The Class A-Private defending state champs held off Wesleyan for the second time this season and cruise into the semifinals undefeated.
The Chargers were able to rack up their points with a more than effective running game. All five of their touchdowns were scored on the ground and they ran a total of 351 yards with 204 yards coming in the opening half. Trevor Gear had 28 carries for a total of 176 yards and one touchdown, while Josh Mays found the endzone twice while netting 78 yards off 12 carries. Teammate Justin Maynard had a touchdown to add to his 35-yard night and Brayden Rush carried the ball 12 times for 49 yards and a score.
The Chargers’ last meeting with the Wolves came on September 30th in Wesleyan’s territory and the result was a narrow 34-31 victory. While they were able to grab the win, Chargers head coach Jonathan Gess said the Wolves exposed weaknesses that the team has worked hard to fix in the six games since. “Wesleyan found flaws in our pass coverage and just the way we communicate defensively. We just didn’t play very well from a schematic standpoint last time,” admitted Gess following the victory. Gess, however saw his team “clicking on all cylinders” in the quarterfinals rout.
The Wolves put themselves on the scoreboard early with two field goals made in the first quarter courtesy of Mateo Rengifo, but were unable to score again until the third quarter with a touchdown by Banks Ramsey.
“We just wanted to force them to throw the check down and not the deep ball,” explained Gess. “That was our plan.”
Linebacker Johnathan Youngblood picked off a pass from Ramsey in the fourth quarter while also recovering an ELCA forced fumble to headline the defensive dominance.