Football Bobcats drop 2021 spring opener to West Virginia State, 38-13

Devin Taylor

INSTITUTE – West Virginia Wesleyan couldn’t keep West Virginia State Yellow Jacket Dant’e Jones out of the end zone in their 2021 debut Saturday afternoon at Lakin Field.

Jones scored four touchdowns, three rushing and one receiving, to lead the Yellow Jackets to a 38-13 victory over the Bobcats.

Wesleyan netted just 172 yards of total offense in the game including just nine yards rushing on 29 attempts.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Briar Wilfong made his collegiate debut for the ‘Cats going 17-for-33 for 163 yards and three interceptions.

Kenny Lewis Jr. returned the opening kick-off for Wesleyan back 72 yards giving the ‘Cats the ball at the West Virginia State 21-yard line, but they weren’t able to push it into the end zone.

West Virginia State scored on their second series, a seven-play, 53-yard drive that ended on Jones’ first touchdown of the day, a two-yard run.

Martin Ahlstroem’s kick was good treating the Yellow Jackets to a 7-0 lead.

Wesleyan was forced to punt the ball away on their next possession and West Virginia State’s Jakar Tucker took in the Ridge Stokes’ punt at the 30-yard line and returned it for the score on the first play of the second quarter.

Ahlstroem’s kick made it a 14-0 game.

Wesleyan answered on their next drive which culminated in Mason Brubeck going over from one yard out with 11:35 showing on the clock.

Joshua Erb’s point-after kick was good as Wesleyan cut the Yellow Jacket lead in half, at 14-7.

Ahlstroem kicked a 38-yard field goal for West Virginia State, but on the ensuing kick-off, Wesleyan’s Devin Taylor hauled it in at his own 12-yard line and outraced the Yellow Jacket special teams’ coverage all the way to the end zone for the score.

The conversion kick was no good, but Wesleyan trailed by just four, at 17-13, with 8:36 left in the second quarter.

West Virginia State put one more score up before the half as Jones tallied his second touchdown of the game, a three-yard run with 1:28 remaining in the half.

Ahlstroem’s kick made it a 24-13 contest.

Wesleyan wasn’t able to score in the second half as the Yellow Jackets pulled away with two third-quarter touchdowns from Jones.

He hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass from Donovan Riddick on their first possession of the second half and then added a one-yard scoring run with 3:51 left in the third quarter.

West Virginia State racked up 368 yards of offense, getting 199 through the air and 169 yards on the ground.

Jones ended his day with 69 yards rushing and 19 yards receiving.

The Bobcats will stay on the road this week and visit UNC-Pembroke in a Mountain East Conference game starting at noon.

The boxscore:

West Virginia Wesleyan  0  13  0  0 – 13

West Virginia State    7  17  14  0 – 38

West Virginia State – Dant’e Jones, 2-yard run (Martin Ahlstroem kick)

West Virginia State – Jakar Tuker, 70-yard punt return (Ahlstroem kick)

West Virginia Wesleyan – Mason Brubeck, 1-yard run (Joshua Erb kick)

West Virginia State – Ahlstroem, 38-yard field goal

West Virginia Wesleyan – Devin Taylor, 88-yard touchdown (kick failed)

West Virginia State – Jones, 3-yard run (Ahlstroem kick)

West Virginia State – Jones, 19-yard pass from Donovan Riddick (Ahlstroem kick)

West Virginia State – Jones, 1-yard run (Ahlstroem kick)

TEAM STATISTICS

First downs – West Virginia Wesleyan: 13 (2 rushing, 10 passing, 1 penalty); West Virginia State: 20 (10 rushing, 7 passing, 3 penalty).

Rushing yards – West Virginia Wesleyan: 29-9; West Virginia State: 41-169.

Passing yards – West Virginia Wesleyan: 163; West Virginia State: 199.

Total yards – West Virginia Wesleyan: 172; West Virginia State: 368.

Passes – West Virginia Wesleyan: 17-33-3; West Virginia State: 13-26-0.

Penalties – West Virginia Wesleyan: 4-29; West Virginia State: 5-58.

Punts – West Virginia Wesleyan: 6-35.2; West Virginia State: 5-32.4.

Fumbles – West Virginia Wesleyan: 1: West Virginia State: 0.

Fumbles lost – West Virginia Wesleyan: 0; West Virginia State: 0.

Time of Possession – West Virginia Wesleyan: 29:21; West Virginia State: 30:14.

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing

West Virginia Wesleyan – Mason Brubeck 7-16 (1 touchdown); Uriah Carvens 6-6; Zavier Price 7-6; Devin Taylor 1-(-6); Briar Wilfong 8-(-13). Totals 29-9 (1 touchdown).

West Virginia State – Dant’e Jones 16-69 (3 touchdowns); Donovan Riddick 10-47; Joe Street 3-31; Ibrahim Sesay 2-16; Dylan Lucas 6-14; Tavis McAdoo 2-4; Juwan Bunch 1-(-2); Tyrone Lyte 1-(-6). Totals 41-169 (3 touchdowns).

Passing

West Virginia Wesleyan – Wilfong 17-for-33 for 163, 0 touchdowns, 3 interceptions.

West Virginia State – Riddick 13-for-26 for 199 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions.

Receiving

West Virginia Wesleyan – Brubeck 5-57; Dana Young 4-24; Taylor 2-24; Evin Hurt 2-20; Tre Gulley 2-10; Kenny Lewis Jr. 1-18; C.J. Washington 1-10. Totals 17-163.

West Virginia State – Kee Cunningham 3-37; Luke Gadson 2-52; Barry Hill 2-46; Lyte 2-38; Lucas 2-6; Jones 1-19; Bunch 1-1. Totals 13-199 (1 touchdown).

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