JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – The West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcat football program went on the road today to play up a level against the FCS East Tennessee State Buccaneers in a non-conference contest at Kermit Tipton Stadium.
The Bobcats played well at times but had too many self-inflicted wounds as they dropped a 38-7 decision.
Wesleyan committed nine penalties for 82 yards and had some big offensive plays called back. They also coughed the ball up twice in the second half.
"You can't play up a level and play down on the field," remarked head coach Del Smith. "We looked like an undisciplined team tonight."
Smith, who was celebrating a birthday on Thursday, watched his Bobcats fall behind by a 21-0 score with the first half approaching its end.
Following East Tennessee State's third score, Wesleyan took over the ball at their own 32 with 54 seconds left.
Quarterback Ryan Deal found Michael Anderson out of the back field for an eight-yard gain, and following an incompletion, Deal hit Zach Schademan for a 36-yard pass down the left sideline that put the ball at the ETSU 24-yard line.
A four-yard pass to Schademan placed the ball the ETSU 20-yard line with the Bobcats taking a time out with 11 seconds left in the half.
Deal then connected on a six-yard pass to Marcus Smith for 10 yards to the ETSU 10-yard line with seven seconds remaining.
Another completion to Smith for six yards marked the ball at the ETSU four-yard line. Smith was able to get out of bounds with four seconds left.
On the final play of the half, Deal went to the right corner of the end zone and found Ian Waddell for the four-yard scoring strike.
Tyler Fischer was good on the point-after-kick to make it a 21-7 score at the half.
East Tennessee State took the second-half kick-off and marched 51 yards in nine plays.
They managed to get three points out of the drive as J. J. Jerman kicked a 37-yard field goal.
Wesleyan moved the ball all the way down to the ETSU 17-yard line on their next possession, but turned the ball over on a fumble.
ETSU took advantage of the fumble and went 81 yards on four plays for a score to take a 31-7 lead.
Wesleyan fumbled away the ensuing kick-off giving ETSU the ball the Bobcat 18-yard line.
Three plays later they scored again to make it a 38-7 game.
"I thought we put together a nice drive to end the half to get on the scoreboard, and then had a nice drive to open the second half but we turned the ball over inside the redzone," Smith concluded. "We simply had too many mistakes tonight."
Wesleyan was limited to 199 yards of total offense.
Anderson was held to a season-low 53 yard on 12 carries. He had 28 rushing yards wiped out by Wesleyan penalties.
Deal had an efficient evening completing 19 of his 27 passes for 169 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
Schademan caught seven passes for 85 yard to lead the Wesleyan receivers.
Pharaon had 13 tackles and 3.5 tackles for a loss while Grayson had 12 tackles.
Wesleyan dropped to 2-6 overall.
They will return to action next Saturday, Oct. 29 when they host the University of Charleston Golden Eagles in a Mountain East Conference game.