Dover, DE – A match-up of top five teams lived up to its billing as the #4 University of Mary Hardin-Baylor football team held on to an early lead on the way to a 32-25 victory over #3 Wesley College. UMHB avenges back-to-back NCAA National Quarterfinals to the Wolverines and improves to 2-0 on the year with the victory. The loss drops Wesley to 2-1 on the year.
The Cru took a 3-0 lead on Chad Peevey's 22-yard field goal with 9:14 remaining in the first quarter. Justin Sottilare hit Matt Barile with a 14-yard scoring pass to give Wesley a 6-3 lead with 5:06 on the clock in the first period. UMHB would retake the lead on LiDarral Bailey's two-yard TD run eight seconds into the second quarter and pushed the lead to 12-6 on a safety with 11:51 left in the first half. Bailey hit Darius Wilson with a 16-yard scoring pass to make it 19-6 with 2:37 to go in the first half. Wesley would close to 19-13 on Sottilare's 22-yard strike to Steven Koudossou with just 1:07 left in the half.
Chris Cummins would score on a one-yard run early in the third to tie the game at 19, but a missed extra point kept the Wolverines from taking the lead. Wilson and Bailey hooked up for a 13-yard TD with 8:27 left in the third and Bailey's one-yard run on fourth down gave the Cru a 32-19 lead with 2:31 left in the third. Wesley would cut it to 32-25 on Sottilare's 15-yard pass to Barile with 8:24 left to play. UMHB would force a turnover and two punts from there to preserve the victory.
Bailey finished 16-26 for 138 yards and two scores and Wilson ran for 84 yards on 24 totes. Wilson also caught six passes for 76 yards and two TD's. Javicz Jones led the Cru with eight tackles and Silvio Diaz added 3.0 sacks. UMHB held Wesley to -4 rushing yards and 290 yards of total offense.
Sottilare was 27-44 for 294 yards and three scores. Koudossou caught eight passes for 117 yards and Barile caught seven balls for 115. Wesley turned the ball over twice and gave up 320 yards of offense to the Cru.
The Cru will return to action with a 6:00 PM kickoff at Trinity University next Saturday in San Antonio. Wesley will travel to Pineville, Louisiana to face Louisiana College next Saturday night.