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Wesleyan QB leads Cardinals past Bobcats

Kyle McAllister '10

Judd Smith '10

Tom Beaton '10

Greg Thornton '09

Ryan Larsen '11

Sean Wirth '10

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Senior quarterback Zach Librizzi ran nine times for 121 yards, including scoring runs of 79 and 17 yards, and completed 13 of 22 passes for 173 yards and two TDs to pace Wesleyan (3-1) to a 41-21 win over Bates (0-4) Saturday at Andrus Field. In compiling 294 yards of total offense himself, Librizzi carried the Cardinals to 461 yards on the afternoon.

Wesleyan broke away from a 7-7 tie after one period by scoring 21 unanswered points in the second quarter. Librizzi capped a six-play, 63-yard march by weaving through the middle for 17 yards and a 14-7 Wesleyan edge with 14:14 to go before halftime.  On the Cardinals' next possession, Librizzi faked a handoff to running back Shea Dwyer to the left and kept it up the right sideline, going 79 yards untouched to make it 21-7 at 11:14.  A 23-yard burst by sophomore Lane Kirshe finished off the day's most impressive series, a 15-play, 90-yard drive that consumed 6:22 to make it 28-7 with 2:07 remaining in the second period.  Kirshe finished the day with 65 yards on eight carries while Dwyer added 97 yards on 18 attempts.

Bates used a 38-yard interception return to the Wesleyan 30 by sophomore Kyle McAllister (Exeter, N.H.) to set up its second TD, a two-yard run by sophomore Judd Smith (Milton, Mass.).  Wesleyan then added two more scores to pad the lead to 41-14 as junior Kevin Leamy caught a nine-yard Librizzi offering for a TD to close out the third-quarter scoring and freshman Justin Freres intercepted a senior Brandon Colon (Manchester, N.H.) pass in the defensive right front edge of the end zone, moved up the near sideline, cut through the middle and ended up going 100 yards for the second-longest interception return for a TD in Wesleyan history.

Bates finished off the scoring with 1:15 left on a 21-yard connection from freshman Ryan Larsen (Hull, Mass.) to sophomore Sean Wirth (Barrington, R.I.) -- the second touchdown in two weeks for the tight end.

Wesleyan struck first in the contest on a 47-yard TD by Dwyer on a screen pass to the left as he broke an initial tackle attempt at the 40 and moved in from there.  That came at 4:53 of the first quarter.  Dwyer led Wesleyan in catches with five for 86 yards.  Bates responded on its next possession by going 63 yards on 11 plays to knot the game on Smith's five-yard run.

Bates gained 378 yards in the game, with sophomore Tom Beaton (West Newbury, Mass.) leading the way as both a quarterback, taking six direct snaps for runs amounting to 37 yards, and receiver, making four catches for 64 yards. Junior running back Greg Thornton (Norwell, Mass.) gained 51 yards on 12 carries, leading Bates' way to 201 yards on the ground. Senior captain Todd Wilcox (Brentwood, N.H.) led the team with nine tackles.

Wesleyan won its third game in a row this year, its first three-game win streak since a 5-3 season in 2002.

The Bobcats return home for Homecoming Weekend on Oct. 20 with a game against Middlebury (3-1).

BOX SCORE: Wesleyan 41, Bates 21