BUCKHANNON – West Virginia Wesleyan trailed in their game with the Notre Dame College Falcons for only 3:39, unfortunately for the Bobcats it was the final 3:39 of their Mountain East Conference contest today at Cebe Ross Field.
On a day when Wesleyan honored 24 seniors playing their final game, the Bobcats came up just short in a 26-21 decision.
Wesleyan scored on their first possession of the game taking over at their own 17 following a Notre Dame punt.
Three rushes netted seven yards for Wesleyan and then Deal floated a pass into the end zone that Zach Schademan (pictured) ran under and caught for a 24-yard scoring play with 7:40 on the first-quarter clock.
Tyler Fischer's kick was good as Wesleyan took a 7-0 lead.
A 29-yard touchdown pass from Malik Grove to B. J. Baldwin tied the game for Notre Dame with 8:52 remaining in the half.
It took Wesleyan just five plays and slightly over two minutes to answer that score.
Deal then ran for 11 yards and then tossed a 38-yard pass to Schademan that put the ball at the Notre Dame four-yard line.
Jerel English capped off the drive with a four-yard run with 6:21 left in the second half.
Fischer was again true on his kick to give Wesleyan a 14-7 lead.
Notre Dame tied the game right before the half as Grove hit Mitchell Shegos with a 37-yard touchdown pass.
The game went the half tied at 14-14.
The game remained at 14-14 until Ian Waddell scored on a 33-yard pass from Deal with 6:13 showing on the third-quarter clock.
Fischer was again good on his kick as Wesleyan took a 21-14 lead.
Notre Dame scored on their next drive when Darius Johnson hauled in a four-yard pass with 20 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
Kyle Kaplan shanked the extra point wide left as Wesleyan still owned a 21-20 lead.
Notre Dame took the lead with 3:39 remaining in the game.
Grove sprinted to his left and found a wide open B. J. Baldwin for a 40-yard scoring strike.
Notre Dame went for two, but Grove's pass fell incomplete as Notre Dame took a 26-21 lead.
Wesleyan picked up one first down on their next drive, but Deal was unable to hook up with Waddell on a fourth and 14 play.
The Bobcats totaled 359 yards of offense.
Anderson, who was limited with an injury in the second quarter, was held to a season low 35 yards.
Anderson finished the year as the MEC's top rusher, ending the season with 1,417 yards on the ground.
Deal completed 19 of his 30 passes for 272 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Schademan caught five passes for 81 yards while Waddell caught four passes for 85 yards. Both receivers caught a touchdown.
Jabari Weems picked off his league-leading sixth interception.
Wesleyan ended the year with a 4-7 record overall and a 4-6 MEC mark.
Four of their seven losses were by five or fewer points.
Notre Dame ended their year with a 9-2 record.
(Photo courtesy of Peter Galarneau Jr.)