FDU-Florham Tops Wilkes, 32-28, for First Win of Season, 100th in Program History
The FDU-Florham Devils (1-3, 1-2 MAC) picked up their first victory of the 2016 season in thrilling fashion by beating the Wilkes University Colonels (1-4, 1-3 MAC) on a touchdown in the final minute of Saturday’s game in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The win is the 100th all-time in the history of the FDU-Florham football program.
Despite jumping out to a 13-0 first quarter lead, the Devils worked to fend off a spirited Wilkes team playing in front of a homecoming crowd. Wilkes cut the Devils’ lead to 19-14 at the half, and took a 28-26 advantage into what would be a dramatic fourth and final quarter.
Leading by two with 6:03 to play, the Colonels began a drive from their own 23-yard line. Senior QB Ryan Dailey completed three straight passes to move the ball to midfield. Another Dailey completion, followed by a roughing the passer penalty, resulted in a first and ten for the Colonels from the FDU 31. One more completed pass combined with several rushes by senior RB Jacob Brook brought the ball down to the FDU 17-yard line.
The Colonels would run Brook three consecutive plays before calling timeout to discuss a critical fourth and one from the 8-yard line with 1:01 left to play. On fourth down, the Devils’ defense held strong as junior DB Nathan Scales tackled Brook behind the line of scrimmage for a two-yard loss, turning the ball over to the Devils.
Taking over on offense with 56 seconds remaining in the game, sophomore signal caller Jagger Green found sophomore WR Michael Panzarino on back-to-back plays to advance the ball to the FDU 43. Following three straight incompletions, Green connected with Panzarino on fourth and ten to keep the drive, and FDU’s hopes, alive. A personal foul penalty on Wilkes tacked on an additional 15 yards, setting up the Devils with a first and ten from the Colonel’s 21. On the ensuing play, Green hit Panzarino one last time for 21 yards and the eventual game winning touchdown with three seconds left on the clock.
Senior WR Esaun Mobley hauled in nine catches for 145 yards and three scores, on his way to earning MAC Offensive Player of the Week honors. Green completed 32 of 48 passes for 361 yards and four touchdowns. Fellow sophomore RB Robert Young led the Devils’ ground attack, piling up 61 yards on 12 carries.
Isaiah Turner matched Mobley by taking home MAC Defensive Player of the Week honors. The sophomore LB tallied 19 total tackles, tying a school record, including eight solo tackles and 5.5 tackles for a loss. He also had 1.5 sacks. Senior defensive lineman Ryan Sullivan added two sacks.
The Devils look to keep the momentum going when they host the Warriors of Lycoming College (2-3, 1-3 MAC) this Saturday in Madison. Game time is 1 p.m. at Robert T. Shields Field.
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