NORCROSS -- Wesleyan opened the season with a solid 38-20 victory against Seminole County in front of a packed house Friday.
The Indians had a long trip up to Norcross and surely had a longer trip back after falling to the Wolves.
Wesleyan's defense made the first statement of the season by forcing Seminole County to a three-and-out on its opening possession. The Wolves offense then capitalized on the ensuing punt with a quick shuttle pass from quarterback Andrew Frerking (14 of 25 for 250 yards) to running back Kyle Karempelis that resulted in a 55-yard touchdown.
Seminole County answered from deep in its own zone. Quarterback Antwon Buggs pitched to halfback Jarvis Brown, who then threw a long pass to a wide-open Nathaniel George. The Indians closed the deal with a Buggs 9-yard keeper for the TD.
"I was thrilled with our offense, particularly our passing game," head coach Franklin Pridgen said.
The passing game came alive with the arm of Frerking soon enough.
First, tied at 7, the Wesleyan defense again came to the forefront with an interception by Harrison Cheeley, who then returned the ball to the Indians' 27-yard line. In the waning minutes of the first quarter, Frerking took care of the rest with a 26-yard pass to relative newcomer Malachi Jones. The ensuing kick was blocked and, with a Wesleyan penalty, called no good.
The second quarter saw Seminole County come out firing as it again found success on the pitch and pass. Brown had a wide-open receiver, Jaquan Johnson, on a deep pass that put the Indians within striking distance of the goal line. Fullback Barron Rambo then powered his way up the middle for a 15-yard TD run.
Never one to shy away from adversity, Karempelis helped the Wolves answer with back-to-back 17- and 20-yard runs, bringing Wesleyan into the Indians' territory. It was again Frerking to Jones for another TD pass. Converting the two-point play, the Wolves pull ahead 21-14.
The Wolves, having tasted blood, went into for the kill. With little more than four minutes left in the half, the Wesleyan defense came up with a fumble deep in the Indians' zone to set up the final TD before halftime. A 5-yard shuttle pass from Frerking to Karempelis brought the half to a close. Wesleyan wasted little time asserting its dominance in the second half. With the ball on their own 20, Karempelis took a handoff and 80 yards later handed the ball to the referee in the end zone.
Save for a score by Seminole County in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter, the rest of the game saw Wesleyan well in control.
"What excites me most is to win a game and learn some valuable lessons from it," Pridgen said.