|Middlebury (1-0) 28, Wesleyan (0-1) 14 - 9/22/07 at Middletown, Conn.
After yielding an 80-yard TD return on the opening kickoff, the Cardinals settled in for a good battle in the season and home-opener vs. Middlebury. Wesleyan got to within three points after QB Zach Librizzi, who completed 26 of 42 passes for 213 yards, spotted a wide-open Kevin Leamy on the right side of the endzone with 13:19 left on the 2nd period, making it a 10-7 contest. The Panthers got the next TD before a 29-yard Chris Helsel field goal made it a 17-10 halftime margin. But that proved to be the end of Wesleyan's scoring on the day as a fumble at the Middlebury goalline by Shea Dwyer early in the fourth quarter proved costly when the Panthers covered the loose ball in the endzone for a touchback. Middlebury had previously marched 96 yards on 17 plays to make it a 24-10 game with 5:07 left in the third period. Other highlights for the Cardinals included a 28-yard interception return by Justin Freres, a 26.3-yard kickoff return average by Drew Dominguez, a 13-tackle effort by Tim O'Callaghan, which included three tackles for a loss, and a 41.4-yard punting average by A.J. Taucher.
|Wesleyan (1-1) 10, Hamilton (0-2) 9 - 9/29/07 at Clinton, N.Y.
With QB Zach Librizzi and receiver Ryan Walsh both producing career-high figures, Wesleyan hung on for a victory over Hamilton, the team's 10th win over Hamilton in the last 11 meetings. Librizzi connected on 27 of 53 passes for a career-high 363 yards. He found Walsh on the left side about 25 yards downfield with one pass which Walsh snagged with a defender in tow, and raced the remaining yardage to the endzone for a 53-yard score at 2:20 of the second quarter. Walsh finished the day with career-high marks of 10 catches for 188 yards. Chris Helsel, who had missed wide left from 40 and 37 yards, booted a career-long 35-yard field goal at 3:39 of the third period to pad the margin to 10-0. It proved to be the difference in the contest as Hamilton scored its only TD with 1:37 to go in the third quarter on a 12-yard pass. Hamilton had the ball in Wesleyan territory three times during the final 15 minutes but the Cardinal defense rose to the occasion each time, forcing a punt from the 44 the first time and having Andrew Fiola make two of his three interceptions, one in the endzone with 7:30 to go and the last at the Wesleyan 16 with 1:26 left. From there, Wesleyan ran three plays to get the game clock down to :05 and Librizzi took the final snap and ran out of the endzone to run out the clock. Fiola became just the sixth Cardinals to pick off three passes in one game. Pete Overman had 11 tackles to pace the Cardinal defense, two of them for a loss including 1.5 sacks. Shea Dwyer had his best game as a Cardinal with 26 rushes for 81 yards.
|Wesleyan (2-1) 23, Colby (0-3) 14 - 10/6/07 at Middletown, Conn.
