Courtesy Wesley College
DOVER, Del. - Wesley College's Jeff Morgan (Vineland, N.J./Vineland) and Chris Mayes (Waldorf, Md./Westlake) led a defense that held Division III's top scoring offense to just nine points - its lowest total since 2007 - in a 19-9 victory over Mary Hardin-Baylor.
With the win, Wesley advances to the NCAA Division III Semifinals for the fourth time since 2005. The Wolverines will host Wisconsin-Whitewater on December 11 at noon at Scott D. Miller Stadium.
Morgan registered 16 tackles in the game, while Mayes sacked the Cru's LiDarrel Bailey four times.
The Wolverines (12-0) struck first with a touchdown midway through the first quarter. On second and 10 from the UMHB (12-1) 24, Justin Sottilare (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills) threw up a pass and Ellis Krout (Dallas, Texas/Roosevelt) outjumped the Cru defense for the game's first score. Wesley led just 6-0, however, after Ryan Metcalf blocked the extra point.
At the beginning of the second quarter, the Wolverines fumbled in their own territory and UMHB took over at the Wesley 27. The defense held the Cru to just three yards and limited the damage to just a 41-yard field goal by Alan Munoz that cut the lead to 6-3 with 9:51 to go in the half.
The Wolverines answered back with field goals of 31 and 38 yards by Dan Tryon (Wilmington, Del./Salesianum) to take a 12-3 lead into the half.
Wesley was forced to punt on the opening possession of the second half and Javicz Jones blocked it giving the Cru the ball at the Wolverines' 27. Mike Asiedu (Yonkers, N.Y./Gorton) forced a Bailey fumble on third down and Sean Scanlon (Cherry Hill, N.J./Camden Catholic) recovered to get the ball back.
The recovery set up a 12-play, 86-yard drive for the Wesley offense that ran 6:29 off the game clock. Sottilare completed 6-of-9 passes on the drive, capped by a 24-yard pass to wide open Krout for touchdown that extended the lead to 19-3.
The Cru tried to answer back on its next possession. A short kick and a 22-yard return gave the offense the ball near midfield and eventual had a first and goal at the Wesley four yardline. Wesley then stopped the Cru on third down from the one yardline. On fourth down, UMHB was hit with a delay of game penalty and a rush by Daniels on fourth and goal was stopped in the backfield by Scanlon and Asiedu.
UMHB faced a third and 35 in the fourth quarter, but Bailey hit Trey Hazelton for 31 yards and on fourth down, Quincy Daniels went up the middle for a 42-yard touchdown that made it 19-9 after the two-point conversion failed.
Sottilare was 22-of-37 in the game for 252 yards and a pair of scores, both to Krout. The two touchdowns gave the junior quarterback 37 on the year, tying the school and conference single season marks. They also extended Krout's school and conference records for career receiving scores to 38.
In addition to Mayes' four sacks, Morgan and Devin Hardy (Baltimore, Md./Eastern Tech) each registered a quarterback takedown as Wesley registered six sacks against an offensive line that had allowed just eight in 12 games entering the day.
Morgan's 16 stops were the most by a Wolverine since Sean Matthews had 16 against Salisbury in 2008.
Krout ended the day with five grabs for 95 yards and Leonard Stevenson (Nanjemoy, Md./Lackey) hauled in seven for 67 yards. Brandon Wright (Clayton, N.J./Clayton) led the ground game with 62 rushing yards.
Daniels racked up 156 yards rushing to lead UMHB, but the rest of the team was held to a negative 20.
Bailey completed 8-of-23 passes for 97 yards. Ervin Johnson caught four of those passes for 56 yards.
Jones made a team-high 15 tackles, while Metcalf added 11.