EMORY, Va. - The NC Wesleyan College Football team rallied back from a first half deficit to take the lead late and steal an overtime 31-24 win over Emory & Henry College (Va.) on the road in their season opener on Saturday.
A 25-yard touchdown pass from senior QB Donielle Totten to sophomore WR Tyler Roberts on the first drive in overtime led to a game-sealing interception from senior linebacker Antonio Johnson to upend the Wasps.
The Bishops got on the board first with a nine-yard touchdown strike from Totten to sophomore WR Jai Irvin in the first play of the second quarter to complete a 10 play drive.
E&H then scored the next 17 points to go up 17-6 before the Bishops added a late important touchdown at the end of the first half to trim their deficit to five. The Bishops scored on a 27 yard pass from Totten to sophomore WR Kevin Alford to complete a 7 play 75 yard drive.
A 30 yard touchdown run by junior RB Jeff Black finished off another 75 yard drive as Wesleyan took an 18-17 lead with 12 minutes to play in the third. Unfortunately, a second straight two-point conversion pass from Totten fell incomplete.
The Bishops then extended their lead to seven at 24-17 as they started off the fourth quarter with another touchdown pass from Totten to Alford, this one a 14 yard strike with 11 minutes to play.
EHC would then tie the game with a 12 yard TD pass with 38 seconds left sending it to overtime.
Wesleyan outgained the Wasps 507-345 in total offense and in first downs 23-13. Wesleyan also had nearly more than 100 yards passing than EHC and had 142 yards rushing led by 78 yards from Black and 62 yards from senior RB Darian Curley.
Totten threw for 365 yards on 25 completions and 4 touchdowns along with 3 interceptions while Irvin led with 111 yards receiving on 5 receptions and a TD. Alford also caught four balls for 73 yards and 2 TDs.
Johnson, the reigning USA South Defensive Player of the Year, led the Bishops in tackles with eight solo and 13 altogether along with a sack, interception, pass breakup and 1.5 tackles for loss. Senior safety Christian Shaw and senior linebacker Isaiah Williams also had 6 tackles apiece with Shaw also intercepting a pass. Senior defensive linemen R.J. Smalls and freshman linebacker Simon Atkins registered one sack apiece with Atkins also forcing a fumble as well.
The Bishops, now 1-0, will next return home to host another ODAC foe in Shenandoah University (VA) next Saturday at 12 Noon at the Rocky Mount Stadium.