No. 18 Shepherd Dowsn No. 21 WV Wesleyan
Oct. 16, 2010
In a battle of national top 25 unbeatens Saturday, the Wesleyan football team dropped a tough 37-26 contest at Shepherd. The Bobcats, who moved into the national rankings last week, fell to 6-1 overall on the season with the defeat to the #18 ranked Rams.
Wesleyan got off to a slow start, falling behind 13-0 less than five minutes into the game. Shepherd's Tommy Addison provided both of the scoring plays with a 37-yard run at the 12:53 point and a 48-yard rushing touchdown at the 11:12 mark. The Rams missed the point after following the second score to leave it at 13-0.
Shepherd then extended the lead to 16-0 when kicker Eric Dobratz nailed a 29-yard field to conclude a five play scoring drive with 6:42 showing on the clock. After trading possessions, the Rams pushed the margin to 23-0 following a ten yard Robert Byrd touchdown reception from Kevin Clancy.
Wesleyan put their first points on the board with 4:14 to go in the second quarter when Jon Meadows caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Adam Neugebauer. The score completed an eight play, 75-yard drive that cut the deficit to 23-7.
However, the Rams tacked on a big score of their own just before the break when Addison bulled in from three-yards out for his third score of the day. Addison's touchdown made the score 30-7 heading into halftime.
The Bobcats came out of the locker room clicking on all cylinders, as running back Trey Massey found the endzone from five yards out to make the score 30-14 in favor of the Rams just seven minutes into the half.
Wesleyan continued the rally after a scoreless drought for both teams as Meadows caught his second touchdown pass of the day from Neugebauer with 4:53 remaining in the game. Neugebauer's two point attempt fell incomplete to leave it as a two score margin at 30-20. The drive was set-up by a blocked punt by Ben Akalefu Jr. that was recovered at the Ram's 29-yard line.
Shepherd's Byrd added the dagger two minutes later though, hauling a four yard pass from Clancy to make 37-20 with 2:07 to go.
The Bobcats were able to add a touchdown on the final play of the game with a three-yard pass from Neugebauer to T.J. Benners but it was not enough as the Rams prevailed 37-26.
Wesleyan finished the game with 389 yards of total offense which topped the 345 yards gained by the Ram offense. Through the air, the Bobcats picked up 319 yards while gaining the remaining 70 on the ground. Shepherd, meanwhile, finished with 173 yards through the air and 172 on the ground.
Neugebauer led the passing attack with 319 yards and three touchdowns. Neugebauer completed 41 of 62 attempts and threw one interception.
Meadows was the lead receiver with 15 catches for 145 yards. T.J. Benners just missed double digits in receptions with nine catches for 55 yards.
Linebacker Jesse Robertson led the defense with 15 total tackles on the day. Defensive tackle Derrell Hand added ten while defensive end Jonas Celian chipped in with eight including three for loss.