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Wheeling Falls To Frostburg State

Photo by Cody Nespor Wheeling running back Sy Alli ran for 114 yards but the Cardinals lost to Frostburg State 41-17 Saturday.

FROSTBURG, MD. – After failing to rush for 100 yards last week, the Wheeling University Football team (3-4, 3-3) got their running game back on track this week with 114 yards on the ground. However, it wasn’t enough as they fell to Frostburg State on Saturday 41-17.

At the start of the game, it was Wheeling that came out on fire, taking the ball 65 yards on six plays. They capped the drive off with a six-yard touchdown pass from Brennon Norris to Lowell Patron, and Wheeling was out to a 7-0 lead. Frostburg State would bounce right back, scoring a touchdown on the ensuing drive, and the game was tired 7-7 after one quarter of play. That 7-0 lead would be the only lead of the game for Wheeling, as the Bobcats scored 17 points in the second quarter. Wheeling was able to add a field goal, but it wasn’t enough as they went into halftime trailing 24-10.

The normally stout Wheeling defense didn’t have many answers for the Bobcats in the first half, However, the offense was still moving the ball well. Sy Alli was well on his way to his fourth 100-yard game in his last five games, but the air attack was put on hold. Wheeling was looking for a way to turn things around, and needed to get off to a hot start in the second half. The big problem for Wheeling was allowing big plays, and the defense was looking to shut things down. However, it was the Bobcats that had the momentum swing in their direction to start the second half.

Frostburg’s Zae Giles took the opening kick-off of the second half, and returned it 91-yards for a touchdown, bringing the score to 31-10 Bobcats. Wheeling looked like they would get the response they needed on the ensuing drive, taking the ball down to the Bobcats 17-yard line. However, they would be stopped and forced to turn the ball over on downs, ending the threat. Frostburg would add another touchdown at the end of the third quarter, and Wheeling found themselves down 38-10. The score all but put a cap in the game for Wheeling, but the offense would come up with one more drive.

That drive came at the end of the third quarter, when Wheeling drove down to the Bobcats 18 yard line. As the clock moved to the fourth quarter, Trent Jackson connected with Ryan LaFollette on a nine-yard touchdown pass that brought the game to it’s final score of 41-17. As an offense, Wheeling totaled 309 yards of offense with 187 through the air and 122 on the ground. The run game was an effective weapon for the Cardinals throughout the night, but the passing game wasn’t as strong as it had been the past few weeks.

Norris got the start at quarterback, and went 11-21, throwing for 140 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Jackson finished the night 3-6, throwing for 51 yards and a touchdown. Alli was the star of the offense, gaining 114 yards on 24 carries, with his longest run of the night going for 41 yards. Alli now sits at 669 rushing yards this season, and is on pace to rush for 1,000 this season. Patron was Wheeling’s top target, making five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown, while LaFollette pulled in two catches and a touchdown. Defensively, J.R. Atkinson led the way with seven tackles, and Josiah Wright added three tackles for loss.

The Wheeling University Football team is back in action next week, when they play their homecoming game against West Liberty at 1 PM.

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