November 26, 2011

Second-half explosion knocks Linfield out of playoffs

More news about: Linfield

DOVER, Del. – Quarterback Shane McSweeny was a one-man wrecking crew, powering No. 7 Wesley to 42 consecutive second-half points to knock off fifth-ranked Linfield 49-34 in a second-round NCAA Division III playoff game Saturday at Scott D. Miller Stadium.

Wesley (11-1), a Division III independent, advances to the quarterfinals to play Mary Hardin-Baylor Saturday at noon in Belton, Texas.

McSweeny passed for 259 yards and two scores and rushed for another 174. He accounted for 256 total yards in the final two quarters as Wesley overcame a 27-7 halftime deficit.

Linfield, champion of the Northwest Conference, suffered its first defeat and closed the season at 10-1.

The Wildcats twice took 13-point leads in the first two quarters and led by 20 after scoring on the final series of the opening half. Josh Kay booted a pair of field goals in the first quarter, connecting from 27 and 26 yards as Linfield built a 6-0 lead.

The Wildcats faced a third-and-24 situation from their own 16-yard line when Wildcats tailback Josh Hill took a shovel pass 42 yards for a first down, keeping a drive alive. Six plays later, Linfield went on top 13-0 with 10:37 left in the second period.

On the ensuing possession, McSweeny passed 38 yards to Jeremiah Howe to the Linfield 46, then weaved his way for a touchdown that kept Wesley within striking distance.

Linfield came right back to push its lead to 13 points, marching 76 yards in eight plays for a touchdown. On third-and-goal from the 1, Inns tossed the ball to the endzone, where it ricocheted off the hands of Deidre Wiersma and into the arms of Buddy Saxon. The extra point made it 20-7 with 5:48 to go before intermission.

The Wildcats made it a three-score game in the closing minute of the half as Inns tossed a 33-yard bomb down the left sideline to Lucas Jepson, who caught the ball in stride at the goal line with 29 seconds left before the break. Kay's extra point made it 27-7 in favor of the visitors.

Inns amassed 296 yards passing in the first two quarters, completing 17-of-24 attempts. The Wildcats owned 342-181 advantage in total yards as the teams retreated to their respective locker rooms.

McSweeny, the Wolverines' primary offensive weapon, had 112 rushing yards at the intermission to go with 65 passing yards.

The second half was a different story.

Wesley caught a break to begin the third quarter, pouncing on a fumbled kickoff at the Linfield 28 that gave the Wolverines their best field position of the game to that point. McSweeny's pass to Steven Koudossou from the 15 found paydirt, drawing Wesley to with 13 once again, 27-14.

Linfield marched to the Wesley 13 and appeared ready to put the game out of reach, but Inns' pass was intercepted by Leon Jones at the 1 and returned 99 yards for touchdown with 4:02 left in the quarter.

After a punt by Jordan Walker pinned the Wolverines at their own 1, McSweeny needed just four plays to fashion another scoring drive, hitting Steven Koudoussou on a 28-yard pass play that gave Wesley its first lead of the game at 28-27.

The wheels came off the Linfield wagon after that. McSweeny teamed with towering tight end Sean McAndrew for a pair of touchdown passes four minutes apart, bolstering the Wolverines' lead to 42-27 with eight minutes to play. McSweeny then delivered the final punch, scoring on an 8-yard scamper with 4:40 to play.

Inns passed 19 yards to Deidre Wiersma for a touchdown with 1:47 left to make the score respectable.

"It was certainly a tale of two halves," Wildcats coach Joseph Smith said. "I felt like probably the big momentum change obviously was the opening kickoff (of the second half) where they made a nice play and caused a fumble and I think that sparked a big motivational change and momentum change.

"They did a great job of making some plays on the ball. I thought they made some great catches and we didn't match that."

Inns finished the game with a career-high 407 yards passing, completing 32-of-49 attempts. Jepson totaled six catches for 111 yards and Wiersma had eight receptions for 81 yards to lead the Wildcats.

