BUENA VISTA, Va. – The No. 6/7 ranked Wesley College football team overcame an early deficit to pick up a 28-7 win over the Southern Virginia Knights on the road in a New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) battle on Saturday.
The return game was once again in the spotlight for Wesley. As a team, Wesley totaled 258 return yards. Corterris Simpson returned four punts for 169 yards and a touchdown. Marcellus Pack returned a pair of kickoffs for 89 yards.
Khaaliq Burroughs tallied 286 yards in the air on 20-of-31 passing and two touchdowns. Ruhann Peele caught six passes for 105 yards and a score. E.J. Lee and Alex Kemp each reeled in five passes. Lee registered 79 receiving yards while Kemp notched 67 yards and a touchdown.
Elijah Minter paced the running game with six carries for 47 yards. Lee tallied 26 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Nazir Williams collected a team-high 12 tackles, including two pass breakups, a tackle for loss and a forced fumble. Daquay Harris-Winbush recorded 10 tackles and a half tackle for loss. Coray Williams blocked a kick and registered nine tackles. Cappadonna Miller, Najee Wilson, Vincent Ebron, Shymere Vessels and Tyler Tate each tallied five tackles Wilson intecepted a Tate Briggs pass in the third quarter while Miller scooped up a fumble.
After a fumble on a punt return, Southern Virginia took advantage of the short field position and Akiva Wedge scored on a one-yard touchdown run for the opening points of the game early in the first quarter.
Southern Virginia was driving down the field on their next drive and got down to the red zone. The Knights' drive stalled on the Wesley seven-yard line and the Knights were looking to go up 10-0 in the first quarter. Jackson Hatch's 25-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Coray Williams to keep Southern Virginia up by a score.
Wesley took advantage on the momentum of the blocked field goal to tie the game at 7-7. Khaaliq Burroughs found Ruhann Peele in the middle of the field on a 2nd-and-19. Peele broke a tackle and landed on a Southern Virginia defender. Knowing that he wasn't down, Peele sprung up and ran 56 yards for a touchdown.
After failing to convert a fourth down in Southern Virginia territory on their opening possession of the second quarter, Burroughs connected with Alex Kemp for a 27-yard touchdown pass to put Wesley up 14-7 with 7:46 left in the first half. That score would hold until the halftime break.
Lee would get the scoring going in the second when the Wolverines took advantage of a good punt return from Simpson, which put Wesley just outside of the redzone. Three plays later, Lee pushed through the goal line for an eight-yard touchdown run. Nick Bruhn's extra point put Wesley up 21-7 with 4:47 left the third quarter.
Simpson gave Wesley insurance with 10:44 left in the game when he returned a punt 80 yards up the middle of the field for a touchdown. The extra point gave Wesley the 28-7 lead. After Wesley forced Southern Virginia to punt on the ensuing drive, Wesley played ball control and sealed the win.
Wesley (4-0, 3-0 NJAC) will return home on Saturday, Oct. 6 for a top-10 battle with the No. 6/9 Frostburg St. Bobcats. Kickoff from Drass Field is set for 1 p.m.