Score: Wesleyan 28, Bates 7
Records: Wesleyan (3-1), Bates (1-3)
Location: Lewiston, Maine (Garcelon Field)
Date: Saturday, October 15th
Time: 1 p.m.
The Lead: For the third straight week, the Wesleyan University football team held its opponent to single digits as the Cardinals cruised to a 28-7 win on the road against Bates College Saturday afternoon.
FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- The first quarter was a defensive battle as neither team could get much going offensively, with both teams accounting for seven total punts.
- On Wesleyan's first possession of the second quarter, the Cardinals got into a rhythm and gained four first downs and 63 yards on 10 plays, however Bates forced and recovered a fumble on its own-18 yard line.
- Wesleyan forced a three-and-out, and Eli Blair-May '20 broke through the line to block the punt. Starting the drive on the Bobcats-36, the Cardinals faced a third-and-eight but Dario Highsmith '20 rushed 26 yards for the first touchdown of the game to put the visitor's ahead, 7-0.
- After another Bates three-and-out, Devon Carrillo '17 returned Justin Foley's punt 40 yards down to the Bobcats-3 yard line. Two plays later, Lou Stevens '17 rushed up the middle for a two-yard touchdown as the Cardinals went ahead, 14-0 with 3:58 to play before the break.
- Both teams punted on their next drives as Wesleyan held a 14-point halftime lead.
SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:
- The Bobcats received the ball to start the second half but were once again held to a three-and-out and Foley fumbled on the punt attempt, as the Cardinals recovered on the Bates-1 yard line. Just two plays later, Carrillo scored to increase the Wesleyan lead to three touchdowns.
- After a Bates punt, Wesleyan took over at its own-49. Five plays later, the Bobcats forced another turnover as Kevin Claflin intercepted the pass and returned it 25 yards. A Cardinal penalty after the play brought the home team to the Wesleyan-30, and on Bates first play of the drive, quarterback Sandy Plashkes threw a 30-yard touchdown to Sean Peterson.
- Wesleyan responded on its following drive and gained 75 yards on 11 plays, running 4:18 off the clock. The big play of the drive featured a 35-yard pass-and-catch on first down from quarterback Mark Piccirillo '19 to wide receiver Andrew Mehr '17. The drive was capped off by another Carrillo 1-yard rush as the Cardinals pulled ahead, 28-7.
- Each drive resulted in a punt for both teams the rest of the way until Wesleyan ran out the clock with 7:25 to play in the fourth quarter en route to the win.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- The Cardinals held Bates to a mere five first downs, while they gained 18. Wesleyan also held the Bobcats to 132 total yards, with just 71 through the air and 61 on the ground. The Cardinals gained 231 yards passing and 136 rushing for a total of 367.
- Wesleyan also held a commanding edge in time of possession, 38:06-to-21:54.
- Piccirillo finished 15-of-21 for 168 yards and also gained 29 yards rushing. Stevens and Highsmith each gained 43 yards on the ground, while Mehr gained 114 receiving yards on just four catches. Defensively, Shayne Kaminski '18 led the team with nine tackles and 0.5 sacks, while Jude Lindberg '19 and Jordan Stone '17 registered 1.5 and one sack, respectively.
- Plashkes finished 8-of-15 for 71 yards and a touchdown. He also gained 22 yards rushing on 13 carries, while Frank Williams led the team with 34 yards on four carries. Peterson and Noah Stebbins were the lone receivers in double-digit yards for the Bobcats with 35 and 22, respectively. Mark Upton led all players with 12 tackles and Trevor Lyons added 11 to lead Bates' defense. Upton also recorded a sack.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- With the win, Wesleyan has now won 11 in a row against Bates dating back to 2006, and are 31-4 all-time against the Bobcats.
- The Cardinals have held opponents to 201 yards or less in their last three games.
- The 114 receiving yards were a career-high for Mehr.
- After back-to-back away games, the Cardinals return home next Saturday, Oct. 22 to host Little Three rival Amherst during Homecoming Weekend. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
- The Bobcats head to Vermont to face Middlebury Saturday, Oct. 22 at 1 p.m.