NORCROSS -- In a game that wasn't generating a whole lot of excitement for over three-and-a-half quarters, the final six minutes sure created a stirring finish.
Wesleyan's Rhett Delk kicked a 49-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Wolves to a 17-14 win over Brookstone.
That game-winning kick came on the heels of a fourth-quarter rally by Brookstone as the Cougars scored two touchdowns in a span of 2:29 to tie the game at 14-14.
Brookstone (2-1) had finally gotten on the scoreboard with 3:46 to go in the game as Drew Lingo hauled in a 14-yard pass from Duncan Fletcher to complete a nine-play, 50-yard drive and cut the Wesleyan lead to 14-7.
Then a Wesleyan fumble on the Wolves' next possession gave Brookstone another opportunity and the Cougars capitalized when Fletcher hit Lingo again this time on an 11-yard TD pass with only 1:17 remaining.
But Wesleyan (3-1) didn't sit back and play for overtime as the Wolves went 25 yards in five plays, which included a key defensive pass interference call on first down.
That set up Delk's game-winner.
"It was awesome, said Delk, who was also a force on defense all night for the Wolves. "It's definitely one of the best nights of my life. We were thinking touchdown when the drive started, but things got a little chaotic at the end and we had to call timeout. I actually thought the kick was about 35 yards, but they told me it was 49 after the game. It just feels great for us to get this win."
It was also an emotional night for many folks involved as former Wesleyan assistant coach Brad Dehem brought his Brookstone team in for the first time.
And that made it a bittersweet win for Wesleyan head coach Franklin Pridgen.
"We tried not to make it a big deal to play them," said Pridgen. "Brad is a brother of mine and so is (another former Wesleyan assistant coach) James McKeel. We built what we're standing in today, in this stadium and on this field. You don't go through a journey like that and not get attached. So I'm glad we won the game, but I'm also glad it's over."
Dehem was also relieved the game was over, but he was also proud of his Brookstone team that nearly pulled off a tremendous rally and victory.
"It was so emotional out there tonight, but I am more proud about the way our team came back in the fourth quarter," said Dehem, in his first year at Brookstone. "When we got down two touchdowns, we never wavered. And we finally gained some confidence on offense and now I think it is definitely something we can carry into the rest of the season, especially since region is about to start.
After eight punts and a turnover in the first nine possessions of the game, Wesleyan finally gained the advantage in field position late in the first half and turned it into the first points of the contest.
Brookstone started a drive at the Wesleyan 27, but the Wolves backed up the Cougars to their own 1 and eventually forced a punt from the 3.
Wesleyan took over at the Brookstone 27 and needed just five plays to score as quarterback Will Anderson plowed in from a yard out with just 40 seconds remaining in the first half for a 7-0 Wolves' lead.
Wesleyan's second possession of the third quarter went 84 yards in nine plays as the Wolves mixed it up nicely with the run and pass.
Miles Smith, who had 116 yards on 24 carries, finished the drive with a 2-yard run with 1:15 left in the quarter for a 14-0 Wesleyan advantage.
Fletcher led the way for Brookstone going 23 of 34 for 207 yards and two TD passes.