Mustangs Withstand Wilkes Surge, Pull Away For Sixth Straight Win

Mustangs Withstand Wilkes Surge, Pull Away For Sixth Straight Win

EDWARDSVILLE, Pa. - Visiting Stevenson University took advantage of five takeaways in the first half to build a 28-7 lead early in the second quarter before Wilkes University scored twice to make it a one-score game early in the fourth, but a pair of late touchdowns lifted the Mustangs to a 42-21 Middle Atlantic Conference football victory at Schmidt Stadium Saturday afternoon.  The win, coupled with Misericordia's 20-10 loss to Albright, secures a home game for the Mustangs in the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series on Saturday, November 23.

  • Stevenson (7-2, 6-1 MAC) came up with a takeaway on the game's opening kickoff, as Myles Copes forced a fumble that he recovered at the Colonel 28.
  • On the first play from scrimmage, Ryan Sedgwick had a 28-yard completion to Keenan Franz to give the Mustangs a 7-0 lead 12 seconds into the game.
  • Wilkes (7-2, 5-2 MAC) scored on its first drive, with a 63-yard run on a keeper up the middle by Jose Tabora tied the game at the 13:10 mark.
  • The Mustangs put together a six-play, 58-yard drive capped by an 11-yard touchdown pass from Sedgwick to Chaz Lyles to put the Mustangs on top 14-7 with 9:49 on the clock.
  • Don Jones forced a fumble on Wilkes' second play of its next drive, with Josh Siegenthaler recovering at the Colonel 31 with 8:52 left in the quarter.
  • A one-yard keeper by Sedgwick capped an eight-play drive to increase the lead to 21-7 with just under five minutes left.
  • On third-and-10 at the Wilkes 43, Marvin Manassa intercepted Tabora with 3:58 remaining.

  • Izaiha Pitts came up with Stevenson's fourth takeaway early in the second, picking off Tabora at the Wilkes 37 and returning it to the 29.
  • The Mustangs were moved back five yards to start the drive on an illegal formation, then moved to the 2 on a 32-yard reception by Franz.
  • Another penalty, this one a false start, moved the guests back to the Wilkes 7, but a seven-yard Sedgwick pass to Franz made it 28-7 with 11:37 left in the first half.
  • Wilkes drove from its own 30 to the Stevenson 7 in five plays, but a fumble by Tabora that was recovered by Jones at the 8.
  • Wilkes lined up for a 28-yard field goal attempt late in the half, but the kick was blocked by Garston Banks with 23 seconds remaining.

  • Stevenson worked its way to midfield on the opening drive of the second half before Wilkes sacked Sedgwick and forced a fumble that was recovered by Vinnie Werner at the Mustang 38.
  • Six plays later, a seven-yard keeper by Tabora cut the Mustang lead to 28-14 with 9:16 left in the third.
  • The Mustangs worked their way into Colonel territory on the next drive, but a fumble after a completed pass was recovered by Wilkes with 4:52 on the clock.
  • Wilkes worked its way down to the Mustang 2 at the end of the third quarter.

  • Tabora's third rushing TD of the day, this one for two yards, made it a one-score game, 28-21, with 14:55 left.
  • Stevenson picked up one first down on its next drive but was forced to punt and Wilkes took over at its own 30 with 12:00 left.
  • The Mustangs forced a Wilkes three-and-out and started their next drive on the Stevenson 35 with 10:29 on the clock.
  • A 10-yard run by Kevin Joppy kicked off an eight-play drive that saw a four-yard rush by Justin Rutkowski increase the lead to 35-21 with just over six minutes remaining.
  • Stevenson faced third-and-12 at midfield on the drive, but an 18-yard completion from Sedgwick to Vincent Lee on a leaping catch by Lee extended the drive, with a pass interference penalty called on Wilkes in the end zone moving the Mustangs to the 4.
  • The Colonels got out to midfield on their next drive, picking up one first down, but a fourth-and-8 pass fell incomplete and the hosts turned it over on downs with 4:45 to go.
  • Stevenson chewed up all but 13 seconds on its final drive, with a three-yard rush by Joppy capping the seven-play drive and accounting for the final.

  • Stevenson's bowl bid will be its sixth straight postseason appearance. It will host the second-highest team in the Centennial Conference standings that does not earn an NCAA berth.
  • The Mustangs outgained the Colonels 388-282, including 278-63 through the air.
  • Sedgwick finished 22-27 passing for 278 yards and three touchdowns and now has 2,663 passing yards this season, moving him to the second-highest single-season total in the nine-year history of the program.
  • Franz finished with six receptions for 99 yards, while Lyles had six catches for 78 yards.
  • Lee had five grabs for 62 yards.
  • Joppy carried 17 times for 87 yards, while Titus Johnson rushed 10 times for 54 yards.
  • Pitts had a team-high seven tackles in addition to his third interception of the season.
  • Hanif Jones had two tackles for a loss, including a sack, and five total tackles.
  • Brody Campbell finished 6-6 on extra points.
  • The Mustang offense has scored 340 points through nine games.  The program record is 384 scored in 11 games in 2016.
  • Stevenson's six-game win streak is its longest since 2016, when the Mustangs won their first eight games of the season.
  • The Mustangs held the ball for 35:46, winning the time of possession battle for the seventh time in nine games.
  • Stevenson converted four of its nine third downs, while limiting the Colonels to 2-8 on third down.

  • Stevenson wraps up its regular season next Saturday, hosting Lycoming in a noon kickoff at Mustang Stadium.