November 12, 2011

Mustangs Drop Tight Contest at Wilkes in Final Game of Inaugural Season

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EDWARDSVILLE, Pa. - For the second-straight week, the Stevenson football team had a 100-yard rusher and a 100-yard receiver, but a safety with 4:14 remaining in the fourth quartergave Wilkes a two possession lead and the Colonels ran out the clock as they held rallied and held on for a 43-34 victory Saturday at Schmidt Stadium.

The Mustangs (2-8, 1-7 MAC) finished their inaugural season with its third consecutive 100-yard rusher as junior C.J. Hopson (Lusby/Patuxent) ran for 118 yards and one score.

Stevenson also had a 100-yard receiver for the second-straight game and sixth time this season as freshman Jae DeShields (Bridgeton, N.J./Bridgeton) finished with his fourth 100-yard game in eight games this season with eight catches for 167 yards and career-high three touchdowns.

Trailing 41-20 with 4:01 to play in the third quarter following a 10-yard touchdown pass from Alex George to Kyle Driscoll, Stevenson answered with back-to-back scoring drives to pull within seven, 41-34 with 12:28 left in the fourth quarter.

DeShields hauled in his third touchdown pass of the game with 1:35 remaining in the third quarter before freshman Ryan Crawley (North Babylon, N.Y./North Babylon) scored on a 3-yard run for his third touchdown of the season, all in the last three games.

Following Crawley's touchdown, Wilkes (4-5, 4-4 MAC) drove 61 yards in 14 plays, down to the Mustang 2-yard line with under six minutes to play. Looking to seal the game with a touchdown, the Stevenson defense preserved the one possession lead for the Colonels after freshman Jaron Cody (Bridgeton, N.J./Cumberland) forced a fumble on second-and-goal that was recovered by freshman Donnell Brown (Baltimore/Poly).

Looking at 98 yards with two timeouts, the Stevenson offense began its 12th drive of the game with an opportunity to tie or win the game with 5:40 remaining.

After an incomplete pass and rushes by Crawley and Hopson, the Mustangs were facing a fourth-and-2 from their own 10-yard line with 4:21 left following their second timeout of the game. The team elected to punt and rely on its defense for a stop, giving the offense one more shot at a game-tying or game-winning drive.

Lined up in punt formation, the snap went over the head of freshman Brad Cummings (Dundalk/Old Mill) and out of the back of the end zone, give Wilkes a two possession lead with just over four minutes to play.

Stevenson had one last opportunity with 3:13 remaining as the Colonels faced a third-and-5 at their own 43-yard line following the Mustangs' final timeout.

However, George picked up eight yards on a quarterback scramble and Wilkes effectively ran the clock down to 15 seconds to play before turning the ball over on downs.

The Colonels were 11-of-19 on third-down conversions in the game and converted 4-of-4 on fourth down with two touchdowns before turning it over with 15 seconds remaining.

The Mustangs led or were tied for the majority of the first half before a 1-yard run by George with 54 seconds left in the first half gave Wilkes its first lead, 27-20. The touchdown was the third of five-straight scoring drives for the Colonels as they rallied from a 20-14 deficit with 27 consecutive points to take a 41-20 lead.

DeShields finished the season with 848 yards and 11 touchdowns receiving, both team-highs, while sophomore Jeromie Miller (Reisterstown/Franklin) totaled a team-best 52 receptions.

Hopson concluded his first season at Stevenson with a team-high 680 yards rushing and four scores while completing 51.7 percent of his passes, 123-for-238, for 1,863 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Brown totaled 18 tackles on Saturday, including 16 solo, and finishes his first collegiate season as the MAC leader in tackles with 126.