Wesleyan's Shea Dwyer scored the first TD of his career on a three-yard misdirection sweep to the left at 4:30 of the first quarter to give homestanding Wesleyan a 6-0 lead (the extra point was blocked) and added two more TDs by game's end to lead the Cardinals to a 23-14 victory over the Colby Mules. Held scoreless in its first two games, Colby got on the board for the first time in 2007 by grabbing a 7-6 advantage at 5:21 of the second quarter when Chris Bashaw scored the first of his two TDs on the day, going in from seven yards out to cap an 80-yard, nine-play drive. The lead see-sawed as Wesleyan countered with Dwyer's two-yarder at 2:53 to finish a 37-yard drive after a Colby fumble to make it 12-7 at halftime as Wesleyan failed on a two-point conversion. Bashaw broke a tackle in the backfield on a screen to the right at 11:49 of the third period and raced up the sideline for an 82-yard score and a 14-12 Colby lead. Bashaw ended the game with 97 yards rushing on 21 attempts and three catches for 85 yards. Again it was Dwyer's turn to put Wesleyan ahead as his one-yard burst at 5:39 of the third completed Wesleyan's 80-yard, eight play march that featured a 33-yard scamper by Dwyer, who finished the day with 28 carries for 89 yards and five receptions for 31 yards. When QB Zach Librizzi (20-37, 194 yards) hit Ryan Walsh for the two-point conversion in the back of the endzone, Wesleyan had a 20-14 lead. Tyler Whitley then intercepted a Colby pass at the Wesleyan 35 on Colby's next possession and the Cardinals moved to the Colby three-yard line only to have a third-down pass intercepted in the endzone. When Ben Morris smothered a Colby punt at the Colby 17 with 4:27 to go in the game, it set up a 28-yard Chris Helsel field goal to give Wesleyan its final nine-point cushion. Kevin Leamy has his best game as a Wesleyan receiver, making eight catches for 87 yards. That included two receptions for 35 yards during the Cardinals' clinching TD drive in the third period. Pete Overman posted 11 tackles for Wesleyan including a sack. In addition to his blocked punt, Morris had two sacks for Wesleyan. Wesleyan ended a five-game losing skid vs. Colby as the Mules took all the games between 2002 and 2006. The series is now all even at 15 wins apiece.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Colby Game
|Wesleyan (3-1) 41, Bates (0-4) 21 - 10/13/07 at Middletown, Conn.
Quarterback Zach Librizzi ran nine times for 121 yards, including TD romps of 79 and 17 yards, and completed 13 of 22 passes for 173 yards and two TDs to pace Wesleyan to its win over Bates (0-4). In compiling 294 yards of total offense himself, Librizzi carried the Cardinals to 461 yards on the afternoon. Wesleyan broke away from a 7-7 tie after one period by scoring 21 unanswered points in the second quarter. Librizzi capped a six-play, 63-yard march by weaving through the middle for 17 yards and a 14-7 Wesleyan edge with 14:14 to go before halftime. On the Cardinals' next possession, Librizzi faked a handoff to running back Shea Dwyer to the left and kept it up the right sideline, going 79 yards untouched to make it 21-7 at 11:14. A 23-yard burst by Lane Kirshe finished off the day's most impressive series, a 15-play, 90-yard drive that consumed 6:22 to make it 28-7 with 2:07 remaining in the second period. Kirshe finished the day with 65 yards on eight carries while Dwyer added 97 yards on 18 attempts. Bates used a 38-yard interception return to the Wesleyan 30 to set up its second TD. Wesleyan then added two more scores to pad the lead to 41-14 as Kevin Leamy caught a nine-yard Librizzi offering for a TD to close out the third-quarter scoring and Justin Freres intercepted a Bates pass in the defensive right front edge of the endzone, moved up the near sideline, cut through the middle and ended up going 100 yards for the second-longest interception return for a TD in Wesleyan history. One of 102 yards was recorded during the 1952 season. Bates finished off the scoring with 1:15 left as both teams were playing with a full compliment of reserves on the field. Wesleyan had struck first in the contest on a 47 yards TD by Dwyer on a screen pass to the left as he broke an initial tackle attempt at the 40 and moved in from there. That came at 4:53 of the first quarter. Dwyer led Wesleyan in catches with five for 86 yards. Bates responded on its next possession by going 63 yards on 11 plays to knot the game. Wesleyan won its third game in a row this year, its first three-game win streak since a 5-3 season in 2002.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Bates Game
|Amherst (4-1) 28, Wesleyan (3-2) 9 - 10/20/07 at Amherst, Mass.
