Recovering from a 14-0 first-quarter deficit, Wesleyan took a 21-20 lead in the third period and added a fourth-quarter TD to hold off visiting Bates for a 28-20 victory Sat., Oct. 17. It was the fourth win in a row for Wesleyan over Bates and upped its control of the overall series to 24-4.
Wesleyan never led until Steve Hauser '11 (#18, photo) caught his third TD pass of the contest, a four-yarder to the left-front corner of the endzone which he went high to spear from QB Blake DuBois '12. That came at 2:51 of the third quarter and the extra point by Matt Alexander '12 spotted the Cardinals their first advantage at 21-20.
Bates had gone the distance on its opening possession, driving 62 yards on 12 plays while using a gadget play with 9:08 left in the first quarter for the final three yards. It appeared Bates was going to settle for a field-goal attempt of 20 yards after facing a 4th-and-goal at the three-yard line, bring its kicker on the field. But Bates lined up in a spread formation with the bulk of its line to the right of center and ran the ball to the left instead for the score. Bates made it 14-0 at 3:43 of the period on a 32-yard run after getting possession on an interception.
Wesleyan scored the next two TDs to even the count at halftime, 14-14. Hauser did the honors on both scores, making an 11-yard reception at 12:26 to cap a 13-play, 70-yard march, the longest drive of the day in both distance and time (6:13) by either team. Hauser caught the TD in the back of the endzone surrounded by Bobcats, still managing to make the snag. His second TD catch, a four-yarder at 1:20 of the frame, came after Wesleyan took possession at the Bates 43-yard line following a fumbled punt snap. A facemask penalty on Bates and a 15-yard catch-and-run by Vince Miller '12 accounted for 30 of the needed 43 yards.
Bates did regain the lead on its first series of the second half on a 27-yard TD reception before Hauser gave the Cardinals the lead for good.
With Wesleyan holding a tenuous 21-20 lead into the fourth quarter, Bates got near midfield on two possessions, but was forced to punt on the first while the second resulted in a 54-yard interception return for a TD by linebacker Cyprian Oyomba '12, who stepped in front of a Bobcat receiver on the left sideline and scampered up the sideline to paydirt and a 28-20 Wesleyan lead at 5:38. Bates came up empty on a fourth-down pass on its next possession but held Wesleyan at the Bates 42, forcing a Kyle Weiss '12 punt. He placed his kick perfectly with no safety back for Bates, landing his boot inside the 10-yard line and watching it die at the one-yard line with 2:03 remaining. Still Bates moved the ball to its own 34, but a sack by Pete Sugarbaker '10 pushed the Bobcats back to the 20 and the drive stalled on an incompletion on fourth down.
Hauser had just the three receptions for Wesleyan good for 19 yards and three TDs while Pete Modera '11 had five catches for 52 yards and Paulie Lowther '13 had three catches for 91 yards. DuBois completed 18 of 33 passes for 244 yards. On defense, Wesleyan got a team-high 10 tackles from Jordan Greene '12.
Up next for the team is a trip to Amherst for the opening Little Three game of 2009.