|Tufts (1-0) 20, Wesleyan (0-1) 14 - 9/20/08 at Medford, Mass.
Wesleyan took the opening kickoff and marched 63 yards on 12 plays for the game's initial TD, a three-yard pass from Joe Giaimo '11 to Steve Hauser '11 as Wesleyan consumed 7:15 of the clock, then broke a 7-7 tie with 18 seconds remaining before halftime on a four-yard connection from Giaimo to Kevin Leamy '09 for a 14-7 Cardinal lead at intermission. But the third quarter belonged to the Tufts offense as the Jumbos scored twice on drives of 49 and 89 yards and held Wesleyan scoreless in the second half to capture the opening-day win. Tufts had 172 yards on the ground in the second half after being held to 75 yards in the opening half. In total, Tufts had 276 yards of offense over the final 30 minutes while Wesleyan generated just 49.
|Hamilton (1-1) 17, Wesleyan (0-2) 7 - 9/28/08 at Middletown, Conn.
Despite two outstanding goalline stands by the Wesleyan defense which held Hamilton to just a field goal from two 1st-and-goal situations inside the Wesleyan five-yard line, the Cardinals could not generate enough points to get past the Continentals, falling 17-7 in a game moved to Sunday to escape bad weather on Saturday. Cameron Davila '12, seeing his first action for Wesleyan, came up with 15 tackles from his safety spot on the afternoon to lead the charge. Quarterback Blake DuBois '12 connected on 18 of 39 attempts for 264 yards and a 12-yard TD pass to Kevin Leamy '09, who did most of the work himself to get into the endzone by shaking a tackle at the line of scrimmage on the left side and fighting his way to paydirt. That made it a 10-7 game midway through the second quarter. Ryan Walsh '09 paced the Cardinal receivers with eight catches for 136 yards. After scoring on its first two possessions for 10 points, Hamilton got its final TD on a 55-yard pass play early in the fourth quarter. That came right after the second Cardinal goal-line effort which resulted in a missed 20-yard field-goal try.
|Colby (2-1) 13, Wesleyan (0-3) 7 - 10/4/08 at Waterville, Maine
Wesleyan led for about half the game after taking a 7-3 lead at 8:15 of the second period on a five-yard pass from Blake DuBois to Vince Miller for his first collegiate TD. Miller caught the ball right at the goalline for the score. A key 28-yard pass from DuBois to Kyle Weiss at the two-yard line set up the TD. The Cardinals made the lead hold up until the fourth quarter with solid defense, but a scoring chance eluded them late in the third period and turned momentum toward Colby. After holding the Mules inside their 10-yard line thanks to a strong punt by Chris Helsel, Wesleyan started at the Colby 34-yard line. Moving inside the 20, Wesleyan got a pass on the left side from DuBois to Kevin Leamy inside the five-yard line. He spun and moved toward the goalline, seemingly breaking the plain for a second Wesleyan TD. The ball came free and was ruled recovered in the endzone by Colby for a touchback with 5:15 left in the third period. Colby went on to score the go-ahead TD at the 13:00 mark of the fourth period on a 31-yard halfback option pass and added a 19-yard field goal with 2:08 left to provide the final margin. Wesleyan drove as deep as the Colby 24-yard line in the final minute but had a last-ditch pass to the endzone knocked down with 10 seconds to play.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Colby Game
|Wesleyan (1-3) 35, Bates (0-4) 8 - 10/11/08 at Lewiston, Maine
Scoring on four of their first five possessions, the Cardinals rolled out to a 28-0 lead at halftime, then added another scoring drive with the opening series of the second half and never looked back in defeating Bates for the 23rd time in 27 all-time meetings. Using a methodical 12-play, 81-yard march to grab a 7-0 first-period lead, Wesleyan capped the drive with a 10-yard scoring pass from Blake DuBois (13-22, 141 yards) to Kevin Leamy (6-42). On the next possession, Wesleyan covered 85 yards on 10 plays with DuBois doing the honors himself from a yard out. A forced fumble by Derrick Williams and subsequent recovery by Bo Brown gave the Cardinals excellent field position just 1:40 later and it took only four plays for the team to navigate 28 yards to the endzone. Greg McDonough crack over from the three-yard line to make it 21-0 with 9:40 left before halftime. Holding Bates deep in its own territory to take over at the Bates 39-yard line following a punt, Wesleyan upped the margin to 28-0 when Vince Miller threaded through the line and dashed 23 yards for the score. It was 35-0 at the 10:46 mark of the third period as McDonough again crossed the goalline, this time from two yards away, putting the finishing touches on a 59-yard march on 10 plays. Over the five scoring drives, Wesleyan collected 292 of its 329 yards on the afternoon. Miller led the Wesleyan ground game with 80 yards on just eight carries. Bates had only 207 total yards on the day, more than half of it coming in the fourth quarter with the game already out of reach. Also standing out for the Cards on special teams was Chris Helsel '09, who went 5-for-5 on extra points, punted three times for a 46.7-yard average, two of which pinned Bates inside its own 10-yard line, and boomed six kickoffs which were fielded by Bates on average at its 12-yard line. Helsel was honored as the NESCAC Special Teams Player of the Week.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Bates Game
|Amherst (4-1) 17, Wesleyan (1-4) 10 - 10/18/08 at Middletown, Conn.
