MOUNT PLEASANT – The Iowa Wesleyan College defense shut out Trinity International University for 59 ½ minutes and T.J. Tolliver (Jr.-Bellwood, Ill.) was victorious in his debut as starting quarterback as the Tigers defeated the Trojans 29-7 at Mapleleaf Stadium Saturday night.
IWC held the visitors to just 130 yards of total offense, the lowest amount for a Tiger opponent since 1993, and won its season opener for the second straight year. Eighty-five of those yards came on the Trojans’ final drive of the game, after Wesleyan had shut down Trinity International while building a comfortable 29-0 lead.
The Tigers also got a solid effort from Tolliver and the rest of the IWC offense, putting together three long drives for scores and holding the ball for more than 35 minutes in the game. Wesleyan also got strong games from a pair of returning skill position stars as Jaren Maybin (Sr.-Baltimore, Md.) rushed for 92 yards and two touchdowns and Lawrence Moore (Jr.-Country Club Hills, Ill.) caught eight passes for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Maybin scored his first touchdown with 7:14 left in the first quarter, capping a 13-play, 65-yard drive to start the game. A key was a 20-yard run by punter Josh Feliciano (So.-San Diego, Calif.) on a fake punt on fourth-and-5 to keep the drive going and give the Tigers an early momentum boost, and seven plays later Maybin pounded it in from one-yard out on third-and-goal.
IWC scored again early in the second quarter, taking over after Chris Owens (Jr.-Greer, S.C.) intercepted a tipped pass to give the Tigers possession deep in their own territory. Wesleyan went 96 yards in seven plays, keyed by a 38-yard run by Maybin to get out from under its own goalpost. Tolliver connected with Moore for the final 14 yards, with the All-MSFA Midwest League receiver dancing past several Trojan defenders to get into the end zone.
The Tigers scored again later in the quarter when Darious Watson (Jr.-Bellwood, Ill.) tackled TIU quarterback Kindrick Dent in the end zone for a safety to push the lead to 16-0. Wesleyan took over at its own 43-yard line after the free kick and held the ball the rest of the half, scoring just as time ran out when Feliciano kicked a 26-yard field goal to make it 19-0 at the break.
Wesleyan tacked on three more points late in the third quarter when Feliciano kicked another field goal, a 19-yarder to make it 22-0. The Tigers added another score midway through the fourth quarter when Maybin bounced off a number of tacklers on a seven-yard run to cap a 4-play, 45-yard drive that included Tolliver hooking up with Bayquon McDonald (Sr.-Bronx, N.Y.) for 30 yards on third down.
Trinity International scored on its final drive, going 85 yards in eight plays with Clifton Johnson going the final six yards for the touchdown with 24 seconds left in the game.
Tolliver finished completed 15 of 22 passes for 163 yards. IWC gained 305 yards of offense and held the ball for 35:07. The Tigers also scored on five of six trips inside the TIU 20-yard line.
Watson and Scott Baldwin (Sr.-Penn Valley, Calif.) led the defense with seven tackles each. Baldwin also forced a fumble as the Tigers turned the Trojans over three times. Owens added six tackles and freshman Derek Stover (Warner Robins, Ga.) had five tackles. Matthew Palmer-Newton (So.-Camarillo, Calif.) also added a sack and a fumble recovery. The 130 yards for TIU was the lowest yardage total allowed by a Tiger team since IWC held Peru State to 89 yards of total offense in a 24-0 win Oct. 30, 1993.
Dent completed just 5 of 18 passes for 22 yards, struggling in the first start of his career as a freshman. Johnson rushed for 75 yards in the fourth quarter to lead the Trinity International offense. Pete Miller starred on defense for the Trojans with 11 tackles (nine solo) as well as a pair of interceptions of Tolliver.
The Tigers have a short week before their next game, when they travel to take on the University of Tennessee-Martin on Thursday at 6 p.m. Tennessee-Martin is an NCAA Division I-AA member that is ranked in several preseason polls.
For more information regarding the IWC football program or any of the Tiger athletic teams, contact sports information director Adam Glatczak (319-385-6306 phone; 319-385-6384 FAX; email@example.com e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.
Box score IWC 29 TIU 7