Illinois Wesleyan football team starts ’22 season 1-1

Steve Watts, Managing Editor

Titans baffle Battling Bishops in 2022 season opener


On Saturday, September 10, the Titans played their first football game of the 2022 season at home against the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops. IWU took a 45-21 blowout win and started the year off on the right foot.

After trailing 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, the Titans bounced back and scored 45 unanswered points. 

Sophomore wide receiver Myles Kee impressed with seven receptions for 59 yards and a touchdown, leading the Titans’ receiving corps. Kee gave credit to sophomore quarterback Ryan Saxe for his week one success.

“I think that Ryan stepping up gave us the push we needed to get that win. For him to come in the way he did after Jay got injured was very impressive after barely playing QB in the weeks before that. He plays with a lot of confidence and that rubs off on the rest of the team,” Kee said. 

Saxe stepped in to fill the space of starting quarterback and fellow sophomore Jay Lemenager, who sustained a knee injury that has taken him off the field for the next few weeks.

The highlight of the game came in the middle of the third quarter when sophomore Frank Roti found a way to muscle through OWU’s offensive line and block a field goal. 

Senior Anthony Wachal Jr. scooped up the blocked kick and returned it 83 yards to the house to blow the game wide open. The two were placed on’s team of the week for their heroics.

“They [OWU] had attempted a field goal right before, but something happened with the play clock and the snap did not count, so I looked to [sophomore defensive back] Sam Schott and I told him, ‘Hey, I am going to block this,’ and I did,” Roti said.

Roti’s block and Wachal Jr. ‘s return put the Titans up 38-7 and stifled any hopes of an OWU comeback.

The most essential piece of the win on Saturday was “definitely our lack of selfishness. We were out there playing as a team and not as individuals. If someone messed up we made sure that they kept their head up and moved on to the next play,” Roti said.


IWU fails to keep momentum in Week 2

After a strong start, the Titans followed their week one win with a 42-7 loss at Wheaton College, a disappointing CCIW opener. 

Wheaton was carried by a dominant offensive first half with 21 points coming in both the first and second quarter of the game. Wesleyan’s defense stepped it up in the second half to hold Wheaton scoreless, but their effort was too late.

IWU’s sole offensive touchdown came on a 27-yard pass from sophomore Ryan Saxe to senior wideout Charlie Hamilton in the second quarter. Hamilton finished the game with seven receptions for 93 yards.

Sophomore Myles Kee also continued to show promise racking up 168 receiving yards on 12 catches, certainly a sign of good chemistry between him and Saxe.

The Titans look to put together a bounceback performance in their Homecoming game against Carroll University on Saturday, September 24.