BUCKHANNON - Last season, West Virginia Wesleyan's football team traveled into New England and scored a key early season non-conference victory at Bentley. Saturday, the Falcons returned the favor, defeating the Bobcats in Buckhannon, 27-16.
Bentley receiver Jeff Hill produced a huge day to lead the victory, catching five passes for 196 yards and three long touchdowns. Conversely, it was a tough afternoon for the Bobcat offense, rushing for only 40 yards, and going only 15-of-46 through air for 156 yards.
Starter Nate Montana went 7-for-27, with Jeremy Musselman coming on and hitting 8-of-19. The Bobcat defense limited Bentley to only nine completions, but with Hill's catches eating up large chunks, the Falcons ended the day with 256 passing yards and 319 total yards.
The Inter-Mountain photo by Andrew Davis
Bentley’s Jeff Hill catches a touhdown pass in front of Wesleyan defenders Stephon Knox (6) and James Williamson (21) Saturday afternoon in Bentley’s 27-16 win.
Wesleyan maintained control early in the game, racing to an early 10-0 lead. Kasper Bernild drilled a 32-yard field goal at the 11:30 mark of the first quarter staking a quick three-point lead. Montana followed just two minutes later, plunging in from one yard out.
Hill put Bentley on the board early in the second quarter, snagging a 33-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Dan Guadagnoli. Later in the quarter, Guadagnoli gave the Falcons a lead they would never relinquish, scrambling in from three yards out, putting Bentley on top, 14-10, at the half.
At the 9:48 mark of the third quarter, the Guadagnoli to Hill combination connected for what proved to be the play of the game; a 73-yard scoring strike that extended the lead to 21-10. Wesleyan responded quickly, materializing a seven-play, 70-yard drive that culminated in a four-yard touchdown pass from Musselman to Nyme Manns.
Holding onto a five-point lead, Bentley scored an insurance touchdown at the 1:23 mark of the third quarter. Hill produced one final piece of magic on the muddy day, hauling in an acrobatic lob from Guadagnoli for the game's final tally.
Malcolm Yowk led the Wesleyan rushing attack with 52 yards on 17 carries. Donte Boston led the receiving corps with 74 yards on seven catches. Defensively, Jake Leninsky led the way with 12 total tackles (11-solo, one assist), and Jesse Robertson who collected 10 tackles.
Besides giving up the big plays to Hill, the Bobcat defense made some big plays. For the day, the defense recorded thee sacks, and 15 total plays for loss of yardage.
Next week, Wesleyan opens league play in the final year of the school's 87-year marriage with the WVIAC. The Bobcats travel to West Liberty, who is coming off a big road victory at Virginia State.
Bentley raises their record to 2-0 with the road victory. Wesleyan falls to 0-2.