Salisbury State rallies to deal 2nd-ranked Wesley its 1st loss Down 14 in 4th, Sea Gulls win, 24-21, for 5th in row

October 22, 1995|By Bill Tanton | Bill Tanton,SUN STAFF

DOVER, Del. -- When the game ended, Salisbury State's football players gathered at midfield and whooped it up as if they had just won a national championship.

They had a right to.

They had just come from 14 points behind in the fourth quarter on the road to win their fifth straight game -- and did it against a previously undefeated Wesley College team.

Salisbury's 24-21 win was the latest in a string of victories that few seemed to foresee.

"SSU! SSU!" chanted the Salisbury players, many of whom came over to pat the back of George Mayer, who kicked the game-winning 25-yard field goal with 5:41 left in the game.

"I was just sitting on the bench at Maryland, dressing for home games but never really playing," said Mayer, a transfer who played his high school ball at Archbishop Curley. "This is my first year at Salisbury. I love the place."

And coach Joe Rotellini, whose team improved to 5-1, feels lucky have him.

"I told George before the season," said Rotellini, "that before the year was over he was going to win a game for us. This was a big one and he won it.

"We climbed a big hill today. Maybe this will get the attention of the pollsters."

Wesley (6-1) was ranked No. 2 in the NCAA's Division III South Region. Salisbury was unranked.

Wesley opened the scoring when it drove 83 yards for a first-quarter touchdown.

Salisbury didn't score until the opening kickoff of the second half. Daron Wimbish returned it 82 yards to tie the score at 7.

Tailback Brandon Steinheim's 7-yard scoring run and Duane Martin's 88-yard touchdown catch gave Wesley a 21-7 bulge.

But the Gulls tied it on two TD passes by David Doy, 11 yards to Freddy Grant and 9 to Mike Muldoon, capping an 86-yard drive.

"Nobody can stop us!" Rotellini told his players after the game. It was obvious that they believe him.

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