GLENVILLE – The West Virginia Wesleyan football team used two explosive plays on offense to grab an early lead and an opportunistic defense picked off four passes including an interception on a potential game-tying drive late in the fourth quarter by Glenville State for an impressive 27-20 win in Mountain East Conference action today at Morris Stadium.
Wesleyan wasted little time in getting on the board during Senior Day for the Pioneers.
Tyler Fischer was good on the point-after-kick to give the Bobcats a 7-0 lead.
Glenville State marched 83 yards on 11 plays on their next drive that ended on a one-yard touchdown run by Dominique Brown.
On Wesleyan's next series, it took the Bobcats just three plays to find the end zone.
Facing a third-and-eight at their own 29-yard line, Deal found Kam Brooks on a slant pattern and he outraced the Glenville State defense to the end zone for a 71-yard touchdown reception with 9:08 showing on the first-quarter clock.
Fischer nailed the extra-point kick to treat Wesleyan to a 14-7 lead.
Following a punt by Glenville State on their next possession, Wesleyan took the ball over at their own 45.
Wesleyan scored their third touchdown on their third possession, this one a 55-yard drive in nine plays that took 3:41 off the clock.
Tra Jackson ended the drive with a one-yard plunge over the goal line.
Fischer was again good on his kick to make it a 21-7 score with 3:28 remaining in the first quarter.
Kelvin Flores made a 24-yard field goal for Glenville State with 1:10 left in the first quarter to make it a 21-10 game.
Following the wild first quarter, neither team could dent the scoreboard in the second quarter as the teams went into the break with Wesleyan leading by 11.
"We were able to connect on a couple of big plays in the first quarter and we needed them," remarked Wesleyan head coach Del Smith. "
Glenville State did all the scoring in the third quarter, a one-yard run by Gibson and a 21-yard field goal by Flores pulled the Pioneers to within one, at 21-20, heading into the final quarter.
The Bobcats were able to add to their lead on their second possession of the fourth quarter.
With a drive starting at their own 40, they marched 60 yards in 12 plays for a touchdown.
Jackson scored his second touchdown of the game with a two-yard run with 4:55 remaining in the game.
Nick Banta's point-after-kick hit the upright, keeping Wesleyan's lead at 27-20.
Glenville State moved the ball down to the Wesleyan 35 with 1:44 remaining, but Anthony Caldera intercepted a Jaylen McNair pass at the Wesleyan 28 to wrap up the win.
"It looked like thier quarterback overshot his receiver and Caldera was there to make a big play for us," stated Smith.
Wesleyan amassed 335 yards of offense – 215 through the air and 120 on the ground.
Deal completed 13 of his 25 passes for 215 yards with two scores and no interceptions.
Devin Montgomery led the rushing attack for Wesleyan with 78 yards on 15 carries.
Gabriel Moultrie led the defense with 11 tackles.
Glenville State fell to 3-6 in the MEC and 4-6 overall
Wesleyan improved to 5-4 in the MEC and 5-5 overall.
The Bobcats will wrap up their regular season next Saturday when they host West Virginia State at 1 p.m.
"We have a chance to finish our season with a winning record next week," Smith concluded. "It is going to be a very important game for us against a very good football team in West Virginia State."