Story and photo courtesy of Wilkes Athletics
EDWARDSVILLE, Pa. – Behind a school-record 667 total yards and a career day rushing from junior running back Calvin Garvin (Philadelphia, PA/Roman Catholic) (16 carries/162 yards), the Wilkes University football team posted a 37-27 Middle Atlantic Conference win over visiting FDU-Florham Saturday afternoon at Schmidt Stadium.
With the victory, Wilkes improves to 2-2 overall and picks up its first MAC win of 2012 at 1-2. FDU-Florham drops to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in league games.
After the Colonels defense forced an FDU three and out, the Wilkes offense began its first drive at its own 34. On the very first offensive play from scrimmage, quarterback Alex George (York, PA/West York) found a streaking Jonathon Conklin down the middle of the field for a 66-yard touchdown reception as Wilkes took a 7-0 lead. The Colonels extended the lead to 14-0 thanks to the aggressive ground game on their third drive. Three straight rushes followed by a 33-yard George to tight end Dan Curry completion moved the ball to the FDU 18. From there, Garvin ran home for his first touchdown of the afternoon coming from 14-yards out. A Frank Bobo (Southampton, NJ/Seneca) extra point made it a two score lead with 9:10 left in the second quarter.
FDU got on the board on the following drive as quarterback Mike Santos hit Craig Kimbrough for a 12-yard touchdown on a swing pass from the right side of the Colonels defense. Wilkes responded with another ground attack using Auxence Wogou (Hackettstown, NJ/Hackettstown) to move the ball down to the FDU 8. The drive would stall following a sack and the Colonels would have to settle for a 32-yard field goal from Jordan Fredo (Williamsport, PA/Williamsport Area) to push the lead to 17-7 with 4:37 left in the half.
The FDU offense was up to the task yet again answering the Wilkes field goal on its next drive. Santos continued to go to the air finding Jon Bennettt for a 20-yard touchdown pass cutting the lead to 17-13 with 2:38 remaining in the first half. A late Wilkes drive would stall at the FDU 39 as an incompletion on fourth down as the clock expired sent the teams to the break with Wilkes leading 17-13.
After a three and out on Wilkes' first possession of the second half, FDU used a methodical seven play, 66-yard drive capped off by a Bennett two yard touchdown run to give the Devils its first lead of the contest, 20-17 with 9:22 left in the third.
Following a Wilkes fumble as the Colonels were driving into FDU territory, the Devils capitalized on the turnover as Santos found Bennett for a 62-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the possession extending the FDU lead to 27-17.
The Wilkes offense wasn't finished yet, going to the ground on the ensuing drive. Garvin continued his fine day capping off a seven play, 72-yard drive with a 14 touchdown run from Garvin, his second of the game to cut the lead to 27-24. The Wilkes defense would cause a huge turnover on the following FDU possession as Tate Moore-Jacobs (New Cumberland, PA/Cedar Cliff) recovered a Devils fumble at the Wilkes 22. Andrew Regan (Boonton, NJ/Boonton) completed the Wilkes comeback with a two yard touchdown scamper giving the Colonels a 31-27 lead with 5:47 remaining in the game.
Another timely FDU turnover caused by the Colonels defense sealed the win for Wilkes. Paul Gaffney (Sparta, NJ/Sparta) intercepted Santos at midfield falling out of bounds in the process giving Wilkes the ball. The Wilkes offense put the finishing touches on the game when former corner Justin Pellowski (Mt. Carmel, PA/Mt. Carmel), now playing wide receiver in the Colonels offense, collected a George pass and carried in a Devils defender all the way to the end zone from the ten for a 46-yard touchdown reception.
Garvin enjoyed the finest day of his three-year career rushing for 162 yards on 16 carries and two scores. Wogou followed with 84 yards on 20 carries, while George was effective with his feet posting 89 yards on 14 attempts.
George managed the game well from under center finishing 12-for-23 for 232 yards and two scores. Conklin made a career-best five catches for 114 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively the Colonels were led by Moore-Jacobs with 10 tackles, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. DJ Shuttleworth (Leesport, PA/Schuylkill Valley) followed with eight stops while Jason Ugwu (Collegeville, PA/Perkiomen Valley) was a force on the pass rush finishing with five tackles including two sacks. Gaffney and Ty Cunningham (Orefield, PA/Northwestern Lehigh) recorded the interceptions for Wilkes.
Santos finished 24-for-36 with 337 yards and three touchdowns. Bennett was the Devils leading receiver with 10 grabs for a game-high 135 yards and two scores.
Wilkes welcomes local rival Misericordia University (0-5, 0-4 MAC) to Schmidt Stadium Saturday at 1:00 p.m. on Homecoming.