Wesley wins shootout against Hobart
McSweeny throws five touchdowns in the Wolverines victory
DOVER, Del. - Wesley's Shane McSweeny threw for 336 yards and five touchdowns as the Wolverines downed Hobart 35-28 in the NCAA tournament.
The Wesley defense also came up big in the game, stopping the Statesmen three times inside the five yard line during the game.
The Wolverines got on the scoreboard first as McSweeny hit Jared Morris for an eight-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter. The play capped an eight-play, 41-yard drive.
Wesley's passing game showed its big play capability on its next possession. On third and 16 from the Wesley 28, McSweeny found Steve Koudossou for a 72-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 4:03 left in the opening period.
The Statesmen put together a 13-play drive during the end of the first quarter and the opening of the second period. Hobart drove as deel as the Wesley two on fourth and goal, but Jeff Morgan stuffed Bobby Dougherty for a five-yard loss to snuff the opportunity.
Defensive lineman Nick Auriemma picked off a screen pass later in the second quarter as Hobart took over at the Wesley 12. One pass from Kelly Olney to Brendan Hatlee was followed by three consecutive rushes by Dougherty, who eventually scored on a one-yard run to cut the Wolverines' lead in half.
McSweeny, however, found Koudossou on Wesley's second play of its next drive for a 66-yard score and the Wolverines' quickly rebuilt their two score advantage.
Hobart benefitted from another Wesley miscue as Reggie Robinson recovered a fumble that started an eight-play, 32-yard drive capped by a one-yard plunge by Steven Webb.
Matt Barile was on the receiving end of a 42-yard touchdown on Wesley's next drive with just 17 seconds to go in the half as the Wolverines went into the locker room ahead 28-14 behind 249 yards and four touchdowns from McSweeny.
The Statesmen cut it to a one-score game in the third period when Drake Woodard blocked a punt and Devin Worthington returned it 24 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-21 with 8:01 left in the quarter.
Wesley followed it with a 13-play, 60-yard drive that ate up over seven minutes of game time, ending with McSweeny hitting Sean McAndrew in the back corner of the end zone on a 15-yard score for a 35-21 lead.
Three consecutive incomplete passes forced Hobart to punt, but the Wolverines fumbled the return to give the Statesmen the ball at the Wesley 16 yard line. A penalty and an seven-yard completion set up a one-yard run by Webb that cut it to 35-28 at the end of the third quarter.
Kelly Olney hit Elvin Souffrant for 34 yards on Hobart's first possession of the fourth quarter and the Statesmen continued to move into Wesley territory eventually making it inside the five yard line. Webb was thrown for a one-yard loss by Devin Hardy and Paul Gilstrop on first down. Dakevis Howard broke up a pass on second down and Dominique Herald hurried Olney on third down. On fourth down, Olney overthrew Junior Woodard in the end zone as Wesley came up with another red zone stop.
After a Wesley punt, the Statesmen again moved down the field inside the red zone with a chance to tie the game. On first and goal from the 10, Olney rushed for a yard, then hit Souffrant for a seven-yard gain on second down. On third and goal from the two, Mike Asiedu and Leon Jones stuffed Webb for a three-yard loss. Fourth down again saw Olney look in Woodard's direction, but the pass was incomplete as the Wolverines held with just 1:43 to play.
Two runs by McSweeny picked up a first down and Wesley was able to run out the clock.
In addition to his performance passing, McSweeny rushed for a team-high 61 yards, one more than Askia Jahad. McSweeny reached a pair of milestones in the win. He topped 7,000 yards passing in his career and tied Jason Visconti for second all-time at Wesley with 77.
Koudossou had a career day with five catches for 166 yards and two long touchdowns.
Defensively, Asiedu was all over the field making 14 tackles to lead Wesley. Howard had seven tackles and was disruptive in coverage, breaking up five passes. Morgan had six tackles, two for loss and a sack.
For Hobart, Olney was just 16-of-37 for 211 yards. Webb rushed for 45 yards and added another 93 receiving.
Robinson led the Statesmen with a game-high 15 tackles, forced a fumble and recovered another. Dane Wilcoxen had 1.5 sacks. Auriemma had 1.5 tackles for loss in addition to his interception.
Wesley outgained Hobart 473 to 291, but four Wolverine turnovers and 157 penalty yards helped the Statesmen stay in the game.
With the victory, Wesley has now won at least 10 games six times in the last seven years and has won at least one NCAA playoff game in each of those seven seasons.
The Wolverines will face Linfield on November 26 in the second round.