Shea Dwyer '10 Cracks 1000-Yard Barrier in Leading Football to 41-7 Conquering of Bowdoin

Shea Dwyer '10 (#5, main photo) rushed 27 times for 164 yards to become the single-season rushing leader at Wesleyan as he helped the Cardinals defeat visiting Bowdoin, 41-7, Sat., Oct. 30.  The 34-point margin of victory matched the second-largest in the in the 83-year history of the series which dates back to 1906.  Only the 39-0 win by Wesleyan in 1966 represented a greater scoring difference.

Dwyer, who entered the game averaging 170.2 yards a game to lead all NCAA runners (all divisions) coming into the contest, pushed his seasonal rushing figure to 159 carries for 1,015 yards, an average of 6.4 per rush.  He scored his 11th rushing TD of the year on a two-yard dart at 6:16 of the second quarter to open the day’s scoring.  He has produced at least one rushing TD in each of the Cardinals’ six contests this season.  His run capped a 65-yard, seven-play drive that included a 27-yard screen pass to Dwyer to begin the march.  He finished the game with three catches for 38 yards, giving him 202 all-purpose yards on the day.  His 12-yard scamper with about two minutes remaining in the third period (captured in the photo) put him above the 1000-yard mark at 1,007.

Wesleyan added a 25-yard TD toss from QB Matt Coyne '12 to Kevin Hughes '14 (#84, photo insert lower right) with just 18 seconds left before halftime to up the margin to 14-0.  Coyne ended the game with 14 completions in 26 attempts for 205 yards and three scores.

Despite being held off the board in the first half, Bowdoin had outstanding field position throughout the opening 30 minutes, starting eight drives with an average field position of the the Wesleyan 46-yard line.  But all the Polar Bears could muster was a pair of missed 26-yard field goals (one of which was blocked), four turnovers (two fumbles, two interceptions) and a pair of punts.  Bowdoin lost another fumble in the second half to suffer five turnovers in the game.  Wesleyan had just one miscue, an interception on the Cardinals’ first offensive series.  Only two of Wesleyan’s six TDs resulted from Bowdoin turnovers.

The second-half scoring featured a Coyne three-yard run just 2:41 into the third period to make it 21-0 for the Cardinals.  A 42-yard screen pass to Te’Rhon O’Neal '13 was the key play during the drive.  Bowdoin countered with its only points on its initial series of the third period, cutting the gap to 21-7 on an eight-yard run.  On the day, the Polar Bears gained just 102 yards on the ground from 30 tries.  Wesleyan amassed 308 yards on the ground on its 52 attempts.

The Cardinals added three more scores with Hughes grabbing his second TD pass of the day, this one for 15 yards at 5:16 of the third quarter ; a 27-yard pass to a wide-open Joe Byous '12 on a 4th-and-1 play at 9:40 of the fourth period ; and a one-yard run by O’Neal at 5:17 to complete the day’s scoring.  O’Neal ended the day with six runs for 48 yards and three receptions for another 52 yards.

For the game, Wesleyan held a substantial edge in total yards of 531-207, a 13-minute advantage in time of possession and twice as many first downs (26-13) as Bowdoin.

While Wesleyan boasts a comfortable lead in the long-standing series with a 53-28-2 margin, the Cardinals’ dominance since 1977 is an overwhelming 26-4 as the teams were virtually even in the series 33 years ago.

Ahead for Wesleyan is its final Little Three game of the year Sat., Nov. 6 at undefeated Williams College.  The game will feature both a free webcast < link > and LiveStats < link >.