North Carolina Wesleyan downs Panthers 35-24

North Carolina Wesleyan downs Panthers 35-24

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. – North Carolina Wesleyan used two interception returns for touchdowns to down LaGrange College 35-24 on Saturday at North Nash Stadium. The loss dropped the Panthers to 1-3 on the season.

The game was a see-saw affair with four lead changes and was tied twice. LaGrange took its last lead, 24-21, with 5:26 remaining on a short touchdown pass from Michael May to R.J. Miles.

Wesleyan (1-2) retook the lead with a quick 8-play 71-yard drive after the Panthers' score. Teron Bush's 1-yard run gave the Bishops a 28-24 lead with 3:31 left in the game.

The Bishops put the game out of reach on the second play after the kickoff. Javon Boddie picked off May and returned the interception 21 yards for a 35-24 lead.

May moved the Panthers down to the Bishops' 15 on their next possession. A 37-yard completion to Kent Gibson and a 18-yard completion to Miles got the Panthers in scoring position. But Tazmon Foster ended the threat with the Bishops' third interception of the game.

May threw for 234 yards in the game after starter Drew Carter was injured in the first half.  Miles had six catches for 61 yards and the touchdown. The Panthers had 10 receivers with at least one catch in the game.

Andrecus Lindley led the Panthers' rushing with 81 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. Lindley had all but seven of the Panthers' 88 yards on the ground.

Wesleyan quarterback Jordan Vann accounted for 314 of the Bishops' 357 yards of offense. Vann passed for 213 yards and ran for a game-high 101 yards on 14 carries.

Vann opened the game with a 50-yard pass completion on the first play from scrimmage to the Panthers' 14. Bush converted a fourth down at the 3 and scored from the 1 two plays later to put Wesleyan up 7-0 less than three minutes into the game.

The Panthers tied the game with a 15-play 89-yard drive that finished the first quarter and began the second quarter. Carter converted on two third plays and a fourth down play to keep the drive going. He hooked up with Ed Russ for a 15-yard completion on fourth down to the Bishops' 10-yard line.

Carter came back to Russ for seven yards to the 3. Lindley scored on the next play to cap the drive that took 10:50 off the clock. Josh Stripling's extra point tied the game 7-7 with 12:14 left in the half.

The Bishops took the lead back on the Panthers' next possession. After a missed field goal by the Bishops, the Panthers took over at their 20. DeAngelo Stewart picked off Carter's pass and took it 26 yards for a 14-7 lead.

The Panthers tied the game 14-14 with a 12-play 81-yard drive to start the third quarter. May connected with Riley Hill for 22 yards to get the Panthers to the Bishops' 28.

Lindley went for 17 yards and a first and goal at the 8. May scored from the 3 on fourth down and Drake Nahrwold's extra point tied the game.

The Panthers took their first lead of the game on their next possession. Nahrwold hit a 32-yard field goal for a 17-14 lead with 4:30 left in the third quarter.

Wesleyan took a 21-17 lead into the fourth quarter. Vann threw a 58-yard touchdown pass to Keenan Carter late in the third quarter on a two-play drive taking 15 seconds.

The Panthers last score came on a short 40-yard drive. May covered 28 yards of the drive on a completion to Russ to the 17. A pass interference penalty on third down moved the ball to the 6. Three plays later May found Miles for the touchdown.

The Panthers take on Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn. next Saturday