ATHENS, W.Va. — The West Virginia Wesleyan (0-3) football team shut out Concord (1-2) in the second half, but fell short 28-25 at Callaghan Stadium in Athens, W.Va., on Saturday.
Nathan Payne and Devin Taylor connected for three touchdown passes. Payne completed 19 out of his 36 passes for 214 yards. Taylor totaled 98 yards on four receptions, including a 68-yard score in the second quarter. On the ground, Zavier Price led Wesleyan with 71 rushing yards with a 16-yard carry for six points.
Defensively, Ike Dove created two turnovers against the Mountain Lions. Dove forced a fumble on a strip sack and intercepted a pass. Kobe Vinegar was at the top of the tackle sheet with 10 total tackles. Jalen Fant, Deontre Logan, and Tim Welsh each recorded a tackle for a loss.
Jack Mangel completed 19 passes for 268 yards and four touchdowns. Tywan Pearce eclipsed over 100 yards receiving and found the end zone twice for Concord. Kris Copeland was the leading rusher for the Mountain Lions with six rushes for 70 yards.
Noah Overstreet and Jordan Jones each recorded a sack on defense. Tylen Fowler made 2.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Dwain Porterfield was the leading tackler with 10 total tackles.
Inside the First Half
The Mountain Lions fumbled the opening kickoff, which was recovered by Wesleyan’s Derrick Smith at the Concord 28 yardline. The Bobcats went three and out on their opening drive and Concord took over at their own 20 yard line. The Mountain Lions scored first on a 7 play 80 yard drive, capped off by an 18 yard touchdown pass from Mangel to Justin Lee.
Concord struck again on their next drive for six after Mangel found Pearce for a 17-yard touchdown completion. Wesleyan responded with a seven play, 49 yard touchdown drive late in the first quarter. Payne found Taylor for a 19-yard touchdown to cut the Concord deficit to eight.
Payne hit Taylor on a 68-yard pass early in the second quarter to put the Bobcats within two points of Concord’s lead. On the next Mountain Lion possession, Dove sacked Mangel for a five-yard loss and forced a fumble that the Bobcats recovered. The Wesleyan offense could not capitalize on the turnover, and the score remained 14-12 Concord.
Concord scored on a five play, 70 yard drive to go up 21-12. Mangel found Pearce for his second touchdown reception of the afternoon for a 44-yard touchdown. The Mountain Lions scored with 2:45 left in the first half after a 16-yard reception by Kris Copeland. At the intermission, Concord led Wesleyan 28-12.
Inside the Second Half
The Mountain Lions muffed the punt with 8:08 to go in the third quarter and the ball was recovered by Evin Hurt at the Concord 26 yard line. Zavier Price picked up a 16-yard touchdown run as the Bobcat trailed 28-18 with 5:56 left in the third frame.
A steady diet of running the ball had WVWC on the move at the end of the third quarter. Payne connected with Jujuan Linzy for a 14-yard gain to the CU three yard line. A couple of plays later, Taylor hauled in his third touchdown reception of the game from Payne. Wesleyan trimmed the deficit to just three points at 28-25 with 13:12 left in the fourth quarter.
The WVWC defense forced a pair of stops as the Bobcat offense began driving again with 6:30 to go in regulation. Concord penalties aided Wesleyan to the Mountain Lion four yard line where the drive stalled. Liam Depp lined up for the 21-yard field goal attempt that was off the mark.
The Bobcats will return home to Ross Field for another Mountain East Conference matchup versus the Hilltoppers of West Liberty on Saturday (Sept. 25) at 1 p.m.