yard return for a touchdown, while Cory Pietrzyk had two interceptions.  Austin Tennessee recorded the other INT.  The Mustangs have five pick sixes in 2016, with their five defensive touchdowns good for fourth nationally.

STEVENSON QUICK HITS

•  Senior Tim Sternfeld finished fourth in Division III in 2015 with an 85.7 field goal percentage. He converted on 12-of-14 tries last season. He is 30-for-37 in his career.

•  The Mustangs were picked third in the Middle Atlantic Conference preseason poll released in August.  Stevenson was selected behind Delaware Valley and defending league champion Albright.

•  Stevenson posted its third shutout in program history with a 48-0 win over Misericordia on October 1, then followed up with a 19-0 blanking of then-No. 25 Delaware Valley on October 22.  The other two shutouts came in 2014.  The 48-point margin of victory is the second-largest in program history.

•  The Mustangs are ranked No. 43 nationally and lead the MAC with their 36.7 ppg average.  They have scored at least 40 points five times this season.

•  Sophomore linebacker Ashton Leschke was named CoSIDA Academic All-District on Thursday, November 3.  He is a biology major.

•  Stevenson head coach Ed Hottle was on the Wesley staff during the 2002 and 2003 seasons under current Wolverine head coach Mike Drass.