Football Loses Tough Matchup vs. Wesley College

By Alex Hand, Staff Writer

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Photo courtesy of MSU Sports.
Photo courtesy of MSU Sports.

After succumbing to a loss against the TCNJ Lions on Oct. 24, the Montclair State Red Hawks hosted the Wesley College Wolverines on Halloween in hopes of keeping their pride afloat, given that the odds of squeezing out a post-season berth now appear all the more bleak. However, Wesley proved to be too much for the Red Hawks, as Montclair State was defeated in the cool autumn wind 56-22.

Wesley College entered the game against the Red Hawks undefeated and had left that way. Wolverine quarterback Joe Callahan threw for 447 yards and six touchdowns and running back Jamar Baynard rushed for 183 yards and two touchdowns, as they marched their way to an 8-0 record, leaving Montclair State at 3-5.

On the Wolverines’ first possession from play, the undefeated college compiled a 13-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a nine-yard touchdown route to Cappadonna Miller with 10:16 left on the clock. Wesley College would also score another touchdown as Callahan connected with James Okikie 23-yards out while being assisted by Baynard, who drove the initial 23-yards with 6:24 left on the clock, leaving the score at 14-0.

The following possession by Montclair was lost as Wesley forced a three-and-out, drove the ball 57-yards over three completions and scored via Okikie again.

Montclair State quickly responded with a 43-yard bomb to wide receiver Julanee Prince to make it 21-6 with 2:43 left in the first, but Wesley volleyed as Bryce Shade hauled in a 59-yard touchdown that would tack the scoreboard to 28-6 Wolverines.

The Red Hawks brought it back by converting a dire third-and-three via Joe Schultz 16-yard reception. Running back John DiStefano finished the score by racing down the sidelines for a 16-yard touchdown as Montclair State pulled the scores closer together at 28-13 Wesley with 13:08 left prior to halftime.

In Wesley’s first play of their possession, Baynard popped off for 42-yards that was shortly followed by a four-yard route from Callahan to Shade, increasing the score to 35-13 with 8:34 left on the clock. Montclair State kicker Ryan Deleon shot a 33-yard field goal through the uprights to help ease the pain of the score difference and, although the Red Hawks shed a lot of time off the clock in their previous drive, Callahan hit Baynard coming out of the backfield for a 57-yard pass play down to the Red Hawk five-yard line with 26 seconds left in the half. Baynard took it into the end zone and bumped the score to 42-16 at the half.

Montclair State then compiled a 17-play, 80-yard drive that included three third-down conversions. Davies would eventually find Aaron Williams in the end zone with 5:25 left as the Birds cut the deficit to 42-22.
After a 16-play, 90-yard drive by the Wolverine offense, Wesley stuck the dagger in as Baynard totaled 53-yards in that drive alone while also finishing the drive with a 14-yard score with 13:06 left on the clock in the fourth with the score tallied at 49-22.

Wesley defender Anthony Brinkley sealed the game with an interception on Montclair State’s first play in the following possession. Callahan would later hit Kyle George in the end zone for another score.

Davies would finish 20-of-30 with 190 yards and three touchdowns, while Denzel Nieves would rack up 78 yards off of 17 carries. Shultz led the team in receptions with five for 44-yards.

Montclair State will be traveling out to Frostburg State in Maryland this coming Saturday, Nov. 6, at 1 p.m. to face the 6-2 Bobcats.

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