ROCKY MOUNT, NC- The Battling Bishops football team controlled their opening conference game with LaGrange College (Ga.) from start to finish as they rolled to a 35-14 win Saturday afternoon in Rocky Mount.
Led by four touchdowns in the first half by the Wesleyan offense, the Bishops built a 28-0 halftime lead. NCWC's rushing attack put up 299 yards while they controlled the time of possession 43 minutes to the Panther's 17. Wesleyan almost doubled LaGrange (1-3, 0-1) in total offense 518 to 291 in the thorough victory.
Senior QB Nate Gardner threw for 182 yards and two touchdowns while sophomore RB Jeffery Black ran for 101 yards and two total touchdowns. Senior WR Trey Lancaster also posted his third straight triple digit receiving game with his 108 yards on seven catches and one touchdown.
Defensively, junior linebacker Antonio Johnson and senior LB JT Lichtenberger led the way with one interception each with Lichtenberger also adding five solo tackles. Fellow linebacker Isaiah Williams led the defense with six total tackles and one for a loss while junior cornerback Dmaurien Franklin and junior safety Marcus Leggett also combined for nine tackles and two pass breakups on the day. The defense pitched a shutout for 3 and 1/2 quarters before seceding two late 4th quarter touchdowns.
"It was great to get back out there and play," said Head Coach Jeff Filkovski. "It has been three weeks since the last time we played a game. We challenged the guys to stay focused and be sharp. We did not play perfect by any means, but I was happy with how we competed and played physical."
"Offensively, we ran the ball very well and had some young running backs step up and show our depth at the position," continued Coach Filkovski. "I am so proud of our guys. LaGrange put up some points this year and our guys were ready for the challenge. Overall, I feel we did a really nice job coming off the long break. We need to get our corrections made and get ready for Greensboro."
NC Wesleyan improves to 2-1 on the season and 1-0 in the USA South and will next make the short trek to Greensboro College next Saturday at 1 PM.