Hill, who gained 51 yards in the first half, finished with just 65 on 11 carries. He also had five catches for 45 yards.

Wildcats tackle Tyler Steele was credited with a game-high 11 tackles, including three sacks. Drew Fisher had 10 tackles and Dominique Forrest had nine stops for the 'Cats.

The teams combined for nearly 1,000 yards of offense. Once the final statistics were tallied, Wesley had outgained Linfield 497-495. Both teams registered four sacks. The Wildcats turned the ball over three times - twice on fumbles - while forcing two Wolverine turnovers.

McSweeny passed for four touchdowns and ran for two others.

"We knew they were very explosive with a lot of great players on every side of the ball everywhere," Smith said. "I really felt like they had a really good defensive line. When they got going, they caused us a lot of problems up front and I thought that was a huge difference."

'CAT SCRATCH: Linfield traveled 2,452 miles for its playoff game, the furthest distance covered by a Linfield team in program history. . . temperature at kickoff was 58 degrees. . . Saturday's attendance was 921. . . Linfield is 0-4 road playoff games since joining the NCAA in 1998. . . the Wildcats also dropped close contests at St. Johns (2003), UW-Whitewater (2009) and St. Thomas (2010). . . freshman Mike Nardoni was transported to the hospital in the first quarter after suffering a violent hit on kickoff. . . Nardoni was treated and released and is expected to return to Oregon with the team. . . the Wildcats are should arrive on campus Saturday evening by 10 o'clock.

SO LONG SENIORS: The game marked the end of the road for 21 seniors: Playing their final games Drew Fisher, Taylor Skore, Nate Dixon, Erik Koczian, Kole Krieger, Eric Biege, Deidre Wiersma, James Testa, Aaron Hire, Aaron Williams, Kalae Parish, Bryan Anderson, Eric Anderson, Christian Hanna, Hayden Mace, Jordan Barnes, Buddy Saxon, Joell Reyes, Brent Shimabukuro, Sparky Gonzalez and Tommy Patrick. . . Linfield's graduating class won 37 of 45 games.