Wesleyan maintained its position as the only team in the NESCAC which has yet to yield more than 20 points in a contest but could not come away with a victory during Homecoming/Family Weekend festivities despite holding a 10-7 lead on Amherst during the second quarter. It was the first time the Cardinals held a lead over the Lord Jeffs since securing a 14-13 triumph in 2002. The lead came about from a eight-play, 53-yard march capped by a six-yard Vince Miller '12 TD catch and a 22-yard Chris Helsel '09 field goal with 3:39 remaining before halftime. Amherst had scored first on a 13-yard pass in the opening period and tied the game with :09 left before intermission with its own 22-yard field goal. The Lord Jeff defense clamped down in the second period, holding Wesleyan without a first down during the Cardinals' opening six possessions. Amherst failed to score on its first three possessions of the second half but managed a go-ahead td early in the fourth quarter, navigating a 10-play, 77-yard drive for a 17-10 lead on a two-yard run. The Cardinals got into Amherst territory on each of their last two possessions including a 27-yard strike from Blake DuBois '12 to Ryan Walsh '09. Unfortunately for Wesleyan, each of the last two scoring bids ended in interceptions by the Lord Jeffs deep in their own zone. While DuBois completed 26 of 45 passes for 202 yard, more than half his connections went to Kevin Leamy '09, who tied a team record for catches in a game with 14, good for 96 yards. Leamy equaled the record set by Mike Muraca during the 1990 campaign.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Amherst Game
|Bowdoin (2-4) 17, Wesleyan (1-5) 10 - 10/25/08 at Middletown, Conn.
Vince Miller '12 became the first Wesleyan running back in six years to surpass the 100-yard barrier for rushing yards as he carried the ball 21 times for 109 yards but it wasn't quite enough as Wesleyan fell for only the second time in the last 12 meetings with Bowdoin and only the third time (14-3) since the NESCAC adjusted its schedule in 1992 to include conference games only. Though graduated QB Zach Librizzi '08 ran for more than 100 yards against Bates a year ago, the last Wesleyan running back to pass the century mark was Young Douglas vs. Bowdoin during the 2002 season when he amassed 169 yards on 19 attempts. After the teams headed into the fourth period knotted at 3-3 as each team picked up a short field goal, Wesleyan's coming off the foot of Chris Helsel '09 from 22 yards in the third period, the scoring gates opened as 21 points appeared in the final period. Bowdoin tallied the first TD at the 12:55 mark on a 19-yard pass. Wesleyan responded with the tying points at the 5:44 mark, marching 70 yards on 17 plays while consuming more than seven minutes. The scoring play didn't happen as designed as an eight-yard pass from Blake Dubois '12 (18-for-33 passing for 168 yards) hit off the hands of Helsel, also a receiver, in the endzone and a diving Kyle Weiss '12 came up with the scoring catch. Helsel's extra point tied the contest. But Bowdoin once again went on a long drive, this time 68 yards on 10 plays with QB Oliver Kell (who had 342 yards to total offense in the game on 113 rushing yards and 229 passing yards) threaded through the line and dove into the endzone with just 1:31 to play. The Cardinals again drove the field after staring at their own 20-yard line with the kickoff. DuBois ran for nine yards and completed four passes, getting Wesleyan to the Bowdoin 26-yard line. But the Polar Bears intercepted their third pass of the contest, this one at the 10, to seal the victory. Wesleyan got a standout defensive effort from Cyprian Oyomba '12 as he racked up 18 tackles, three of them for a loss including a sack.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Bowdoin Game
|Williams (5-2) 48, Wesleyan (1-6) 14 - 11/1/08 at Williamstown, Mass.
Matching its start against Tufts when Wesleyan took the opening kickoff and marched for a 7-0 lead, Wesleyan got off to an outstanding start at Williams as Steve Hauser caught a 10-yard TD pass from Blake DuBois just 3:12 into the contest to cap a 66-yard drive. Williams scored the next 21 points before the Cardinals countered with a nine-yard scoring strike to Chris Helsel to make it 21-14 with :51 left before halftime. Helsel, more known for his punting and placekicking despite some spot duty as a receiver during his four years, had a career day with eight catches for 72 yards and his first career TD. After the Ephs added a field goal to end the first half for a 10-point bulge, Williams held Wesleyan to 61 yards of total offense in the second half while rolling up 247 of its own to score another 24 points over the final 30 minutes in pulling away for its ninth win in a row vs. Wesleyan. DuBois had a productive day, completing 20 of 38 passes for 173 yards and two TDs. He ran three times for 30 yards but suffered four sacks for a loss of 26 yards.
Statistical Summary of Wesleyan/Williams Game
Trinity (8-0) 38, Wesleyan (1-7) 14 - 11/8/08 at Middletown, Conn.
The Cardinals scored both their TDs in the second half, one on a season-best 65-yard pass connection from QB Blake DuBois to Kevin Leamy, who got in behind the Trinity defense along the left sideline and streaked about 40 yards after making the catch at 6:53 of the third period. The game's final score came on some hard work by rookie running back Vince Miller, who caught a swing pass from DuBois on the left side, spun past a would-be tackler and fought his way to the goalline for the TD at 6:20 of the fourth quarter. Miller and Leamy collectively caught 15 of DuBois' 23 completions on the day as Leamy had eight reception for 136 yards while Miller, who also ran nine times for 36 yards, had seven catches for 78 yards. DuBois finished the game with 270 passing yards. Trinity signal-caller Eric McGrath threw for 376 yards and set a Trinity team and NESCAC record for passing yards in a season with 2,206 in helping his team build a 31-0 lead at halftime. Trinity enjoyed a 417-130 edge in total yards over the opening 30 minutes. Wesleyan had a 171-144 margin in the second half. Drew Dominguez, who led the Cardinals in tackles on the afternoon with 12, also had a busy day returning kickoffs and punts. He had seven kickoff returns for 162 yards (a 23.1-yard average) and brought back four punts for 31 yards. Trinity won the NESCAC crown this season and is riding a 10-game win streak.