November 26, 2012
Wesley feasts upon Cortland’s turnovers
DOVER, Del. — After handing host Wesley College a couple of early touchdowns off turnovers, SUNY Cortland appeared to have recovered from that staggering start to Saturday’s NCAA Division III second round playoff contest.
Down only 21-6 at halftime, the Red Dragons seemed poised for a possible football comeback at Scott Miller Stadium that would keep their post-season going.
But Wesley running back Steve Koudossou broke free for a 78-yard pass play touchdown in the opening minute of the second half to begin a run of 35 unanswered points that finished off a lopsided 56-6 victory for the Wolverines.
That halted a Cortland nine-game winning streak, as the New Jersey Athletic Conference regular season champions concluded a 9-2 campaign under head coach Dan MacNeill. The Red Dragons were kept out of the end zone for the first time all season, though kicker Mike DeBole did add to his single-season school record with a pair of field goals that gave the junior 16 successful boots this autumn.
Disaster arrived early for the Red Dragons, who would turn the ball over six times on the day.
On the third play of the game, senior quarterback Chris Rose’s deflected pass was picked off by Wesley free safety Mike Brandenburg and returned 22 yards for a touchdown. With only 46 seconds gone, the visitors were in a 7-0 hole.
On the Red Dragons’ ensuing possession, Rose was sacked by defensive end Devin Hardy and fumbled, with Wolverines linebacker Sosthene Kapepula scooping up that free ball and going 28 yards for the game’s second touchdown. With just over three minutes gone, and having yet to run an offensive play, Wesley had a 14-0 lead to work with.
Cortland battled on, as two scoring drives resulted in DeBole field goals. He made a 22-yard attempt in the first quarter to pull the Red Dragons within 14-3 and hit a career-best 38-yarder midway through the second quarter.
The latter kick came after Wesley had scored on a Koudossou 3-yard TD run on a 4th-and-1 play earlier in the quarter.
Any hopes for second half momentum vanished early after Cortland’s second half kickoff. Following a holding call on the first play from scrimmage in the half, Wesley quarterback Justin Sottilare connected with Koudossou for that 78-yard scoring strike that hiked the Wesley advantage to 28-6.
Wesley took advantage of a fumbled punt snap later in the quarter that set up a short 6-yard scoring rive capped by Chris Cummings’ fourth-down 1-yard run. Sottilare threw a 23-yard touchdown to Matt Barile in the third quarter and an 8-yard scoring strike to Matt Bundy in the fourth quarter.
Wesley running back Devar Robinson completed the scoring with a 34-yard scoring run with 12:57 remaining.
Sottilare finished 8-of-17 passing for 192 yards and three touchdowns and Askia Jahad rushed for 90 yards on 16 carries.
Wesley intercepted Cortland quarterbacks five times. Rose was 14-of-26 passing for 100 yards with four interceptions and sophomore Tyler Hughes finished 3-of-6 for 28 yards with one interception.
Junior tailback Justin Autera rushed 23 times for 65 yards, while sophomore wideout Kordel McInnis caught seven passes for 37 yards and senior Mike Humphrey made six catches for 59 yards.
Humphrey finishes his career ranked fourth at Cortland with 139 receptions, and his 69 catches this season were the second-most at Cortland behind John Babin’s 72 last fall.
Jared Morris, Terence Gavin and Jordan Wescott each finished with eight tackles for Wesley. Sean Hopkins intercepted two passes, with Wescott, Brandenburg and Payton Rose picking off one pass each.
Sophomore linebacker Tre Spaulding led Cortland with seven tackles. Sophomore cornerback Andrew Tolosi and senior defensive end Vaughn Labor recorded six tackles each. Labor also recovered a fumble — Wesley’s lone turnover.
Wesley out-gained Cortland in total offense, 360-194.
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