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NAIA’s Indiana Wesleyan upsets Valparaiso 24-22 behind Stokes

Indiana Wesleyan football field in Marion, Indiana. (Photo Provided/Indiana Wesleyan Athletics)

MARION, Ind. (AP) — Xander Stokes threw touchdown passes to three different receivers to lead NAIA-member Indiana Wesleyan to a 24-22 victory over Valparaiso on Saturday.

Stokes, who completed just 13 of 33 passes, hit Tristen Hayes for an 11-yard touchdown in the second quarter and followed that with a 27-yard scoring strike to Isaac Smith to send the Wildcats into halftime with a 17-7 lead.

Stokes connected with Levi Tidwell for a 19-yard touchdown and Indiana Wesleyan led 24-13 after three quarters.

Patrick Oliva kicked a 28-yard field goal early in the final period to cut Valparaiso’s deficit to eight. Michael Appel Jr. passed to Tytus Ragle for a 14-yard touchdown with 7 seconds left to play, but the two-point conversion failed.

Stokes passed for 170 yards with one interception for the Wildcats.

Appel completed 19 of 39 passes for 194 yards and two scores. He was intercepted five times. Preston Sykes and Neil Campbell each had two picks for Indiana Wesleyan.


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