Second-half rally leads football ‘Cats to first win as they down Battlers, 31-30

PHILIPPI, W.Va. – The West Virginia Wesleyan football team (1-7, 1-6) erased a 16-point deficit in the second half and defeated Alderson Broaddus (0-8, 0-7) on Saturday (Oct. 22) afternoon at the Multi-Sport Performance Stadium in Philippi, W.Va.

Placekicker Cam Ceccotti converted the game-winning 27-yard field goal with 4:03 remaining in the final quarter.

“I am so proud of our guys,” said WVWC head coach Dwayne Martin. “They continued to fight the entire game and never showed any quit.”

Martin, a WVWC alum, picked up his first win as the head coach of West Virginia Wesleyan football.

WVWC Leaders

Nathan Payne orchestrated the offense and passed for 203 yards and two passing touchdowns. The WVWC quarterback scored the Bobcats’ first touchdown after a 16-yard read-option play. Devin Washington tied a career-high 146 receiving yards. Payne and Washington connected for a pair of passing scores. Amani Woods scampered into the end zone for a 51-yard touchdown in the final quarter. Woods logged 88 rushing yards and averaged 12.6 yards per carry.

Senior Deontre Logan shined on the defensive side of the football and led the WVWC defense with nine total tackles. Renard Matthews scooped up a fumble that gave the Bobcats favorable field position to set up the go-ahead kick. Ely Ghameshlougy picked off a pass. The Wesleyan defense forced three fumbles on the afternoon.

Alderson Broaddus Leaders

Dawson Skinner completed 14 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns. Skinner led Alderson Broaddus on the ground with 112 rushing yards. Marvin Sims collected 139 receiving yards, including a 79-yard score before the expiration of the first half.

The Battlers had two tacklers in double figures: David Schweinefuss (14) and Michael Schweinefuss (12). David Schweinefuss and Cedric Carter both made 1.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. Carter had the game’s lone sack.

Inside the First Half

Alderson Broaddus received the opening kickoff and started at its 47-yard line. AB decided to be aggressive early and went for it on 4th and 3. The Wesleyan defense stood tall and forced a turnover on downs. WVWC drove 46 yards on its first possession and attempted a 23-yard field goal attempt. The try was no good and the game remained scoreless. Two plays later, Michael Herbert forced the football out of Kendrick Agenor’s arms. Donovan Woods recovered the fumble to give WVWC great field position.

After a six-yard Payne pass to Dariuse Cooper and a three-yard Woods rush, the Bobcats faced a 3rd and 1 at the AB 16. Payne capitalized on the favorable field position when he rushed 16 yards to the end zone. WVWC led 7-0 midway through the first quarter. Alderson Broaddus responded on its next drive with a field goal. Wesleyan maintained a 7-3 advantage after one quarter of play.

AB added another three points early in the second quarter to close the WVWC lead to one point. Wesleyan attempted a fake punt on its next drive that did not succeed. Alderson Broaddus took advantage of the favorable field position and jumped ahead after a three-yard Skinner touchdown pass to Kenneth Etherid. The Battlers scored before the end of the first half when Skinner unleashed a 79-yard strike to Sims. The home team held a 13-point cushion at the break.

Inside the Second Half

After a Bobcats’ three-and-out, the Battlers fumbled the ensuing Wesleyan punt. The Bobcats were forced to punt after retaining possession. AB manufactured a field goal on its first drive of the second half and the Bobcats trailed by 16-points with 8:25 in the third quarter.

WVWC’s offense began to click when Woods cruised for a 23-yard rush to take the ball to midfield. Washington hauled in his first touchdown of the afternoon after Payne found him in the seam. The ‘Cats cut the AB lead to nine with six minutes to go in the third quarter. The Bobcats’ defense forced a punt, and C.J. Washington returned an Alderson Broaddus punt to the WVWC 42. Following a first down, Payne dropped back and found a wide-open Washington for their second touchdown connection of the afternoon that pulled Wesleyan within two points. Ghameshlougy picked off Skinner on the following drive and Wesleyan was threatening in AB territory at the end of the third quarter.

Wesleyan attempted a 40-yard field goal try to open the fourth quarter. The try was no good and AB clung onto a two-point lead. The Battlers drove 78 yards on 11 plays for six and regained a two-score lead. The Bobcats fought back and Woods found paydirt after a 51-yard rush that trimmed the AB lead to two points with 8:19 left in the final quarter.

The Battlers faced a 3rd and 3 on its 42-yard line at the 6:42 mark. Matthews pounced on a loose ball and the ‘Cats took over at AB’s 38-yard line. Payne found Cooper for a 14-yard completion that put Wesleyan in the red zone. Ceccotti regrouped and drilled a 27-yard field goal that gave Wesleyan its first lead since the eight-minute mark in the second quarter.

With four minutes remaining, Alderson Broaddus converted a pair of third down conversions and entered WVWC territory. O’marion Taylor picked up another AB third down after a four-yard carry to put the Battlers at the Wesleyan 29-yard line. After the Bobcats stuffed Devanier Floyd for no gain, the home team failed to convert its fourth-consecutive third down play and faced a 4th and 10 with 53 seconds remaining. The Bobcat defense forced its third turnover on downs and Wesleyan held on for its first win since 2019.

Up Next

West Virginia Wesleyan football returns to Cebe Ross Field next Saturday (Oct. 29) to take on the Charleston Golden Eagles. Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m.

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