Breaking News:

So Much Sports Baltimore has officially shut down on August 7, 2017, but would like to thank all of our readers, writers and everybody who helped make this website possible.

Mustangs stunned by Wilkes for first loss

Ed Hottle's defense was continually troubled by Wilkes' ability to get big yards on plays that seem busted as Colonels quarterback Jose Tabora used his legs to extend plays until somebody got open.

Ed Hottle’s defense was continually troubled by Wilkes’ ability to get big yards on plays that seem busted as Colonels quarterback Jose Tabora used his legs to extend plays until somebody got open.

When not even two minutes had gone of the clock and the Stevenson football team was already ahead 14-0, it wasn’t even thought to be a possibility that they would be caught in a battle with the Wilkes Colonels, but Stevenson’s defense really struggled in the game as the Colonels pulled off a stunning 38-35 upset at Owings Mills Stadium.

“Give all the credit to them; they took advantage of our mistakes, made plays when they had to make plays, they continually were able to move the chains to a total of 500 yards of total offense,” Stevenson head coach Ed Hottle said. “Any time you give up yards like that, you give up third downs like we did today, you’re going to struggle to win football games. All the credit to them, they got their kids ready and executed a well thought-out gameplan.”

On the first play of the game Mustang senior cornerback Austin Tennessee jumped an out-route and picked Wilkes quarterback Jose Tabora off. Stevenson set up just 33 yards away from the endzone and it only took one play to get there. On the second play of the game, with four Stevenson receivers set up on the left side in a diamond formation, Preston Addo was all by himself on the right and exploited the mismatch. Dan Williams threw the ball down the field, caught Addo in stride with no defender around him and he coasted into the endzone for the score.

Stevenson then held Wilkes to negative yards on a three-and-out. Wilkes punt was tipped, went only 18 yards before landing out of bounds and set the Mustangs up again inside the 40 yard line.

Once again, it didn’t take long for Stevenson to score. On just their second play of the drive, Williams tossed the ball to Tyler Cherigo on a fade route down the middle and he finished with an easy run into the endzone for the 27-yard score.

The Mustangs had a 14-0 lead 1:54 into the game.

A dominant performance by Stevenson was expected considering they had been completely handling their opponents all season long, and the Colonels have been going through a trying season and were just 2-6 overall heading into the game.

But with nothing to lose and only an ability to play spoiler to the Mustangs effort for an undefeated season, Wilkes’ put up a gutsy performance. The Colonels held Stevenson scoreless for over 38 minutes and scored 21-straight points to take a lead midway through the third quarter.

Midway through the first quarter, Tabora hit William Deemer in stride with a perfectly-thrown ball over a Mustangs defender for a 42-yard touchdown pass. Wilkes successfully converted an onside kick, but that wasn’t where they capitalized.

Stevenson held Wilkes out of the endzone for the rest of the first quarter but late in the second quarter Tabora completed a pass to sophomore Jeff Steeber. The sophomore receiver broke several tackles down the sideline for a 48-yard gain before being taken down at the three yard line. Tabora ran it in on a designed sneak from the shotgun formation to tie the game.

Wilkes quickly got back up the field with a 40-yard punt return by Jacob Kadis and a 25-yard pass to Jacob Brook down the right sideline put the Colonels in the redzone, but Stevenson’s defense held strong and they had a little bit of fortune with Mike Hauck missing a field goal to keep the game tied 14-14 at halftime.

But Stevenson didn’t have an immediate turnaround out of the intermission. It seemed they did when Tennessee easily settled under a floating ball thrown down field by Tabora. Then a 39-yard pass to Addo got the Mustangs on the 13-yard line, but Williams made a bad pass, trying to hit a receiver on a short corner route in the endzone. Jordan Stiles easily picked the pass off, took it all the way down the field to the one yard line. Tabora quickly ran into the endzone to give Wilkes an improbable 21-14 lead.

Williams’ wasn’t rattled by the mistake, though. He came right back, took his team down the field with a 44-yard pass to Devin Salisbury to get to the 20 yard line and capped off the drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Addo to tie the game again.

Wilkes did get back ahead with a field goal before the end of the third quarter.

The Mustangs were able to score on back-to-back drives to open the fourth quarter to create a little bit of space. A quick five play drive went 52 yards for Stevenson with Devin Williams capping the drive off with a one-yard touchdown run. Then after forcing a three-and-out, a 48-yard touchdown pass to Dequan Ellison on just the third play of the drive gave Stevenson a 35-24 lead with 10:23 remaining.

Wilkes just wouldn’t go away, though. Tabora finished the game with over 400 yards passing and the team continually picked up huge yards while improvising on busted plays. Over the next five minutes, the Colonels went 65 yards with Tabora hitting Zach Bogoly for a 14-yard touchdown pass. After a successful two-point conversion, Wilkes was only a field goal behind Stevenson.

“They went to some run, pass-option stuff, which caused our linebackers some problems in coverage,” Hottle said. “Their quarterback did a great job of scrambling around and guys on the back-end did a great job of finding space.”

With 1:13 remaining, Tabora threw a lob into the endzon to Aaron Coyne. The ball hung in the air with two Mustang defenders there, but it dropped over both and into Coyne’s grasp to give the Colonels a late lead.

Stevenson’s special teams unit came up big to spring Addo for a 63-yard return on the ensuing kickoff, but the offense was unable to go anything on the possession and a 33-yard field goal that would have tied the game was missed wide left.

With only one timeout and 38 seconds left, Stevenson couldn’t prevent Wilkes from kneeling down to run out the clock.

Despite the loss, the Mustangs still control their own destiny as a win next week at Lycoming would clinch the Middle Atlantic Conference and a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in the program’s short history.

“There is still a lot of play for. We still have a chance to win the conference and still have a chance to go to the national tournament. It’s hard to go undefeated; that’s a hard, hard thing to do,” Hottle said. “I think our guys learned a valuable lesson and they have to go up and play a Lycoming team that is struggling a little bit of late but I tell them all the time ‘anybody can beat anybody any given day’ and that’s the reality of college football. You’ve got to prepare the same every week you go out. I don’t think we did that today and that starts with me. I’ll be the first guy to look in the mirror and take responsibility to not be ready to play.”

The following two tabs change content below.

Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

Latest posts by Corey Johns (see all)

Comments are closed.