Football (2-1) got its second win this weekend, besting Colby College at home in a back-and-forth affair that ended 24-21 in favor of Wesleyan. The Mules dropped to 0-3 with the loss. In a game with six lead changes, it was Devon Carrillo ’17 who came through for the Cardinals, hauling in a deep pass from Gernald Hawkins ’18 and running it in for the 35 yard score to complete the comeback. Carrillo carried the offensive load for the Cardinals, tallying 102 yards on four receptions, 54 yards on seven carries, and returning two punts for 33 yards.
Colby, coming into the game without a win and only nine points on the season, put up a surprising fight against Wesleyan. The Mules came out quick, putting together a 69-yard, 10-play drive to set up a 30-yard field goal on their opening possession. Wesleyan only managed 17 yards on seven plays in its first two drives. However, with 2:25 left in the quarter, the Cardinals drove down the field, with a 29-yard pass to Kris Luster ’17, followed by two wildcat runs of 12 and 14 yards from Carrillo, and found themselves on the one yard line. Jaylen Berry ’18 took it from there, punching the pigskin into the end zone for the touchdown, giving Wesleyan a 7-3 lead.
To begin the second quarter, Colby drove down the field against the Cardinals, mostly with short runs and passes. After Colby running back Carl Lipani ran to the Wesleyan 12-yard line for a first down, Wesleyan’s defense stifled the Mules, who went for it on fourth down at the five-yard line. However, safety Justin Sanchez ’17 broke up the pass, allowing the Cardinals to take over on downs.
Pinned on his own three-yard line after a holding penalty, Hawkins forced an ill-advised throw as Colby’s defenders barreled down on him in the end zone, and was intercepted by defensive back Patrick Yale, who returned the pick for a touchdown. Though the Mules failed on the extra point attempt, the score gave them a 9-7 lead.
However, on the last drive of the half, the Cardinals got to work and orchestrated a 16-play, 71-yard drive to set up an Ike Fuchs ’17 field goal as time expired, giving the home side a 10-9 lead going into halftime. On a fourth and two at the 19-yard line, Wesleyan gave the ball to Lou Stevens ’17, who converted the first down with a five-yard run. The drive also featured another long Carrillo rush, a 14-yard scramble by Hawkins, and a 12-yard pass to Ben Kurtz ’17.
Neither team recorded a score in the third quarter, as Wesleyan forced two punts and picked up a sack courtesy of Jeff DeMango ’18. For their part, the Mules blocked Fuchs’ 22-yard field goal and forced a punt. On the opening drive of the half, Hawkins found Carrillo twice on back-to-back passes, one for 12 yards and another for 44 yards, to give the Cardinals a first-and-goal at Colby’s eight-yard line. However, Colby stuffed Berry twice and then forced an incomplete pass from Hawkins before blocking Fuchs’ attempt.
The real fun began in the fourth quarter. Starting with great field position at the 35-yard line, the Cardinals eventually faced a fourth down, and Hawkins was not able to connect with Luster. The referees hit Colby with a roughing the passer penalty on the play, moving the Cardinals to the 13-yard line and giving the squad a fresh set of downs. After a short run by Stevens, Carrillo bounced left and scored from nine yards out, putting Wesleyan up 17-9.
The Mules responded with a touchdown the very next drive, closing the gap to two points, as Jabari Hurdle-Price rumbled into the end zone for a one yard score. The Colby defense then buckled down against Wesleyan, forcing a three-and-out. On the second play of Colby’s ensuing drive, Hurdle-Price broke off for a 65-yard touchdown run to take a 21-17 lead with four minutes left in the game.
Hawkins took over and quickly went to work on the next drive, completing a short pass before scrambling for 31 yards, bringing the ball down to Colby’s 31-yard line. After an illegal block penalty against the Cardinals and an incomplete pass, things looked bleak. But on the next play Hawkins spotted Carrillo streaking and fired a deep pass his way. The Cardinal star made the catch and sprinted into the end zone for the 35-yard touchdown, putting Wesleyan on top for good with 2:32 to go.
After allowing a first down, Wesleyan’s defense stonewalled Colby on their final drive. The Cardinals forced three consecutive incomplete passes, with Jon Spivey ’16 blanketing Colby’s receiver on its final down.
Wesleyan will try to make it three in a row next week, as they stay at home to host Bates (0-3) on Saturday, Oct. 17. The Cardinals recorded a win on the road against Bates last season, besting the Bobcats 24-10.