Saturday, November 3, 2012
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College football team lost 16-10 to Thiel at Harold Burry Stadium on Saturday for its Senior Day. The Titans dropped to 3-5 overall and 2-5 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC), while the Tomcats improved to 3-6 overall and 3-4 in the conference.
Thiel held Westminster to a season-low 15 yards rushing. Coming into today's game, the Titans were second in the conference averaging 189.7 rushing yards a contest.
In the first half, the Titans had three straight penalties during their first drive and were forced to punt from their 22-yard line. The Tomcats special teams capitalized when Tim Canady blocked the Titan punt and Brandon Wolfe returned the ball 17 yards for a touchdown. An extra point field goal by Jon Fennick gave the Tomcats a 7-0 lead with 11:30 on the clock.
Right before halftime, Thiel conducted an 11-play, 60-yard drive and took a 10-0 lead after Fennick kicked a 30-yard field goal as time expired.
Westminster got on the board in its first drive of the second half with 11:34 on the clock when junior quarterback Dak Britt (Battle Creek, MI / Battle Creek) found classmate Tyler Banks (Meadville, PA / Meadville) for a 29-yard touchdown pass-and-catch that capped off a 3 play, 45 yard drive.
In its ensuing possession, Thiel drove 13 plays for 61 yards, but its 22-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Titan senior Kyle Allen (New Wilmington, PA / West Middlesex) and recovered by junior Collin Wallace (Mechanicsburg, PA / Cumberland Valley). After Westminster went three-and-out, Thiel once again drove deep into Westminster territory, but Titan junior Nate Moot (Johnstown, PA / Bishop McCort) intercepted Thiel quarterback Andrew Smith's pass at the Westminster 15-yard line and returned it 21 yards to the Titans' 36 yard line. The Titans, however, were unable to capitalize as they went three-and-out for the second straight drive.
Thiel orchestrated a 14-play, 69 yard drive in its next possession and scored off an 11-yard rush by Smith to go up 16-7 (Thiel missed the extra point) with 4:52 left.
Westminster chipped at Thiel's lead with a 32-yard field goal from freshman Zach Baker (Erie, PA / McDowell) with 2:40 left in regulation.
For the game, senior Geno Pasquinelli (Salem, OH / Salem) led the Titans with four catches for 49 yards. Pasquinelli moved past Jon Gubish '09 to third all-time in Westminster history with 138 career receptions.
Titan junior Sean Christofferson (New Wilmington, PA / Wilmington) had a career- and game-high of 13 tackles (eight solo, five assist), including a career- and game-high four tackles for a loss.
Junior Josh Beistel (Somerset, PA / Somerset) added 10 tackles, while Moot and sophomore Jared Heck (Pittsburgh, PA / North Hills) had nine.
Britt was 9 for 18 with 150 passing yards with a score and was sacked five times.
Westminster will travel to Geneva at 1 p.m. next Saturday for its final regular season game.
About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 377 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.
Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.