Wesleyan shuts out football 35-0

Football (5–3) was shut out by Wesleyan on Saturday in Middletown, Conn. The Cardinals got on the scoreboard with their first offensive possession and never looked back, downing the Ephs 35-0.

The Cardinals, who have both the NESCAC’s leading passer, quarterback Mark Piccirillo, and leading receiver, Mike Breuler, displayed their offensive skills on the first drive.

Wesleyan marched 73 yards on 14 plays in a drive that lasted 8:28 and ended with Piccirillo running two yards for a score.

Throughout the first half, the Williams offense struggled. After allowing the initial touchdown, though, the Williams defense played strong for the rest of the half considering how much the men were on the field.

The second Wesleyan touchdown came as the Cardinals capitalized on a Williams fumble. Wesleyan drove 57 yards on nine plays, and Piccirillo scored his second two-yard rushing touchdown to give the home side a 14-0 lead.

Wesleyan’s third touchdown of the first half also came after a Williams turnover. Ben Thaw intercepted a pass from Bobby Maimaron ’21 at the Ephs’ 46-yard line and the Cardinals’ offense took over with just 39 seconds remaining in the half.

Piccirillo went to the air, and his fourth completion of the drive resulted in a five-yard touchdown catch by Hallvard Lundevall, which put the Cardinals up 21-0 at the break.

Wesleyan tacked on two fourth quarter touchdowns, one through the air and one on the ground to make the final 35-0. Piccirillo tossed a 20-yard scoring strike to AJ Girard for the fourth touchdown in the game, and then the Cardinals’ Glenn Smith ran six yards with just under 11 minutes remaining for the final tally.

The Ephs generated just 127 yards in total offense on the day with 51 yards coming through the air while Wesleyan gained 455 on the day, including 272 passing yards.

Linebacker Jarrett Wesner ’21 was the Ephs’ top tackler on the day with 13 stops. Brandon Morris led the Wesleyan defense with eight tackles.

“We are a team that likes playing at home,” co-captain Chris Hattar ’18 said. “The way we rebound is just that we do what we do every week. We come out to practice and work. We haven’t had a bad practice this whole year, and one game doesn’t change our outlook on how we define ourselves.”

On Saturday, the men will host archrival Amherst in “The Biggest Little Game in America.” The Homecoming game is the season finale for both teams, and it will start at noon on Farley-Lamb Field.