Wingate Football set for First-Ever NCAA Quarterfinal Matchup at West Florida

Staff Writer: Samuel Rodriguez

For the first time in program history, Wingate’s football team is three wins
away from a national championship.

The Bulldogs play on the road for the third straight time in the postseason
this Saturday (Dec. 3, 2 p.m.) at West Florida in Pensacola after having
already won a school-record 11 games. They beat Virginia Union and
previously undefeated Benedict in their first two NCAA Tournament games
and have not lost away from home all season.

“It’s exciting and I think the team we have is special,” redshirt senior
fullback Trevor Hausmann said. “We’ll go as far as we let ourselves when it

Wingate (11-2) opened the Division II playoffs with a 32-7 victory over
Virginia Union (9-2) in Richmond. Graduate student quarterback Shaw
Crocker completed 14 of 21 passes for 155 yards against the Panthers.
Redshirt sophomore wide receiver Myles Dillon caught three passes for 19
yards and a touchdown against VUU. Redshirt sophomore wide receiver
Kamal Desor secured three catches for 79 yards and a score. Redshirt junior
running back Kalen Clark rushed for 74 yards on 11 carries. 

Linebacker Davon Gilmore racked up a team-best four tackles for loss
including two sacks and forced the safety. Thomas returned an interception
for a touchdown and recovered a fumble. Graduate student linebacker
Jaquan Edwards recorded Wingate’s other pick-six.

“We did well this season even with the [home] losses against Emory &
Henry and Newberry,” senior punter Ethan Evans said.

The Bulldogs came back the next Saturday (Nov. 26) to beat the region’s
top-seeded team, Benedict, in Columbia, S.C., using their stifling defense to
suffocate the Tigers’ running game. Wingate held the Southern
Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) champs to 38 rushing yards on
37 carries in a 23-6 rout.

Wingate closed out its regular season with a dominant 45-7 victory at home
over UVA Wise (2-9). It marked the sixth straight season with eight wins
for the Bulldogs. Wingate is 56-16 overall in the last five seasons and 37-10
in league play, leading the South Atlantic Conference in wins during that

“Defense came out here and set the tone,” redshirt sophomore linebacker
Gilmore said. “The offense stayed true to the game plan and executed it

Senior wide receiver Trevor Grant had himself a day against the Cavaliers.
Grant hauled in six passes for a career-high 144 yards and two touchdowns.
Grant has compiled 284 receiving yards and four touchdowns throughout
the regular season.

The receiving group is led by redshirt junior wide receiver Myles Dillon
with 31 catches for 381 yards and five touchdowns. Senior wide receiver
Ra’Quan Simmons has 22 receptions for 338 yards and two scores. 
“The guys did what they needed to do today,” defensive coordinator
Rashaan Jordan said. “They went about executing and playing on a high
level throughout the game. It is not perfect, but the plays we made were
solid and, if we get to play next week, we can get better.”

Redshirt senior defensive tackle Sirod Cook has 11 tackles for loss and six
sacks on the year while notching 11 QB hurries. Redshirt sophomore
defensive tackle Justin Rhodes has 10.5 tackles for loss and four sacks.
Redshirt freshman defensive back Jordan Thomas has 10 pass breakups on
the season, adding 30 tackles and one interception.

WU leads the nation in tackles for loss and third-down defense. The
Bulldogs are second in total defense and sacks, ranking fifth in scoring
defense. Wingate is fifth nationally in rush defense and sixth in pass

The Bulldogs’ are now 4-4 all-time in the postseason. This is WU’s second
10-win season in program history.

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