A Wet Home Opener Sends the Bobcats Home With Their Tails Tucked


UNCP Braves vs. West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats. PN Photo/Andrew Thrift

By Andrew Thrift, Managing Editor

“Rain or shine, there’s nothing like Braves football,” said junior Maddie Schwenneker. The Braves took on the West Virginia Wesleyan Bobcats Saturday with a noon kick off. Between the incoming clouds and the tension on the field had the crowd on their toes, either way, Braves Football was back, beating the Bobcats, 50 to 26.  

Braves football players lined up in the rain. PN Photo/Andrew Thrift

It was the home opener for the 2022 season at Grace P. Johnson stadium and redshirt freshman JaQuan Kelly had an impressive game. Pacing a school-record with 183 yards and three completed touchdowns.  

At the end of the day, the Braves racked up a total of 386 rushing yards to blow a 13-year record, clear out of the water. After their defeat against the Braves, the Bobcats added another loss to their now 22 straight game losing streak after not winning a single game since the 2019 regular season.  

During the 1st quarter, the Braves received their first touchdown with a 76-yard drive with their opening possession. Senior Quarterback Josh Jones completed a total of five out of six attempted passes during the 1st quarter. At the end of the quarter, the Braves were up 14-0.  

The 2nd quarter went just as well for the Braves as the 1st, with the Braves racking up a total of 15 points with redshirt sophomore Zechariah Adams-Duckson’s one play drive totally 65 yards down the far sideline getting the Braves their first touchdown of the 2nd quarter. Jones came in with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Rodney Smith, no point with the field goal. And to wrap up the first half, Colin Johnson came from three yards out for the 2-point conversion.  

At the end of the half, the Bobcats still hadn’t racked up any points, with the Braves out front with 29 total points in the first half.  

UNCP fans cheering on the Braves. PN Photo/Andrew Thrift

UNCP’s Virgil Lemons started the half dodging tackles and grabs off the opening kick allowing the Braves to start the half 36-0. The Braves couldn’t hold off the Bobcats offense any longer allowing the Bobcats to score their first touchdown with a 64-yard scoring reception within the first minute of the half. The Bobcast sent out their special team, with a deflected punt, giving the Bobcats a total of 12 points at the end of the third, breaking through the Braves defense. 

At the start of the 4th quarter, the Bobcats Jerome Colbert intercepted a throw by Jones to run 17 yards to the end one, giving the Bobcats a few more points. Kelly allowed the Braves to finally receive some well deserved points for not only one, but two completed run touchdowns giving the Braves a total of 50 points at the end of the game.  

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