No. 3 Wesley Readies for No. 8 Delaware Valley

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Courtesy of Wesley Athletics

No. 8 Delaware Valley at No. 3 Wesley

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Game Notes

The Series - Wesley has won two of three since the schools re-established the series three years ago, including last year's matchup in Doylestown, 31-13.  Ellis Krout scored two touchdowns in the game, while the defense forced five turnovers (4 fumbles.)

Scouting the Aggies - Delaware Valley enters the game at 2-0 after an impressive 27-0 win over No. 20 Washington & Jefferson last weekend.

The Coach:  Jim Clements is 33-13 with a pair of MAC Championships in four years as head coach.  He also led last year's team into the second round of the NCAAs with a 10-2 record on the year.

The Offense:  Running back Matt Cook is in his fourth year as a starter for the Aggies and has 190 yards in two games this year and two touchdowns and added a third score receiving.  Delaware Valley has a new starting quarterback this year in Mark Hatty, who has a 136.9 efficiency with 378 yards and three scores against just one pick while completing over 66 percent of his passes.  He was named MAC Offensive Player of the Week after the W&J victory. Dan Heiland leads the team with both nine receptions and 99 yards.  Joe Gionfriddo has just four catches, but two have gone for TDs. 

The Defense:  Preseason All-American outside linebacker Kyle Gesswein is second on the team with 13 tackles, including 2.5 sacks.  Ken Fowlkesleads the squad with 14 stops from one of the inside spots on the teams 3-4 alignment.  The defensive line of ends Mike Jaskowski and Garrett Wootersand nose tackle Amadeus Hall has combined for seven sacks in two games, including a team best three by Jaskowski.  Corner Troy Green has the team's only interception this season, while safety Ryan McCullough has forced a pair of fumbles.  The unit has been up to any challenge thrown at it thus far allowing just 3.5 points per game and only 135.5 yards of total offense to its opponents.

Wesley Offense:

Quarterbacks:  Senior Shane McSweeny, the reigning ECAC Southwest and ACFC Player of the Year, was lost for the year on the second play of the season with a knee injury and will receive a medical hardship…No returning quarterback had more rushing yards last year and his 36 passing TDs were the second most among returners… Junior Justin Sottilare served as the backup last year and has assumed the starting role in McSweeny's absence…He finished with 267 yards and three touchdowns against CNU and added 254 and four TDs against Frostburg State last week…He made his first career start against Lake Erie, throwing a pair of scores and leading Wesley to a win…Sophomore Chris Cummings has moved up the depth chart and is 1-for-2 passing in limited action.

Running Backs:  Sophomore Brandon Wright has emerged as the starter this season and already has 218 yards this season after rushing for just 225 last year…Wright needed just 12 carries against Frostburg St. in week two to produce his first career 100-yard game, rushing for 148 yards and a pair of touchdowns…He had three touchdowns in week one's win over Christopher Newport to earn ACFC Offensive Player of the Week honors in his first career start…So far this year, Wright averages 8.4 yards per carry and 23.3 yards per catch…The Wolverines have used a stable of backs when Wright is not in the game….Freshmen Askia JahadBrandon LeGrand, and Eugene Byrd have all seen time, as has sophomore B.J. Marshall…At fullback, Hassan Alstonis the starter, splitting time with sophomore David Gorski…Gorski played linebacker as a freshman before moving to offense this season.

Receivers:  Senior Ellis Krout is back after catching 20 touchdowns, a school and ACFC record, in his first year with the Wolverines…Krout has added three more this year for 23 career TD catches, tied for seventh all-time at Wesley…He led the Wolverines with five catches for 87 yards and two scores in week two at Frostburg State and caught a TD against Christopher Newport as well…In his first year as a starter, senior Leonard Stevenson is second on the team with seven receptions for a team-high 132 yards…Senior Gene Knight scored last week on a 36-yard pass on play action against the Bobcats in week two…His 11 catches in last year's NCAA Second Round win over Mississippi College tied an 18-year old school record.

Tight Ends:  Senior Preseason All-American Sean McAndrew has shown a nose for the end zone in his career.  Dating back to last year, he has 10 touchdowns in his last nine games and now has 14 among his 52 career receptions (27 percent)…This year, he has caught one touchdown in each game…The big tight end doubles as a forward on the Wolverine basketball team, has been a good source of big plays in his three seasons on the gridiron…He has averaged over 17 yards per catch during his career…Tambua Bradford, an excellent blocker, will be the backup after catching one pass in 2009…Fellow reserve Travis Douglas caught his first career pass against Frostburg State in week two.

