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Cardinals take down Bobcats at Garcelon Field

Bates senior Greg Thornton (3) rushed for 30 of his 34 yards in the first half before giving way to junior Judd Smith, who gained 59 yards in the second half. 

LEWISTON, Maine -- Wesleyan University rolled to its first win of the 2008 football season on Saturday at Garcelon Field in a 35-8 decision over Bates. The Cardinals are now 1-3, while the Bobcats drop to 0-4.






Wesleyan dominated the first half with 231 yards of offense in building a 28-0 lead at intermission. Bates played it even in the second half after Wesleyan was comfortably in the lead, and Wesleyan finished the game with a total offense advantage of 329 yards to 207 for Bates.

The Cardinals rushed for a season-high 199 yards, with Vince Miller going for 80 yards and a touchdown on 8 carries, Greg McDonough gaining 38 yards and 2 TDs on 8 carries, and quarterback Blake DuBois gaining another 28 yards with 1 TD on 8 carries. DuBois also completed 13 of 22 passes for 141 yards, including a 10-yard touchdown strike to Kevin Leamy (6 receptions, 42 yards) in the first quarter.

The Cardinals assembled touchdown-scoring drives of 81 yards on 12 plays in the first quarter, and 85 yards on 10 plays in the second quarter to build a 14-0 lead. They got the ball again on a Bates fumble on the Bobcats' ensuing possession, taking the ball over at the Bates 28 and finishing it off with a 3-yard TD run by McDonough to make it 21-0. The Cardinals picked off a pass by Bates first-year quarterback Ryan Katon (Durham, Conn.) and were unable to convert it into a score, but a stalled Bates offense resulted in the Bobcats punting from deep in their own territory, enabling Wesleyan to take the ball over inside the Bates 40, jump-starting a fourth scoring drive that was capped by Miller's 23-yard touchdown run.

Wesleyan opened the third quarter with a 59-yard scoring drive, capped by a McDonough 2-yard scoring run, to put the game out of reach at 35-0.

Junior running back Judd Smith (Milton, Mass.) gave the Bobcats an offensive spark in the second half, rushing 14 times for 59 yards and a 2-yard touchdown after not touching the ball in the first half. Smith's scoring run was followed by a 2-point conversion run by junior Tom Beaton (West Newbury, Mass.), the point-after-attempt kick holder, who picked the ball up after a mishandled snap and outraced Wesleyan defenders to the corner of the end zone to make it 35-8 with 11:45 left in the game. Bates' touchdown capped a 12-play, 72-yard drive that began in the third quarter.

The Bobcats sustained another long drive on their next possession, advancing 65 yards on 17 plays before stalling out at the Wesleyan 23 when sophomore QB Ryan Larsen (Hull, Mass.) was sacked by Mandela Kazi.

Katon completed 9 of 16 passes for 77 yards with an interception for Bates before giving way to Larsen late in the game. Larsen completed 3 of 9 passes for 22 yards.

Bates sophomore Myles Walker (Needham, Mass.) had a game-high 8 tackles, while junior Kyle McAllister (Exeter, N.H.) notched 7. Seth Gregory and Cyprian Oyomba each had 7 tackles for Wesleyan, including a sack and two tackles for loss for Gregory. Cameron Davila picked off Katon for the game's lone interception.

Beaton completed his one pass of the game for 7 yards, also catching 4 passes for 33 yards and rushing for 9 more yards. Senior Greg Thornton (Norwell, Mass.) rushed 10 times for 34 yards. Junior Bill Jennings (Marshfield, Mass.) had a second straight week of effective kickoff returning, taking back five Wesleyan kicks for 121 yards (24.2 average), in addition to making 3 tackles at cornerback.

Bates will play at Middlebury next week at 1 p.m., before returning home to host Colby during Homecoming Weekend. Wesleyan will host Amherst next Saturday at 1 p.m.

Complete Statistics: Wesleyan 35, Bates 8