Racking up 484 yards of total offense and 45 points in the first half, Wesleyan overcame an early 7-0 deficit with 52 consecutive points en route to a 52-9 opening-day football win under the lights here today. It was the first-ever night game played between NESCAC rivals as Wesleyan had portable lights installed for the occasion.
Wesleyan finished the game with 592 yards of total offense, seven yards shy of the school record set against Bates in 1994. The 52 points is the highest single-game output since the Cardinals rolled up 55 points in downing Middlebury, 55-28, to inaugurate the 1998 campaign. Still, the 484 yards and 45 points in the first half alone are both believed to be Wesleyan records for the first half of any previous football game in the college's 133-year history of varsity football.
After Tufts used its no-huddle offense to take the opening kickoff and march 77 yards on 10 plays for a 7-0 lead at 12:10 of the first period, Wesleyan went on to score six touchdowns after an opening-drive field goal, to take command of the contest. Thus, the Cardinals scored on seven of their eight first-half possessions. All the scoring of the second half was a lone Wesleyan TD and a Tufts safety in the fourth quarter when the outcome was no longer in doubt.
Wesleyan starting QB Jesse Warren '15 (#2, left side photo by SteveMcLaughlinPhotography.com) completed 13 of 17 passes for 215 yards and three TDs with no interceptions, all in the first half. He earned NESCAC Offiensive Player of the Week honors for his efforts. Peter George '15 then completed four of five tosses for 44 more yards while Ike Fuchs '17 completed his only pass in the fourth quarter, but it resulted in a Tufts safety as John Vassar '16 was caught in the endzone on the swing pass that started at the Wesleyan four-yard line.
Wesleyan's starting running back tandem of LaDarius Drew '15 and Kyle Gibson '15 accounted for 28 carries and 269 yards with three TDs, including an 85-yard gallop in the second quarter for Gibson. Wesleyan got six receptions for 103 yards from Josh Hurwitz '15 with a 10-yards TD catch.
In the kicking department, Sebastian Aguirre '14 (#94, right side photo) went 7-for-7 on extra points to establish a Wesleyan record for both PATs in a contest and consecutive PATs in a game. He also connected on a 20-yard field goal in the contest and kicked off eight times with his boots carrying on average to the opponent's eight-yard line.
Wesleyan evened the all-time series with Tufts at 22-22-2 while winning for the third meeting in a row. Wesleyan heads on the road to Hamilton Sat., Sept. 28 for its next encounter.