MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The Wesleyan football team cruised to a commanding 48-12 win over Bates College on a beautiful Saturday afternoon on Andrus Field at Corwin Stadium. The Cardinals held a commanding 34-0 halftime lead en route to the victory.
The Cardinals' defense forced four turnovers (three interceptions, one fumble) and held the Bobcats to a mere 117 yards of offense with just 53 through the air and 64 on the ground as they improved to 3-0. Following the loss, Bates dropped to 0-3.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Wesleyan received the opening kick but was forced to punt after five plays. On Bates' first play of the game, QB Liam Foley was pressured and hit while throwing and Chase Pratt picked off a wobbling ball at the Bates-19 yard line. Three plays later, David Estevez powered through at the goal line from two yards out to give Wesleyan a 7-0 advantage with 10:51 on the clock.
- Four drives later, the home team extended its lead when Estevez found a wide-open hole on the left side to run in from 13 yards out.
- Bates punted on its next drive as Wesleyan held a 14-0 advantage after the first. On the very first play of the second quarter, WR Matthew Simco beat his defender and QB Aston Scott found him in the center of the field as he hauled in a 31-yard touchdown.
- The Bobcats were forced to punt again and Wesleyan took over at its own-23. Eight plays later, kicker Mason Von Jess connected from 34 yards out to extend the lead to 24-0 with 6:32 remaining in the half.
- After another Bates' punt, Wesleyan scored three plays later when Scott found WR Joe Scancarella in roughly the same spot as Simco earlier in the quarter, as Scancarella leaped up and hauled in a 32-yard touchdown with a cornerback all over him.
- Wesleyan would take a 34-0 lead into halftime, essentially putting the game out of reach.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- Bates came out strong to start the second half and a 21-yard run by Jaason Lopez got the visitors to the Wesleyan-1. Two plays later he scored on a draw up the middle, but the extra-point was blocked by Ben Thaw.
- The Cardinals responded with an 11-play, 75-yard drive as RB Glenn Smith capped it off with a 10-yard rush, breaking tackles along the way.
- After back-to-back punts, Julian Ross intercepted a Matt Golden pass to conclude the third quarter. Wesleyan did not capitalize on the turnover but scored on its next drive when Smith rushed to the right, broke one tackle, and went 47 yards for a score. Smith's second TD of the game put Wesleyan ahead 48-6 with 10:30 remaining.
- In the closing minutes, Golden scored on a three-yard rush but once again, the extra point was blocked as the Cardinals took over and knelt the ball.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Scott went 14-20 for 192 yards and two touchdowns, all in the first half, while also rushing seven times for 31 yards. Smith rushed nine times for 118 yards and two scores, and Simco led all receivers with 70 yards on four catches and a TD.
- Defensively, Isaiah Miller led the Cardinals with seven tackles and 2.5 for a loss. Nick Livingston, John Lewis II, and Babila Fomuteh all recorded a sack, and Pratt, Ross, and Danny Banks registered interceptions.
- Bates only threw eight passes while rushing 48 times. Golden led the team with 16 carries for 54 yards and Lopez rushed 18 times for 48 yards. Tyler Bridge led the receivers with 46 yards on two catches.
- On the defensive side, Zach Doyon led the way with eight tackles and a fumble recovery. Tony Hooks totaled six tackles with a sack, and Owen Straley and Nolan Potter each broke up a pass.
- Wesleyan gained 16 first downs while holding Bates to just eight. The Cardinals also held a 394-to-117 advantage in total offense with 212 yards passing and 182 rushing.
- Wesleyan returns to the gridiron on Saturday, Oct. 5 and will play at Bowdoin. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.