PRINCETON — No one expected an encore performance of the Concord Mountain Lions’ home opener for Saturday night’s WVIAC opener at Anne S. Hunnicutt Stadium in Princeton against West Virginia Wesleyan‘s Bobcats, but there was enough excitement for those looking for it.

The Rotary Bowl, which was held at Hunnicutt Stadium, saw Concord (3-0, 1-0) open the scoring 7-0 (Alex Wilson kick) with a two-yard run by Dennis Cole at 12:37 of the first quarter, wrapping up a five-play, 72-yard drive. The drive featured a 13-yard pass from Zach Grossi to Andre Coleman and consecutive runs of 43 and 14 yards by Brian Kennedy.

Concord added another score as Grossi hit WVIAC Offensive Player of the Week Thomas Mayo with a 25-yard score to end an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive and making the score 13-0 (kick blocked) with 7:19 left in the first quarter. Three plays earlier, Grossi and Mayo put Concord into Bobcat territory with a 28-yard pass and Grossi hit Rashid Baker with a 10-yard pass to set up the score.

The game went to 13-3 as Wesleyan’s Derek Moore kicked a 45-yard field goal to wrap up a seven-play, 26-yard drive with 4:39 left in the quarter. The drive was set up by a 34-yard kick-off return by Princeton High School alumnus T.J. Benners and kept alive by a 17-yard pass from Zane Zebrasky to LaVaughn Hughes on third and 7.

A 12-play, 31-yard, drive by Concord made the score 16-3 as Brandon Strupp hit a 45-yard field goal with 11:45 left in the second quarter. Grossi hit Mayo for an 11-yard play on third and 7, and then Grossi hit Baker on fourth and 5 with a 12-yard pass.

A recovery of a Grossi fumble by Wesleyan’s Val Williams set up the next Bobcat score, a four-yard score from Zebrasky to Benners (Moore kick) with 4:30 left in the half. Reggie Taylor’s 60-yard run on the first play of the four-play, 76-yard drive was the key play.

Wesleyan cut it to 16-13 as Moore hit a 32-yard field goal to wrap up a seven-play, 16-yard drive with 1:17 left in the half. The drive was set up by a recovery of a R.J. Anderson fumble by Williams at the Wesleyan 31-yard line.

The Bobcats opened the second half with a four-play, 29-yard drive to make the score 20-16 (Moore kick) as Zebrasky hit Jeremy Williams with a 15-yard score with 13:52 left in the third quarter. The drive was set up by a 53-yard kick-off return by Antoine Staten.

Mountain Lions’ back-up quarterback Steven Hearons, who entered the game after Grossi was injured early in the third quarter, hit Mayo with an 86-yard scoring pass with 5:08 left in the quarter (Wilson kick).

Cole had his second scoring run, this one a 41-yard score, to make the score 29-20 (kick blocked). The drive also featured a19-yard run by Cole two plays earlier in the three-play, 53-yard drive that ended at 12:01 left in the game.

Wesleyan then had its last score of the game as Taylor had a 2-yard scoring run with 8:47 left to make it 29-26 (kick missed). The seven-play, 65-yard drive featured Zebrasky passes of 24 yards to Jon Meadows and 11 yards to Emmett Burrell and an 11-yard run by Taylor.

The final scoring in the game came with just :14 left as Cole had his third scoring run, this one a 10-yarder, to wrap up a five-play, 51-yard drive and make the score 35-26 (kick missed). Cole had a 14-yard run on the second play in the drive.

Concord was led by Grossi who went 12 of 19 for 119 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Hearons went 4 of 11 for 121 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Cole rushed for 136 yards and three touchdowns in 15 attempts, while Brian Kennedy rushed for 103 yards in 18 attempts. Mayo caught seven passes for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Linebacker Tony Keiling, Jr. had 9.5 tackles, eight solo.

For Wesleyan (0-2, 0-1), Zebrasky went 17 of 30 for 154 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor rushed for 125 yards for a touchdown in 27 attempts. Meadows caught eight passes for 74 yards. Dave Kopolovich had six tackles.

Concord travels to Charleston to face the University of Charleston Saturday. They return to Athens to face West Virginia State on Sept. 26.

— Contact Jeff Harvey at jharvey1@frontiernet.net or delimartman@yahoo.com.

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