Wesley Defense:

Wesley's defense has been among the nation's best so far in 2010…The unit is third in Division III with 124 yards allowed per game and fifth in scoring defense at 3.0 points per game…The aggressive unit is fifth in tackles for loss (11.00/game) and eighth in sacks (4.50/game)...The key so far has been balance as Wesley is 13th in Division III against the pass (71.50 yards/game) and 14th against the run (52.50 yards/game).

Defensive Line:  Junior Chris Mayes, the reigning South Region Defensive Player of the Year, has 3.5 sacks already this year and 4.5 tackles for loss...He now has 19 career sacks, good for a tie for ninth in the Wesley career leaders…Last year, Mayes was second in Division III with 2.34 tackles for a loss per game and totaled 34.5 for the season, a school and conference record….The explosive Mayes sacked opposing quarterbacks 13 times…Dating back to last year, he has 20.5 tackles for loss in the last seven games and at least one stop in the backfield in every game…Senior Jeff Dorsey has 2.5 sacks already from the other end position and 4.0 TFL…He has a sack in each game this season and had 3.0 TFL in the opener against Christopher Newport… Defensive tackle Paul Gilstrop led the team in tackles in week two against Frostburg State with eight…Senior Eric Adams had six tackles in the opener against Christopher Newport from the other tackle spot.

Linebackers:  Junior captain Mike Asiedu and senior Quran Barge are tied for the team lead with 14 tackles apiece…Asiedu, the weakside linebacker, was particularly dangerous against Frostburg State, with seven tackles, three for loss and three pass breakups, earning ACFC Player of the Week honors…Barge had 10 tackles in the season opener …He transferred to Wesley from Lindenwood (NAIA) where he started at linebacker   and is a former University of Missouri player…Senior Jeff Morgan has a pair of sacks from the strong side this year, one in each contest…He tallied nine stops against Christopher Newport in the opener…Last year, he harassed offenses with 8.5 sacks and 13.5 TFL…Freshman Byron Eaton recovered a fumble against Frostburg State and also made a tackle for loss.

Defensive Backs:  Senior All-American Aaron Benson has seven tackles, half a sack, an interception and a blocked kick so far in 2010…Last year he collected seven interceptions and 61 tackles as a junior…Benson was honored on every Preseason All-American team after earning second team honors last season…His seven picks tied the school's single season record and his 208 return yards set a new benchmark at Wesley…With one pick so far in 2010, he is tied for eighth in the Wesley record book with 10 picks…Senior Marcus Wilson moved to corner this season after playing safety the last two years…SeniorDakevis Howard missed the opener due to injury after a season with three picks and 10 passes defended to go along with 46 tackles…Corner Reggie Millner has five tackles after starting every game a year ago…Safety Justin Strickland made half a tackle for loss and blocked a kick against Frostburg State…Junior Sean Scanlon, a transfer from the University of Delaware, played in the secondary for the Blue Hens in 2008 and 2009, but is best known as Joe Flacco's back up at Delaware in 2007 before he moved to safety...He is also the younger brother of former Wolverine and current Wesley assistant Steve Scanlon…He blocked a punt against Frostburg State and has five tackles so far this year.

Wesley Special Teams:

Placekickers:  Sophomore Dan Tryon wrestled the kicking job away from Collin Blugis in the national semifinals last year after handling the kick off duties all year as a freshman…Tryon hit a pair of field goals in the win over Frostburg State…Blugis is the Wolverines' all-time leading scorer among kickers with 201 points, fourth overall at Wesley…He also holds the school record with 147 extra points. 

Punters:  Sophomore John Smicklo placed three punts inside the 20-yardline in week one at Christopher Newport to earn ACFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

Returns:  The Wolverines' kick returners have not had much work so far, with just one return in each game so far…Sophomore Matt Barile ran the opening kick of the second half back 44 yards against Frostburg State in week two…In contrast, punt returner Sean Hopkins has been busy, returning 10 punts for an excellent average of 18.5 yards per return…In week two at Frostburg, he turned returns of 69 and 26 yards…Against Christopher Newport in week one, three of his seven returns went for over 20 yards…The Wolverines are 21st in Division III in punt return average at 17.64 per return.

Coverage:  So far in 2010, Wesley has blocked four kicks, including three in week two at Frostburg State…After a goal line stand that followed a 79-yard Bobcat kick return, Chris Mayes blocked a field goal…Justin Strickland and Sean Scanlon each chipped in later in that game with blocked punts…Aaron Benson blocked a kick in week one at Christopher Newport.