Try as hard as Christopher Newport football coach Matt Kelchner might, he could not find any positives to take from his team's season opener at Wesley College.
It's easy to see why, especially after Wesley thoroughly dominated throughout to earn a resounding 34-0 victory over CNU in the season opener at Scott D. Miller Stadium on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon.
Kelchner's offensive line got manhandled by the Wolverines' defense as Tunde Ogun, who finished last season at the third leading rusher in Division III, was held to just 8 yards on 12 carries.
"It was 34-0, we got our butts kicked," Kelchner said. "We couldn't block their front four. Their front four thoroughly whipped our offensive line, pure and simple.
"No matter what back you have back there if you don't take care of your blocks up front there's nowhere to run."
That was by design, at least according to Wesley strong safety Aaron Benson. The Wolverines, ranked ninth by D3football.com, outgained the 20th-ranked Captains 348-241 in total yardage.
"We were repeating (Ogun's) name all week," Benson said. "We knew he was a good player and everything, but we're a better defense. One person will never beat us. I feel as though nobody can beat us when we play our best game."
Wesley (1-0) had Ellis Krout, a transfer from Oregon, catch a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Shane McSweeny and tailback Aaron Jackson rush for a couple of TDs.
The Wolverines' defense recorded its first home shutout since Oct. 18, 2008, against the Apprentice School.
"It was real tough, (Wesley) came out and we just weren't prepared," CNU quarterback Matt Long said. "We've got to fix some things next week on the bye week.
"We underestimated them, I think, but we still shouldn't have gotten blown out like that. We're still a better team than that and I think we'll improve."
Krout, a 6-foot-4, 195-pound wide receiver, put the Wolverines on the scoreboard on their second possession. He caught a McSweeny pass at the Captains' 25-yard line after cornerback Marcus Kelly slipped and raced into the end zone for a 54-yard touchdown with 8:36 left in the first quarter.
Krout also caught a 15-yard TD pass in the third quarter to help Wesley extend its lead to 20-0.
Meanwhile, Jackson sandwiched Krout's second score with a pair of touchdowns of his own, coming on rushes of 13 yards and 1 yard.
Benson completed Wesley's scoring when he intercepted a Long pass and returned it 73 yards for a TD with 9:34 remaining in the game.
Long completed 14 of 23 passes for 149 yards and also rushed 12 times for 44 yards. He split time at quarterback with Antonio Epps, who completed one pass for 23 yards and rushed seven times for 12 yards.
Now, after watching Ogun struggle to find running room in its opening game, it's back to the drawing board for Christopher Newport.
Long added that the rout might eventually turn into a good thing for the Captains, because they have the rest of the season to right the ship.
"It's always good to start your games out with nonconference games against a hard schedule so we know where we're at in Division III," Long said. "Now we can just fix things up and get ready for the rest of the season."
WESLEY 34, CNU 0Christopher Newport0000 — 0Wesley130147 — 34 First quarter
W—Krout 55 pass from McSweeny (Blugis kick blocked), 8:36
W—Jackson 13 run (Blugis kick), 0:13
W—Krout 15 pass from McSweeny (Blugis kick), 9:39
W—Jackson 1 run (Blugis kick), 2:37
W—Benson 73 interception return (Blugis kick), 9:34CNUWesFirst downs1315Total Net Yards241348Rushes-yards37-6935-155Passing yards172193Punt returns5-26-03-37-0Kickoff returns5-81-01-17-0Interceptions Ret.0-01-73-1Comp-Att-Int15-26-112-20-0Sacked-yards lost1-42-11Punts6-2206-191Penalties-yards3-363-49Fumbles-lost0-00-0Time of possession31:4828:12INDIVIDUAL STATISTICSRUSHING—CNU, Long 12-44, Epps 7-12, Ogun 12-8, Legister 2-3, Gaines 4-2. Wesley, Jackson 19-94, McSweeny 6-27, Burgess 3-15, Wright 3-9, Badmus 3-8, Bridges 1-2.
PASSING—CNU, Long 14-23-1-149, Epps 1-2-0-23, Woelfel-Monsiva 0-0-1-0. Wesley, McSweeny 12-20-0-193.
RECEIVING—CNU, Grenke 4-82, Spradlin 4-57, Foster 3-17, Preli 3-14, Warthen 1-2. Wesley, Krout 3-86, McAndrew 3-56, Knight 3-22, Stevenson 1-24, Fowlkes 1-7, Jackson 1-(minus 2).
MISSED FIELD GOALS—None.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times