MONTGOMERY, Ala. ---- Huntingdon went into halftime down by three points, 24-21, to the number three ranked team in the country. Wesley came out in the second half and scored 34 points to seal the victory over the Hawks, 61-28.
The Hawks were held under 300 total yards of offense for the first time this season by third ranked Wesley, while the Wolverines recorded 583 total yards on the day.
“I’m proud of the way our guys went toe to toe with one of the best teams in the country for a half. In the second half we let things get away from us. Hopefully, we’ll be able to build on what we did right in the first half for the rest of our season,” said head coach Mike Turk.
Huntingdon looked to upset the Wolverines after exchanging the lead several times in the first half. Wesley’s second half scoring spree proved too much for Huntingdon.
In the first half, the Hawks were able to capitalize off of a Wesley bad snap down to their own one yard line. Senior Bobby Dunlap returned the punt 25-yards to the Wolverines nine yard line. Three plays later sophomore Nick Plagenhoef hits Dunlap for a 9-yard touchdown pass. After a Corey Robertson extra –point conversion, the Hawks led 7-0 with just under ten minutes in the game.
The Hawks touchdown marked the first touchdown Wesley has allowed in the first quarter in five games played, previously the Wolverines had outscored their opponents 37-0 in the first quarter.
Both teams exchanged possessions before Wesley found the end zone. On third and twenty-two, the Wolverines kept the drive alive by completing a pass to the 12 yard line, before capping the ten play 64-yard drive with a touchdown. Jordan Sottilare connected with Ellis Krout for a six-yard touchdown pass with just over a minute in the first quarter, making the score 7-7.
Wesley got their first lead of the game coming, 10-7, from a Dan Tryon 24-yard field goal with ten minutes to play in the second quarter. The Hawks forced the field goal after holding the Wolverines on a third-and-four inside the ten yard line.
Huntingdon fought back on the very next drive. Plagenhoef completed passes to junior Cody Pearcy and senior Bobby Dunlap on the scoring drive of 18 and 20 yards, respectively. Sophomore Trevor Manuel pounded the ball inside the ten yard line to set up first-and-goal. Plagenhoef connected with Pearcy again, but this time for a 9-yard touchdown pass down the left side of the field. Robertson’s extra-point was good and gave the Hawks a 14-10 lead with eight minutes to play in the first half.
The Wolvervines returned the kickoff into Hawks territory, and a face-mask penalty by Huntingdon moved the ball to the Hawks thirty yard line. On the next play, Sottilare hit his receiver Stevenson for a 30-yards touchdown to regain the lead 17-10, with 7:38 to play in the half.
Welsey forced a punt on the Hawks next possession and the Wolverines took over looking to extend the lead. However, Junior Kaleb Futral intercepted Sottilare’s pass and returned it 19-yards to the Welsey twenty-two yard line. Four plays later, Huntingdon’s sophomore Caleb McCants fought through the defenders from 5-yards out for the score. Robertson’s extra-point gave the Hawks a 21-17 lead, with five minutes remaining in the half.
Brandon Wright contributed 50 total yards of the eleven play 78 yard touchdown drive for the Wolverines. Askia Jahad carried the ball for a two-yard touchdown run, giving Wesley the 24-21 lead into halftime.
In the second half, Wesley took the opening drive 48 yards on seven plays to extend the lead 30-21 on a Sottilare 26-yard pass to Stevenson. The Hawks Justin Brown was able to block the extra-point.
The story of the third quarter was Wesley’s high powered offense, scoring 34 points versus Huntingdon’s 7 points giving the Wolverines a 58-28 lead into the fourth quarter. Of the five Welsey third quarter touchdowns, Sottilare found Ellis Krout twice for 59-yards and 4-yards scores. Sottilare connected with Hassan Alston for a 72-yard touchdown reception. The Wolverines defense found the scoreboard, coming off a Plagenhoef interception returned 56-yards for the points by Reggie Millner.
Huntingdon’s lone third quarter points came from a two-yard touchdown run by Caleb McCants, with under five minutes to play making the score 44-28.
Wesley’s Dan Tryon hit a 27-yard field goal on the first drive of the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. After the field-goal, each team rushed the ball and ran the clock down for the final score of 61-28.
Sophomore Nick Plagenhoef finished the day 12-of-25 for 194 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. Sophomore Caleb McCants paced the Hawks ground game with 47 rushing yards and two touchdowns, followed by Trevor Manuel with38 yards.
Senior Bobby Dunlap had a season-high 102 yards receiving on three catches with one touchdown, while junior Cody Pearcy caught four passes for 43 yards on the day. Pearcy fell short of continuing his four game 100-yard receiving streak, which he brought into week five.
Defensively, the Hawks were led by junior Keith Anthony with 8 total tackles with three pass break ups. Followed by Justin Brown with 6 ½ tackles and 5 ½ by Kirk Johnson. Kaleb Futral had the teams only interception with a 19-yard return.
On the other side, Wesley’s Sottilare was 18-of-27 for 408 yards, including six touchdowns with one interception. Brandon Wright led the Wolverines on the ground with 113 yards. Ellis Krout caught eight pass for 143 yards and three touchdowns, while Stevenson grabbed 136 yards with two touchdown receptions. Defensively, Sean Scanlon recorded 7 ½ total tackles for the Wolverines, while Aaron Benson and Jeff Morgan each tallied five tackles in the game.
The Hawks (3-2) travel to Jackson, Miss. to take on Millsaps on Saturday, Oct. 9. Kickoff is set at 1 p.m. and will be broadcast online at www.teamline.cc.