Sunday, September 19, 1999

TMC home debut ruined in 3 OTs

Ky. Wesleyan stops Saints 30-24

Enquirer contributor

Thomas More's Jesse Lowry loses the ball after being hit by Kentucky Wesleyan's Karl Bates.
(Saed Hindash photo)
| ZOOM |
        CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. — Saturday's inaugural game at Thomas More Stadium lacked what the Saints wanted most — a win.

        Kentucky Wesleyan senior quarterback J.D. Meyers hit senior Anthony Melvin with an 11-yard TD pass in the back of the end zone to give the Panthers a 30-24 triple overtime win.

        The 6-foot-2 Melvin leaped over 5-11 Thomas More freshman safety Tim Nieman — the same play that didn't work during regulation.

        “The (defensive back) was scooted up a little bit,” Meyers said. “This is the man (Melvin) who made a great play. I just put it up in the air for him to make one.”

        Said Wesleyan coach John Johnson: “We wanted to respectfully ruin their day, so to speak.”

        Thomas More coach Dean Paul was disappointed but not discouraged.

        “We showed a ton of courage,” he said. “We battled back in a game like this. We had many chances to pack it in.”

        Meyers' last pass was the end of a long day for the Thomas More defense. Meyers was 18-of-35 for 263 yards, and he hit junior tight end Shaun Logsdon for a 35-yard TD in the second overtime.

        Wesleyan, owners of a 3-0 start for the first time since 1929, outgained Thomas More, 438-327 and beat the Saints for the first time in four meetings.

        But the Panthers, ranked sixth in NCAA Division II, could have ended the game after one overtime.

        Instead of letting freshman kicker Jeff Wilson try an 18-yard field goal on fourth down, Johnson went for a sneak up the middle inside the 1 by sophomore fullback Brian Riley. Thomas More stuffed it.

        “Our kicker's had a strained groin all spring and all fall, and he's never gotten over it,” Johnson said.

        In the second overtime, Thomas More (1-2) scored on sophomore tailback Curtis Williams' 4-yard sweep around left end on fourth down. The Northwest High product ran 34 times for 113 yards and also scored from 8 and 20 yards out.

        “I have to give it all to the offensive line,” Williams said. “The holes I was running through were huge.”

        The Saints got the ball first in the third overtime. After Williams' fumble lost a yard, sophomore quarterback Jay Schulz found freshman Phil Beverly for 7. The drive stalled 4 yards short on an illegal procedure penalty, an incomplete pass and Montrez In gram's 5-yard run to the 19.

        Thomas More (1-2) lost because Melvin outjumped Nieman, but the Saints might not have gotten to overtime if not for Nieman. The Hamilton Badin graduate went around left end and blocked Wilson's 27-yard field goal with 52 seconds left in regulation.

        The block was just one example of a mistake-filled last minute. On Thomas More's first snap after the block, Wesleyan senior Pat Payne recovered Williams' fumble.

        The Saints countered the next play when seniors Mark Broering and Richie Harr sack ed Meyers for a 13-yard loss.

        Riley also scored from 4 yards out with 10:03 left in the first half, and he led Wesleyan with 15 carries for 122 yards.

        The game was costly for Thomas More in terms of injuries, too. Starting quarterback Jesse Lowry separated a shoulder late in the third quarter, and starting tailback William Castleberry went out with a partially torn left knee ligament in the second quarter.

Ky. Wesleyan ....... 37 7 0 0 7 630

Thomas More ....... 0 14 0 3 0 7 024

        KW-Wilson 38 field goal

        TM-Williams 8 run (English kick)

        KW-Riley 4 run (Wilson kick)

        TM-Williams 20 run (English kick)

        KW-Hall 30 run (Wilson kick)

        TM-English 38 field goal

        KW-Logsdon 35 pass from Meyers (Wilson kick)

        TM-Williams 4 run (English kick)

        KW-Melvin 11 pass from Meyers

        Records: KW 3-0, TM 1-2.


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