November 1, 2014

Widener Football - 12th Ranked Pride make big plays late in 34-23 victory over Stevenson

Photo courtesy of Widener Sports Information
Chester, PA (Nov. 1, 2014) – No. 12 Widener made the key plays when it had to and stayed undefeated with a 34-23 Middle Atlantic Conference victory over Stevenson at Leslie C. Quick Jr. Stadium.

The unusual score of 2-0 at quarter time came courtesy of the game’s second drive. Widener seniorMichael Bennett (Maple Glen, PA) punted the ball to the five yard line and three plays later, Stevenson running back Trey Lee was tackled by senior John DiBiase (Mount Laurel, NJ) in the end zone for a safety with 12:11 left.

The continued struggle to gain field position took a big turn in the second quarter when Bennett’s punt was muffed and recovered by senior Ka’Shawn Garnes (Poughkeepsie, NY) at the 35 yard line. The Pride drove and went to the bag of tricks as senior All-America Anthony Davis (Upland, PA/Chester) hit sophomore Montrell Hicks-Taylor (Newark, DE) on a 13-yard scoring pass for a 9-0 lead.

It was Davis’ second touchdown pass of the season.

The Mustangs did not have to wait long for its first score as Devonte Williams returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown with 9:34 remaining and a 9-7 deficit. It was Williams’ first appearance at Quick Stadium since he was named the MAC Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Rookie of the Year last May.

The Pride got back on track during the next march, going 66 yards in 13 plays than ended when juniorRyan O’Hara (Royersford, PA) booted a 27-yard field goal for a 12-7 lead.

Widener’s defense, which entered the game ranked first in the country in rushing, shut down Stevenson and forced it into a huge turnover. The Mustangs tried their own trick play with wide receiver Anthony Reid throwing a pass, but senior Ameer Sorrell (Port Norris, NJ) intercepted it and ran 69 yards down the left sideline for the touchdown with 3:06 left in the half and a 19-7 cushion.

The Mustangs gained some momentum before halftime when Jeff Farrah hit Reid on a seven-yard scoring pass with 15 seconds left for a 19-13 margin.

Stevenson got a 21-yard field goal from Tim Sternfeld for a 19-16 deficit early in the third quarter, but Widener was there for an answer on the next drive. Sophomore Seth Klein (Wernersville, PA) found Hicks-Taylor on a 38-yard pass to the 14 yard line and senior Terrant Morrison (Smyrna, DE) two plays later took it in from seven yards for a 26-16 margin.

The Pride then got their second safety of the game with 7:39 remaining in the third when Farrah committed an intentional grounding penalty in the end zone, making the score 28-16.

Backup quarterback Daniel Williams came into the came for Stevenson and gave the team hope, especially on fourth and goal at the 11 when he hit Devonte Williams on a pass over the middle with 9:32 left for a 28-23 game.

Stevenson (5-3, 4-3 MAC) then got the ball back after Bennett’s punt was downed at the four yard line with6:46 to go. But the offense did nothing and was forced to punt after junior Stacey Sunnerville (Freehold, NJ) and senior Tyler Glover (Darby, PA/Penn Wood) sacked Williams at the one.

The Pride’s clinching drive belonged to Morrison, gaining all 36 yards on five rushes that included a four-yard burst with 3:35 to go for the final score.

Morrison had another solid game with 23 carries for 150 yards and his third career two-touchdown game. It also was his second game this year with over 100 yard.

Klein completed 16-of-28 passes for 198 yards and two scores with Davis adding four catches for 72 yards for the Pride, who closed with a 426-216 edge in total offense.

The defense should remain number one after yielding minus-13 rushing yards and forcing four turnovers, moving its season total to 23. Senior Kevin Burns (Collingdale, PA/West Catholic) had 11 tackles with two sacks, Glover posted 2 1/2 sacks and sophomore Sean Titus (Lancaster, PA) got two interceptions for Widener, which has 14 interceptions on the year after getting three today.

Daniel Williams played great in relief, completing 11-of-24 passes for 142 yards with Reid catching seven passes for 51 yards. Tim Campbell had a great game at linebacker for Stevenson with 11 tackles.

Widener (8-0, 7-0) is undefeated this late in the year for the second time in three seasons and is 8-0 for the eighth time in school history.

The win also makes first-year coach Mike Kelly the first coach in program history to go unbeaten in his first eight games. Dutch Sommer went 5-0-2 during his only season in 1913.

Widener hits the road next Saturday to visit King’s for a 1:00 pm kickoff in Wilkes-Barre, PA.