comments powered by Disqus
Oct. 31: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Millsaps at Berry
Live Stats Video Audio
Nov. 1: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Kean at TCNJ
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Gallaudet at Norwich
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Framingham State at Massachusetts Maritime
Preview Live Stats Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Maine Maritime at Salve Regina
Preview Preview Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
College of Faith at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Union at Hobart
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
Allegheny at Kenyon
Audio
12:00 PM
Alfred at Salisbury
Live Stats Video Audio
12:00 PM
William Paterson at Morrisville State
Live Stats Audio Audio
12:00 PM
Buffalo State at St. John Fisher
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
St. Lawrence at WPI
Live Stats Video
12:00 PM
Alfred State at Apprentice School
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Castleton State
Preview Live Stats Video Tickets
12:30 PM
Bates at Bowdoin
Preview Preview Live Stats Video
12:30 PM
Colby at Tufts
Live Stats Video
12:30 PM
Middlebury at Hamilton
Live Stats Video
12:30 PM
Amherst at Trinity (Conn.)
Live Stats Video
12:30 PM
Anna Maria at Husson
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at FDU-Florham
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Becker at Mount Ida
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Marietta
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Montclair State at Cortland State
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Moravian at Gettysburg
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Catholic at Guilford
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Ohio Wesleyan
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Olivet at Albion
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Stevenson at Widener
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
DePauw at Wooster
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Shenandoah
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Washington and Lee
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Bridgewater (Va.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Trine at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Video Audio Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Lakeland at Alma
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Thiel at Carnegie Mellon
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Hope at Adrian
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Western New England at Curry
Live Stats Live Stats
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Dickinson
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Susquehanna
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Averett at Methodist
Video
1:00 PM
Ithaca at Brockport State
Live Stats Video Tickets
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Rowan
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Lycoming at Misericordia
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Ursinus
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wabash at Hiram
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Westminster (Pa.) at St. Vincent
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at King's
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Albright at Wilkes
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Juniata
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Washington U.
Preview Preview Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Rockford
Preview Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
MacMurray at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Bluffton
Live Stats
1:30 PM
Wesleyan at Williams
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Plymouth State at Worcester State
Live Stats
1:30 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Maryville (Tenn.)
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Geneva at Washington and Jefferson
Live Stats Video Audio
1:30 PM
Thomas More at Waynesburg
Preview Video Audio
1:30 PM
Heidelberg at Wilmington
Preview Preview Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Muskingum
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Otterbein
Preview Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Bethany at Grove City
Live Stats Audio
1:30 PM
Anderson at Defiance
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Earlham at Hanover
Live Stats Video
1:30 PM
Westfield State at Fitchburg State
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Frostburg State at Hartwick
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Capital
Preview Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Manchester at Rose-Hulman
Preview Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Concordia (Wis.)
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at UW-Platteville
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Southwestern at Austin
Live Stats Video Video
2:00 PM
Concordia-Chicago at Aurora
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Centre at Hendrix
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
St. John's at Augsburg
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at UW-Eau Claire
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio Tickets
2:00 PM
Bethel at Gustavus Adolphus
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Hamline
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Lake Forest at Cornell
Video
2:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at North Central (Ill.)
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at Rhodes
2:00 PM
Trinity (Texas) at Texas Lutheran
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Simpson at Central
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Buena Vista
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Ripon at Beloit
2:00 PM
Carroll at Macalester
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Howard Payne at Louisiana College
Audio
2:00 PM
Carthage at Millikin
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Elmhurst
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
North Park at Augustana
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Coe at Luther
Video Audio
2:00 PM
Crown at Martin Luther
2:00 PM
Greenville at Westminster (Mo.)
Video
2:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at Eureka
2:00 PM
Illinois College at Knox
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
Monmouth at Grinnell
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at UW-River Falls
Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-Stevens Point
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Loras
2:00 PM
Sul Ross State at East Texas Baptist
Live Stats Audio
2:10 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at St. Thomas
Preview Live Stats Video Video Audio Audio
3:00 PM
St. Scholastica at Minnesota-Morris
3:30 PM
George Fox at Whitworth
Live Stats Video Audio
4:00 PM
Ferrum at Greensboro
Live Stats
4:00 PM
Pacific Lutheran at Puget Sound
Preview Audio
4:00 PM
Cal Lutheran at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps
Live Stats Video
4:00 PM
Willamette at Linfield
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
4:05 PM
Redlands at Whittier
Live Stats Live Stats Video Audio
5:00 PM
Pacific at Lewis and Clark
Live Stats Video Audio
5:30 PM
MIT at Endicott
Preview Live Stats
6:00 PM
Denison at Oberlin
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
St. Norbert at Lawrence
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Christopher Newport
Live Stats Video Audio
10:00 PM
La Verne at Chapman
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
10:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at Occidental
Live Stats Video Audio
Nov. 1: All times Eastern
10:00 PM
La Verne at Chapman
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Otterbein
Preview Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Thomas More at Waynesburg
Preview Video Audio
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Muskingum
Live Stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Geneva at Washington and Jefferson
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Bridgewater (Va.)
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Wabash at Hiram
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Ursinus
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wittenberg at Ohio Wesleyan
Preview Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at King's
Live Stats Audio
2:10 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at St. Thomas
Preview Live Stats Video Video Audio Audio
12:00 PM
College of Faith at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Buffalo State at St. John Fisher
Live Stats Audio
12:00 PM
Union at Hobart
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Wartburg at Buena Vista
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Bethel at Gustavus Adolphus
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-Oshkosh at UW-Stevens Point
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
UW-Whitewater at UW-Platteville
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Illinois Wesleyan at North Central (Ill.)
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Live Stats Video Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Elmhurst
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
St. John's at Augsburg
Live Stats Video Audio Audio
4:00 PM
Willamette at Linfield
Live Stats Video Audio Audio

What We're Reading