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North Carolina Wesleyan Football Escapes Emory & Henry, 31-24, In Overtime Saturday

Derrick Yates battles a defender after a catch.
-photo courtesy of Dave Grace

EMORY, Va. – The North Carolina Wesleyan College Football Team (1-0) rallied from an 11-point second quarter deficit and overcame five turnovers on its way to a 31-24 overtime victory over Emory & Henry College (0-1) Saturday afternoon in the 2019 season opener for both squads.

It was the first overtime game for E&H since 1997 when the Wasps defeated the Panthers of Ferrum College by a 13-10 score in a contest that took four extra periods.

The Basics
FINAL SCORE – North Carolina Wesleyan 31, Emory & Henry 24
LOCATION – Emory, Virginia
VENUE – Nicewonder Field at Fred Selfe Stadium
RECORDS – Emory & Henry (0-1, 0-0 ODAC); North Carolina Wesleyan (1-0, 0-0 USA South)

How It Happened
- After a scoreless 15 minutes, the Battling Bishops crossed the goal line on the first place of the second quarter as Donielle Totten found Jai Irvin with a nine-yard pass. The score would sit at 6-0 after junior defensive back Daniel Flowe (Fredericksburg, Va.) blocked the extra point.
- E&H took a 7-6 lead with 8:26 to go before the break when junior wideout Max Yates (Abingdon, Va.) caught a pass from junior quarterback Colin Ellis (West Jefferson, N.C.) from five yards out.
- The Wasps made it 10-6 at the 4:18 mark of the second on a 21-yard field goal from senior Matt Seals (Rogersville, Tenn.) and extended their lead to 17-6 as Ellis ran one in from three yards out with 2:15 on the second-quarter clock.
- North Carolina Wesleyan scored 18 in a row starting with a 27-yard catch by Kevin Alford from Totten for a 17-12 halftime margin.
- NCWC added a 30-yard touchdown reception by Kevin Black in the third and another score by Alford early in the fourth to make the score 24-17.
- Emory & Henry put together a 10-play, 88-yard drive to tie the contest at 24 points apiece with 38 seconds remaining as senior wide receiver Derrick Yates (Abingdon, Va.) hauled in a 12-yard throw from Ellis to force overtime.
- In the extra period, Totten hit Tyler Roberts with a pass on the second play from scrimmage to give the Bishops a 31-24 lead. The Wasps quickly got inside the 10 on their ensuing possession, but an interception by Antonio Johnson put an end to the game.

Emory & Henry Individual Leaders
- Ellis went 19-for-32 for 269 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start. He found five different receivers on the afternoon with Derrick Yates as his favorite target. The senior hauled in nine catches for 137 yards and a score.
- Freshman running back T.J. Tester (Moneta, Va.) rushed for 56 yards on 16 carries to lead the ground game.
- Sophomore linebacker Ivan Phillips (Kingsport, Tenn.) posted a team-high 12 tackles including 1.5 for a loss of nine yards while Flowe had seven stops, a forced fumble, an interception and a blocked kick.
- Sophomore defensive back Jay Kreimes (Sharps, Va.) picked off a pass and returned it 48 yards, breaking up a second throw, while junior defensive lineman Deondre Chambliss (Chattanooga, Tenn.) got an interception of his own.

North Carolina Wesleyan Individual Leaders
- Totten threw for 365 yards and four touchdowns on 25-for-41 passing despite three interceptions. He hit eight different players on the day with Irvin catching seven balls for 111 yards and a score.
- Jeff Black ran for a game-high 78 yards and scored a touchdown while Darian Curley had 62 yards on the ground.
- Antonio Johnson led all players with 13 tackles, adding a sack and the game-ending interception. Christian Shaw and Isaiah Williams had six tackles apiece.

A Deeper Look
- The Battling Bishops outgained the Wasps, 507-345, in the game with NCWC earning 365 yards and four touchdowns through the air.
- Emory & Henry won the turnover battle, 5-2, and outscored N.C. Wesleyan, 17-7 on points off turnovers.
- NCWC earned 23 first downs and averaged 6.9 yards per play, compared to 13 first downs and 5.3 yards per play for E&H.

 Up Next
- Emory & Henry will be off next Saturday for its scheduled bye week. The Wasps will be back in action on Saturday, September 21 when they open Old Dominion Athletic Conference play at Randolph-Macon College. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.