September 5, 2015

Kempa Totals Two Interceptions as Stevenson Defeat N.C. Wesleyan, 20-9

Photo Courtesy of Stevenson Athletics
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. - Making his first career start, Stevenson football senior Brady Kempa totaled nine tackles and two interceptions as the Mustangs defeated N.C. Wesleyan, 20-9, in the season opener Friday night at Bishop Stadium.
The Mustangs (1-0) have won three-straight season openers and improve to 3-2 all-time while also improving to 4-0 in program history in night contests. Three of those wins have come against N.C. Wesleyan with the first coming against Christopher Newport in the first-ever win on Sep. 10, 2013.

After the defense forced a three and out to start the game, the Stevenson offense drove 74 yards in 2:18 to put the visitors on the board first. Senior Neil Harps scored his second career touchdown on an 11-yard touchdown pass from sophomore Jeff Farrah.
Malik Adams totaled 43 yards on the ensuing kickoff to advance the Bishops (0-1) to the Stevenson 37. N.C. Wesleyan would get down to the Mustangs 10-yard line but could not get in the end zone and settled for a field goal.
Adams totaled 109 yards on two kickoff returns, including a long of 66.
The two teams would combine for just 71 yards over the final 9:23 of the first quarter. Stevenson totaled 245 total offense in the game compared to 316 for the Bishops.
Following a 28-yard field goal by junior Tim Sternfeld with 3:57 remaining in the opening half, Kempa totaled his first interception of the night, running it back 23 yards to the Bishops 24 yard line. The Mustangs would make good on the turnover as Farrah found junior Cortez Taylor in the end zone on the very next play.
With 13 seconds remaining in the second quarter, Robbie Lanier found Adams for N.C. Wesleyan's only touchdown of the night. Junior Austin Tennessee blocked the extra-point to give Stevenson a 17-9 halftime lead.
After managing just 13 yards on offense in their first five possessions of the second half, it was the Mustangs defense that helped produce scoring. Senior Resheed Lashley forced a strip sack on Lanier and senior Razonte Dunn recovered the ball on the Bishops 13 yard line for the second of three Bishop turnovers.
Sternfeld extended the lead to 13 with his second field goal of the game with 2:01 left in the third quarter.
N.C. Wesleyan threatened to score early in the fourth quarter, but Kempa came up with another interception, this time returning it 26 yards. However, the Mustangs were unable to convert and would finish the game with seven-straight three and outs.
The defense held the Bishops to 0-for-4 on fourth downs and 116 rushing yards on 47 carries. Stevenson would also total five sacks, including two by junior Cory Pietrzyk who finished with a game-high 10 tackles, nine of which were solo.
Farrah finished 11-for-27 for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, sophomore Naquan Watkins totaled 89 yards on 13 carries in his first career start after appearing in just one game a season ago.
Stevenson returns to action on Saturday, September 12 when the Mustangs host a Middle Atlantic Conference game versus Lycoming in the home opener. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.