WEEK 2 HIGHLIGHT VIDEO (courtesy of GKess Films)
The Cardinals are coming off a 34-6 rout of Hamilton Saturday, and will look to improve to 2-1 when they head to Waterville, Maine for a 1 p.m. kickoff against Colby College. The Mules are also 1-1, but are coming off a 35-14 home loss to Middlebury.
Wesleyan, which was defeated by Tufts in Week 1 action, 17-14, rebounded nicely with the win over the Continentals in its 2016 home opener. The Cardinals' offense amassed 511 total yards (273 rushing; 238 passing), while their defense held Hamilton to a mere 180 (46 rushing; 134 passing). Wesleyan was led offensively by sophomore quarterback Mark Piccirillo and freshman running back Dario Highsmith. Piccirillo went 18-of-23 for 193 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions, while also rushing for a touchdown. Highsmith – a Middletown native – scored an 80-yard touchdown run on his first carry in his return to his hometown. He also caught an 11-yard pass in the endzone to put Wesleyan ahead, 14-0. He finished with 101 yards on five carries.
The Mules defeated Williams in their 2016 season opener, on the road, 9-7. They were led by running back Jabari Hurdle-Price, who finished with 87 yards on the ground on 23 carries, and scored the team's only touchdown. Last week, however, Colby had a difficult time stopping Middlebury's Jared Lebowitz, who earned NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive time after he threw for 320 yards and five touchdowns on 17-of-25 attempts. Wide receiver Conrado Banky caught seven of those completions for 198 yards and two scores. Colby gave up 336 yards through the air, but held the Panthers to under 100 yards of rushing as they finished with 93.
Wesleyan leads the all-time series against Colby, 21-17, and has won six straight dating back to 2010. Prior to the Cardinals winning streak, the Mules had won seven-of-eight games from 2003-to-2009. During the current six-game winning streak, Wesleyan has outscored its NESCAC rival, 179-97, and has scored 24 points or more in each of those matchups.
Last year, the Cardinals edged Colby at home, 24-21. Quarterback Gabe Harrington, who played briefly in the win over Williams but did not get on the field against Middlebury, started under center for the Mules and finished with 125 yards, zero touchdowns and zero interceptions. Hurdle-Price, however, gained 202 yards on 26 attempts and scored twice in the fourth quarter, including a 65-yard touchdown with 4:09 to play to put the visitor's ahead, 24-21.
The lead was short-lived, as Devon Carrillo '17 responded with the game-winning, 35-yard TD catch from quarterback Gernald Hawkins '18 with 2:23 remaining on the clock. It was Carrillo's second touchdown of the quarter as well, as he finished with four catches for 102 yards and a touchdown, and 54 yards rushing on seven carries and a TD. Hawkins went 11-of-22 for 178 yards and also gained 71 yards rushing.
Through two games, Wesleyan leads the league in time of possession (35:48), rushing touchdowns (5) and kick return average (27.0 yards per game). The Cardinals' 410.5 yards per game ranks fourth in the NESCAC, while their 219.5 yards allowed per game ranks tied for third with Middlebury. Colby has averaged 250.5 yards per game, which ranks sixth in the conference, while its defense ranks seventh having allowed 368.5 ypg. The Mules are first in the league in defensive interceptions (3) and fourth-down conversions (3-for-4).
BY THE NUMBERS
|Points Per Game||24.0||11.5|
|Points Per Game Allowed||11.0||21.0|
|Offensive Yards Per Game||410.5||250.5|
|Passing Yards Per Game||213.5||129.5|
|Rushing Yards Per Game||197.0||121.0|
|Yards Allowed Per Game||219.5||368.5|
|Passing Yards Allowed Per Game||135.5||228.0|
|Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game||84.0||140.5|
|Passing Leaders||Mark Piccirillo (382 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT)||Jack O'Brien (123 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT)|
|Gernald Hawkins (45 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT)||Christian Sparacio (109 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT)|
|Rushing Leaders||Dario Highsmith (122 yards, 1 TD)
||Jabari Hurdle-Price (130 yards, 1 TD)|
|Mark Piccirillo (88 yards, 2 TD)||Jake Schwern (43 yards, 0 TD)|
|Receiving Leaders||Mike Breuler (144 yards, 0 TD)||Sebastian Ferrell (95 yards, 1 TD)|
|Eric Meyreles (79 yards, 0 TD)||Ryder Arsenault (47 yards, 0 TD)|
|Defensive Leaders||Shayne Kaminski (10 tackles, 1.5 TFL)||Sebastien Philemon (19 tackles, 0.5 sacks)|
|Brandon Morris/Jordan Stone (10 tackles)||Don Vivian (15 tackles, 0.5 TFL)|