Cardinals Cruise in Second Half, Rout Colby 41-7

Photo by Lianne Yun '18
Photo by Lianne Yun '18

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – Senior wide receiver Mike Breuler recorded his second 200-yard game this season as he pulled in 10 catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns to help lead the Wesleyan University football team to a commanding 41-7 win over Colby College Saturday at Corwin Stadium. Additionally, junior quarterback Mark Piccirillo was terrific under center as he finished 21-of-26 for 324 yards and four touchdowns. He also ran 14 times for 77 yards.

The win marks the third in a row for the Cardinals, as they improve to 3-1 on the season while the Mules remain winless and are 0-4 this year. Wesleyan has also won eight-straight against Colby and is 23-17 all-time in the series.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • On the Mules' second possession of the game, after stopping the Cardinals twice, the visitors put the first points on the board as running back Jake Schwern ran up the middle and broke to the outside before powering his way near the goal line into the end zone for a 22-yard TD run. Colby led 7-0 with 8:02 to play in the first quarter, but it would be their last points of the game.
  • After back-to-back punts, the Mules forced a fumble and recovered it at the Wesleyan-45. However, the Cardinals defense came up big and forced a three-and-out.
  • On Wesleyan's ensuing possession, the Cardinals drove 80 yards on eight plays as Piccirillo found a wide open Hallvard Lundevall '20 on the right side of the field for a 22-yard touchdown. The extra-point knotted the game at 7-7.
  • Following another Colby punt, the Cardinals took over with 10:27 remaining in the half. After a penalty negated a 45-yard touchdown, Wesleyan was faced with a 1st-and-25. It didn't faze the Cardinals, however, as Piccirillo capped off the drive with a 20-yard TD score to Brendan Patterson '20 for his first career touchdown. Patterson was left wide open in the middle of the field.
  • After a Colby punt, Wesleyan's drive ended on their opponent's side of the field when a pass went off a receiver's hands into Don Vivian's for the interception. However, the Mules couldn't take advantage of the turnover. As they got down to the Wesleyan-31, only :04 remained on the clock and QB Jack O'Brien heaved one towards the end zone but it was picked off by Ben Thaw '20 for his league-leading third of the season.
  • The Cardinals held a 14-7 lead after halftime.

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • It was all Wesleyan in the final 30 minutes of action.
  • After forcing Colby to punt, the Cardinals went 71 yards on nine plays on their first drive of the second half. Dario Highsmith '20 capped it off with an 11-yard TD catch as he flipped over a defender and into the end zone.
  • Wesleyan's defense forced another three-and-out, and just four players later, Piccirillo tossed one 39 yards in the air to Breuler, who leaped up and snagged the ball over two defenders for an incredible touchdown catch. The Cardinals took a 28-7 lead with 5:07 remaining in the third quarter.
  • After a 15-play drive by the Mules that resulted in a turnover on downs, Wesleyan took over at its own-25. Sophomore QB Nick Goodwin entered the game and on his second play, he completed a pass to Breuler between two defenders for a 21-yard TD.
  • The Mules put together another long drive but came away with nothing after 12 plays as the home team took over at the Wesleyan-17. Seven players later, Goodwin completed a 31-yard touchdown to freshman WR Joe Scancarella for his first career catch and TD.
  • Wesleyan scored on every drive in the second half, before kneeling to run out the clock en route to the decisive victory.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • The Cardinals gained 559 yards of total offense behind 394 yards passing and 165 yards rushing, while holding Colby to just 166 on 111 yards passing and 55 rushing.
  • Wesleyan was 4-of-9 (44%) on third down conversions, and held the Mules to just 4-of-19 (21%).
  • Goodwin finished 4-4 for 70 yards and two touchdowns. The Cardinals' passing game accounted for six total touchdowns to five different receivers.
  • Brandon Morris '19 led the defense for Wesleyan with nine total tackles, while Sam Green '21 and Bobby Nevin '19 each recorded a sack, and Jeff DeMango '18 and Grant Williams '20 assisted on another.
  • O'Brien finished 22-45 for 111 yards and one interception. Schwern led the Colby offense with 53 yards rushing and a touchdown, and 48 yards receiving. Sebastien Philemon had a team-high eight tackles, and Hans Gabriel forced and recovered a fumble.

UP NEXT:

  • Wesleyan remains home next Saturday, Oct. 14 and will host Bates. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.