Courtesy of Wesley Athletics
COLUMBUS, Ohio - Wesley scored twice in the final 4:39 to defeat Capital 42-21 behind 361 yards and four touchdowns from Justin Sottilare (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills).
The Crusaders (1-2) pulled to within a touchdown with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Kory Hartinger to Ryan Gunnarson.
On Capital's next possession, Jeff Morgan (Vineland, N.J./Vineland) intercepted Hartinger and returned the ball to the one. A one-yard plunge by Brandon Wright(Clayton, N.J./Clayton) stretched the lead to 35-21 with 4:39 left.
The Wesley (4-0) defense forced a turnover on downs and the offense took over at the Crusader 34. On first down, Sottilare hit Leonard Stevenson (Nanjemoy, Md./Lackey)for 22 yards. Three plays later, he hit Ellis Krout (Dallas, Texas/Roosevelt) for a nine-yard score and a 42-21 lead with just over two minutes left in the game.
The Wolverines had opened the scoring on the first play of their second possession, when freshman Jeremiah Howe (Cambridge, Md./Cambridge South) got the ball on a misdirection play and scampered 42 yards to the end zone.
Capital cut the lead to a point in the second quarter after a 12-play, 85-yard drive. After an incomplete pass on first down, Hartinger completed his next five attempts to set up a first and goal. Hartinger got into the end zone on a one yard rush, but Aaron Benson (Swarthmore, Pa./Strath Haven) blocked the extra point and Wesley held a one-point lead.
On the first play of the Wolverines' next drive, Sottilare and Krout hooked up on a 57-yard catch and run to the Capital 12. Three plays later, the duo connected on an eight-yard touchdown and the Wolverines carried a 14-6 lead into the half.
Paul Gilstrop (Lindenwold, N.J./Paul VI) recovered a fumble on the Crusaders first possession and the Wolverines took over inside Capital territory. Sottilare hit Stevenson for 14 yards on the first play and then for a 24-yard touchdown on the next snap for a 21-6 advantage with 13:27 left in the third period.
Later in the period, David Parrott forced and recovered a fumble for Capital. A 19-yard pass from Hartinger to Gunnarson on third and 11 set up a four-yard touchdown run by the quarterback that cut the Wesley lead to 21-13 with 5:46 left in the third quarter.
Matt Barile (Bel Air, Md./Fallston) returned the ensuing kickoff 39 yards to midfield. After Sottilare hit Gene Knight (Baltimore, Md./Overlea) for 10 yards on third and eight, the Knight hauled in a 39-yard touchdown on the next play to put the Wolverines ahead 28-13 through three quarters of play.
Sottilare finished 23-of-32 for 361 yards and four scores. Krout had six catches for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while Knight and Stevenson each accumulated 82 yards and a touchdown. Wright rushed 12 times for 51 yards to lead the ground attack on a day the offense posted 479 yards of offense.
Gilstrop, Benson and Mike Asiedu (Yonkers, N.Y./Gorton) each had nine tackles to lead the defense.
Hartinger threw for 335 yards on 24-of-40 passing for one score and an interception. Gunnarson grabbed nine passes for 163 yards and Matt White also topped 100 yards on the afternoon.
Sam Jacobs made eight tackles for the Crusaders.
Wesley is back in action on October 2 at Huntingdon.