Amherst used an 18-point second quarter to move out to a 25-3 halftime lead and nursed its lead throughout the second half for a 28-9 victory. Wesleyan scored the only TD of the second half as Shea Dwyer bolted in from two yards out to complete a 10-play, 54-yard drive. That and a 24-yard Chris Helsel field goal in the first quarter accounted for the Cardinals' scoring. The Lord Jeffs scored on three consecutive possessions in the second period to push its tenuous 7-3 advantage to a 22-point bulge at intermission. Big plays triggered all of the Amherst scoring drives as a 33-yard punt return set up a 27-yard field goal to make it 10-3 with 10:52 left ; a 44-yard run and 29-yard pass set up the one-yard run that made it 17-3 ; and a 55-yard run was the scoring play for the 25-3 lead as Amherst was forced to go for two points after a bad extra-point snap and converted. Amherst also had a 40-yard pass in the 1st quarter that led to its opening score following an interception at midfield. Wesleyan QB Zach Librizzi had a solid game with 25-for-43 throwing, good for 259 yards. Three big Amherst sacks cost the Cardinals 39 yards rushing as they finished with minus-15 for the game. Of Amherst's 65 offensive plays, 50 were runs, covering 256 yards. Ryan Walsh led the Cardinals with eight catches for 77 yards. Defensively, both Justin Freres and Vinny Colangelo collected 13 tackles for Wesleyan while Freres had his third career interception.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Amherst Game
|Wesleyan (4-2) 21, Bowdoin (1-5) 14 - 10/27/07 at Brunswick, Maine
Ryan Walsh caught a Zach Librizzi pass from the Wesleyan 46-yard line at the Bowdoin 30 and outraced a pair of Bowdoin defenders to the endzone for a 54-yard TD at 12:27 of the fourth quarter to break a 14-14 and propel the Cardinals to a 21-14 victory. It was the fifth catch of the game for Walsh who finished with 153 receiving yards. His 47-yard catch of a ball tipped by his teammate Mark Noonan near midfield was one of the key plays in Wesleyan’s five-play, 75-yard first-quarter drive for a 14-7 lead. Played in a steady rain on a sloppy field, the game featured four TDs during the opening five possessions, leading to a 14-14 deadlock at halftime. Wesleyan struck first, going 73 yards on 15 plays with its first series after forcing a Bowdoin punt. Librizzi completed four passes to Kevin Leamy during the march for 28 yards. Leamy also took a pitch to the right for a nine-yard gain. Librizzi, who collected 300 yards of total offense in the game with 20 runs for 83 yards and 16-of-32 passing for 217 yards, did the honors on the ground from five yards out with 7:32 left in the first quarter. Bowdoin came right back to tie with a nine-play, 59-yard drive capped by a 20-yard pass to the right side from Oliver Kell to Justin Starr. Wesleyan regained the lead on an eight-yard run by Librizzi at the :42 mark of the first quarter. His pass from the Wesleyan 26 during the series which glanced off the hands of receiver Noonan to Walsh went to the Bowdoin 27. Wesleyan was aided two plays later by a pass interference call in the endzone for a 1st-and-goal at the three. Following the Cardinal TD, Bowdoin again responded with its own scoring march with Laurence Duggan carrying the ball five times for 53 yards including the 15-yard TD scamper. Nick Tom also had a big 24-yard rush to trigger the drive. The teams then went 13 straight series without a point. Wesleyan threatened midway through the third period, reaching the Bowdoin six, but shirked a possible go-ahead field goal to go for it on 4th-and-2, but came up short on a Taso Fotinos run to the left. After taking the lead, Wesleyan held twice on fourth down in its own territory, the final one coming on a 4th-and-1 attempt from the Wesleyan 40. Pete Overman came through the middle from his linebacker spot to trip up Duggan short of the first down with 2:49 to play. Fotinos got the Cardinals a first-down with an 11-yard run. After three more runs which ran off much of the remaining time and forced Bowdoin to use up its timeouts, Wesleyan gave Bowdoin the ball at the Polar Bears 18 with :40 left on a 41-yard AJ Taucher punt. A last-ditch throw by Kell from the Wesleyan 49 was intercepted by Justin Freres at the 10-yard line. It was the fourth pickoff of the year for Freres.
Wesleyan has now beaten Bowdoin 10 of the last 11 meetings and 34 times in the 39 contests between the teams since 1964.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Bowdoin Game
|Williams (5-2) 33, Wesleyan (4-3) 13 - 11/3/07 at Middletown, Conn.
