DOVER, Del. - Senior Leonard Stevenson (Nanjemoy, Md./Lackey) caught a touchdown with 3:29 to go to lift No. 3 Wesley to a 21-17 win over No. 8 Delaware Valley in a clash of top 10 teams.
During a first half in which both defenses controlled the tempo, the Wolverines used a pair of big plays to jump ahead 14-0. After neither team scored in the opening quarter, Brandon Wright (Clayton, N.J./Clayton) found a hole on the left side, broke tackles and spun around defenders before tip toeing down the sideline for a 51-yard touchdown run with 12:05 left in the half.
Wesley forced Delaware Valley to punt on its next possession, but a 78-yard punt return was called back on a block in the back. Starting on their own three, the Wolverines moved out near midfield before Justin Sottilare (Baltimore, Md./Calvert Hall) connected with Ellis Krout (Dallas, Texas/Roosevelt) down the sideline for a 58-yard score and a 14-0 lead midway through the second half.
On the last drive of the first half, Delaware Valley got some offense going and moved deep into Wesley territory to the 11-yardline. Mark Hatty's pass on fourth and two fell incomplete and the Wolverines went into the locker room with a two touchdown lead.
The Aggies got on the board on the second play of the third quarter when Mike Jaskowski intercepted a pass and returned it 23 yards for a score.
Wesley turned the ball over in its own territory on its next possession as well, but Del Val missed a 27-yard field goal.
Yet another Wesley turnover set up the Aggies' second touchdown later in the period. Chris James picked off Sottilare and Hatty connected with Chris Ruiz for 47 yards on the next play to move Delaware Valley to the Wesley eight. Matt Cook found some room up the middle to tie things at 14-14 with 1:29 left in the third quarter.
The Wolverines' sixth turnover of the afternoon, set up Delaware Valley at the Wesley 26. Wesley prevented a third down conversion from the eight yardline, however, and the Aggies settled for a 17-14 lead with 8:14 to play after Jake Sobchak's 20-yard field goal.
The Wesley offense found its legs again, however, on the next possession. The Wolverines faced third and eight at their own 36 when Gene Knight (Baltimore, Md./Overlea) took a short pass and scooted 13 yards for a first down near midfield. Wesley needed another big conversion later in drive faced with fourth and seven at the Delaware Valley 28. But Sottilare hit Sean McAndrew (Lanoka Harbor, N.J./Lacey Township) for 20 yards, then found Stevenson in the end zone on the next snap to reclaim the lead.
The defense took over from there forcing the Aggies into turnovers on downs on their final two possessions to preserve the win.
Wesley gained over 400 yards on the afternoon, but Delaware Valley forced six turnovers and benefitted from 13 penalties by the Wolverines to stay in the contest, despite being limited to just 228 yards.
Wright had another strong effort for Wesley, rushing 25 times for 145 yards and a touchdown and also caught two passes for 15 yards.
McAndrew caught six passes for 61 yards, while Krout hauled in five receptions for 97 yards and a score.
Sottilare finished 19-of-34 for 246 yards, but was intercepted four times.
The Wesley defense hounded Hatty into just 17-of-39 passing, sacking him five times and knocking down seven passes.
Cook, who became Del Val's all-time leading scorer in the game, was held to just 34 yards on 17 carries, but scored one touchdown.
Terrance Osbourne made 11 tackles for the Aggies.
Wesley will hit the road next week, heading to Capital of the Ohio Athletic Conference.