Photo by Kentucky Wesleyan's Ken Badylak
(OWENSBORO, Ky.) – A second quarter outburst gave Walsh the boost it needed in overpowering Kentucky Wesleyan 56-29 in G-MAC action Saturday afternoon. The Cavaliers (1-5, 1-1 G-MAC) pounded the ball for over 400 yards on the ground in the win against the Panthers (1-4, 0-0 G-MAC).
Seven of the Cavs' touchdowns came on the ground with Antwand Wilson, Paris Salas, and Koby Adu-Poku all scoring multiple times. Wilson had the most of the group with three and started the scoring with the first touchdown of the game on a 2-yard run to cap the opening drive.
Wilson was just getting started. After Kentucky Wesleyan answered with the next 16 points, Wilson scored his second, this time from 5-yards out, with 6:53 to go in the second quarter. On the Panthers' next drive, Steven Hambel forced Wesleyan's Derek Barnes to fumble and Leondre Crosby was able to recover and return it 71 yards to the 4-yard line.
Paris Salas scored on the next play to give Walsh a 21-16 lead following Kasey Tingler's PAT. After a 3-and-out on the Panthers' next drive, the Cavaliers took control of the game after Wilson scored his third touchdown from 15 yards out.
Crosby set up Walsh's next touchdown by blocking Kentucky Wesleyan's punt on the next drive. Daizon Earl picked up the loose ball and raced 37 yards to pay dirt to put Walsh up 35-16 at the half.
The next touchdown came on Walsh's longest drive of the season. After forcing the Panthers to punt to start the second half, the Cavaliers crafted an 18-play, 96-yard drive for another touchdown. This time Koby Adu-Poku reached the end zone on a 3-yard carry.
That put Walsh up 42-16. Wesleyan answered with another touchdown, but Salas and Adu-Poku both scored the next two touchdowns from 1-yard and 26-yards out, respectively, before KWC's final score.
Salas led the Cavalier attack with 143 yards on 22 carries. Adu-Poku also reached the century mark with 103 yards and 14 carries.
With the rushing attack in high gear, the passing attack was barely needed, but Mitchell Ault was still perfect on the day on five attempts. He connected with Deondre cook for one of those for 85 yards and totaled 136 on the day. Cook caught another pass and had 104 yards receiving.
The 56 points are the most Walsh has scored since becoming a member of NCAA Division II. The last time the Cavs scored this many points was in a 60-0 thrashing of Concordia in the penultimate game of 2011.
Walsh outgained the Panthers 544 to 387 in total yards on the day. The Cavs also controlled the clock as they held the ball for over 40 minutes in the game.
Walsh will look to build upon this win as it returns home to host Alderson Broaddus next week for homecoming. Kickoff with the Battlers is scheduled for 7 p.m.