Junior Brian Morrissey ran 30 times for 143 yards and a TD while senior Kevin Flynn used just six carries to collect 117 yards and scored twice in leading Williams (5-2) to a 33-13 Little Three victory over Wesleyan (4-3). With Williams amassing 511 yards of total offense, senior QB Pat Lucey connected on 13 of 25 passes for 217 yards, the bulk of them going to junior Ryan Powell, who made seven receptions for 139 yards including a 58 yard TD. Williams scored on its opening possession, marching 83 yards on nine plays while consuming five minutes en route to a 6-0 lead. Flynn scored the first of his two TDs on a 12-yard run around left end. The score remained unchanged for more than 20 minutes before two late Williams tallies made it 19-0 at halftime. The first came on Morrissey's one-yard burst at 3:49 of the second period and the second at :34 on a pass by Lucey to a wide-open Powell in the middle of the field at the Wesleyan 40-yard line which he turned into a 58-yard score by running up the left sideline, putting on a move at the 12 and cutting back to the endzone. Each team scored twice in the second half. Williams got the first from freshman tight end Jon Carroll on a misdirection catch back to the left for a five-yard TD from Lucey. Wesleyan got on the board at 8:19 of the third period when junior Drew Dominguez intercepted a Lucey offering at the Wesleyan 44-yard line and raced 56 yards for the TD. Williams countered six minutes later with a 65-yard gallop by Flynn to the left side for the day's longest scoring play. Wesleyan got its only offensive TD from sophomore Lane Kirshe on a one-yard run, set up by a junior Pete Overman fumble recovery at the Williams 37. Kirshe ran for 22 yards on six attempts and added a team-high five catches for 40 yards. Wesleyan QB senior Zach Librizzi threw for 134 yards and ran for 27 more in compiling 161 yards of total offense. The game was played in very poor conditions with the remnants of hurricane Noel hitting the Northeast. A wind-driven rain, constant gusts and a muddy field hampered play. The Williams win, its eighth straight over Wesleyan, set up a Little Three showdown against Amherst College (4-3) in Williamstown, Mass. next week in the season finale for both teams. Amherst defeated Wesleyan, 28-9, earlier this season. Wesleyan finishes its season at Trinity College (5-2).
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Williams Game
Trinity (6-2) 32, Wesleyan (4-4) 14 - 11/10/07 at Hartford, Conn.
Senior Zach Librizzi collected 266 yards of total offense in his final game for Wesleyan, completing 25 of 44 passes for 257 yards while running four times for nine yards but Trinity prevailed, 32-14, for its seven straight win over Wesleyan. Trinity had two runners go over 100 yards in the game, senior Jordan Quinones (13-114, 2 TDs) and sophomore Ollie Starnes (18-113) to trigger the Bantam offense which accounted for 427 yards on the day. Wesleyan was limited to just 11 yards on the ground from 12 attempts. Trinity got a pair of junior Adam Cox field goals (27 of 42) for a 6-0 lead at 10:56 of the second quarter. When Trinity drove 87 yards in three minutes to tack on a TD with :07 left in the half, it gave the Bantams a 12-0 halftime lead as a fake extra-point run was stopped by Wesleyan senior Tyler Whitley. He finished the day with 10 tackles while junior Pete Overman led the Cardinals with 13 stops. Trinity improved the lead to 25-0 on a 12-yard Quinones run. Wesleyan got on the board behind a four-yard pass from Librizzi to senior Mark Noonan at 12:44 of the fourth quarter. Noonan had five catches for 79 yards in the contest. The 72-yard series featured a 56-yards catch-and-run by sophomore Taso Fotinos. The Bantams came right back to raise the margin to 32-7 before Wesleyan drew last blood on Librizzi's one-yard run at 5:16 of the period. Librizzi found junior Chris Helsel up the left sideline for a 46-yard gain to spark the drive. Junior Kevin Leamy led Wesleyan's receiving corps with six catches in the game while Fotinos also had six receptions out of the backfield. Freshman Joe Giaimo came in at QB for the Cardinals at game's end, completing two of six passes, one of which went to Noonan for 45 yards.