Football Storms Back from 14-0 Deficit to Knock off Bowdoin, 34-14, as LaDarius Drew '15 Has 153 Rushing Yards & 2 TDs - Jake Bussani '14 Repeats as NESCAC Def. POW
Trailing 14-0 after 10:50 of play in the first quarter, Wesleyan went on to score 34 unanswered point to pull away from visiting Bowdoin and post a 34-14 football victory Sat., Oct. 27. Wesleyan now stands 5-1 on the season, its first 5-1 start since 2002, and is assured of its first winning record in 10 years as well. The victory was the 500th in program history as the Cardinals are in their 130th seasons as a varsity sport.
Wesleyan took the lead for good with just 44 seconds left before halftime when LaDarius Drew '15 (#14, main photo) darted off the left side past several would-be Polar Bear tacklers and found his way into the endzone with a 21-yard run. The put Wesleyan ahead, 17-14. It was the first of his two TDs on the day as he opened scoring in the third quarter with a 70-yard burst 2:20 into the period. That run, too, ended up on the left side of the field as he pulled away from the pack near midfield and was off to the races for a 24-14 lead. He finished the day with 18 carries for 153 yards in his first action since the second quarter of the Cardinals 24-22 victory at Bates Oct. 13. Drew has seen action in only four of Wesleyan's six games this year due to injury.
Wesleyan tacked on two fourth-quarter scores to win going away. The first was a 31-yard field goal by Sebastian Aguirre '14 with 10:21 left on the clock. That followed a muffed punt by Bowdoin, recovered by Jake Bussani '14 (#1, photo insert upper left) at the Bowdoin 25. Bussani also had a pair of interceptions in the contest along with three tackles as was named NESCAC Defensive Player of the Week for the second time this season. In total, the Cardinals came up with six Bowdoin turnovers, five interceptions and a fumble. Wesleyan lost two fumbles on the afternoon. Donnie Cimino '15 also had a pair of pickoffs for the Cardinals.
Wesleyan's final point came on an 83-yard run around the right side by Te'Rhon O'Neal '13, his only carry of the day in a reserve role late in the contest. That came with 4:48 to go.
Bowdoin built its 14-0 lead by scoring on its opening two drives of the day, the first a methodical 82-yard march on 14 plays that consumed 5:39. The TD came on a good play-action pass from three yards out. After forcing Wesleyan to go three-and-out for the second straight series, Bowdoin again marched to the endzone, this time on just five plays, covering 71 yards. The big play was a 62-yard connection over the middle. The ball was caught about 25 yards downfield with Jon Lis '13 nearly knocking the ball down. Still, the snag was made and resulted in another 35 yards on the ground before Jon Kim '13 made the tackle at the Wesleyan 6. A four-yard run made it 14-0 with 4:10 left in the first period. At that point, Bowdoin had a 138-7 edge in total offense.
Wesleyan then outgained its visitor 447-216 over the remaining 49:10 to come away a winner. Wesleyan generated 454 yards of offense while Bowdoin had 354.
Wesleyan QB Jesse Warren '15 connected on 15 of 24 tries for 148 yards. Josh Hurwitz '15 (#9, right side of main photo) led all receivers on the day with six catches for 43 yards. No other receiver had more than three catches. A 22-yard reception by Kevin Hughes '14 accounted for Wesleyan's first TD with :39 left in the first quarter. That came off a fake field goal pass by Lis, the holder. Wesleyan cut the Bowdoin lead to 14-10 with a 28-yard Aguirre field goal at 13:19 of the second period, set up by a Bussani interception and return of 29 yards to the Bowdoin 11.
Warren also had an outstanding day punting the ball as well, with six boots for a 42.0-yard average.
Tackle leaders on the day for Wesleyan was Jared Goldenberg '16 with 12 stop while Prince Emenalo '13 added 10.
Up next for Wesleyan is a trip to Little Three rival Williams Sat., Nov. 3.