By Kim Manahan
Despite an undefeated season, Wesley football fell short of the NCAA Division III title, losing to University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, 27-7, in the Dec. 11 semi-finals game.
Matt Barile gave Wesley its only points when he scored a touchdown with a minute left in the first quarter.
Safety Aaron Benson saw the game begin to slip after Wesley turned the ball over to UWW, which took the lead 17-7.
“It was nothing we couldn’t overcome,” Benson said. “But then when we continued to make those mistakes, I knew it was too much to overcome, especially against a good team like that.”
The quarter-finals game against Mary Hardin-Baylor on Dec. 11 went better for the Wolverines, despite four key players being arrested over Thanksgiving break for burglarizing Wesley dorm rooms.
Wesley won that game 19-9 after the Wolverines took the lead in the first quarter when Ellis Krout caught a 24-yard pass from Justin Sottilare.
The team had been excited to make it to the playoffs.
“We understand that we cannot be happy with being here to accomplish the goals we set before the season began,” said junior Justin Strickland, at the beginning of the playoffs, before being arrested and kicked off of the team.
In the second round of the playoffs, the Wolverines trounced Montclair State 44-7, scoring twice in the first quarter.
The defense was strong, keeping Montclair off of the score board until the fourth quarter.
Wesley also finished strong in the first game of the championships against Muhlenberg, winning 53-14.
At the end of the season, Chris Mayes, Mike Asiedu, Anthony West, and Jeff Morgan were named Division III, All-American.