VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) Freshman Dawson Pierson kicked a 50-yard field goal with 1:36 remaining and Valparaiso escaped with a 20-17 victory over NAIA-member Indiana Wesleyan in a season opener on Saturday.

Freshman Michael Appel Jr. connected with Solomon Davis for a 58-yard score to give Valparaiso a 10-3 lead early in the second quarter. Freshman Mason Kaplan ran 20 yards for a TD on his only carry of the first half and the Beacons led 17-3 at halftime.

Xander Stokes passed to freshman Markell Stephens-Peppers for a 72-yard score in the third quarter to get Indiana Wesleyan within 17-10. Daniel Weems, another freshman, scored on an 8-yard run following a 59-yard punt return by Justin Johnson to knot the score at 17-17.

Indiana Wesleyan beat Valparaiso 28-10 to open last season in the only other meeting between the schools.


More AP college football: and Sign up for the AP's college football newsletter:

Copyright 2024 STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.