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Football: Titans Edge Carnegie Mellon, 27-24, in Homecoming Game

Saturday, October 12, 2013

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College (2-3) football team won, 27-24, over Carnegie Mellon (3-3) in the Titans' homecoming game on Saturday. An one-yard touchdown run by Titan senior Tyler Banks (Meadville, PA / Meadville) with 2:57 left in the game, proved to be the game-winning score.

Carnegie Mellon answered to each of Westminster's first three touchdowns with a touchdown of its own. A defensive stand by the Titans on their own 11-yard line forced a Carnegie Mellon field goal which put the Tartans up 24-21. Westminster scored on its next drive for the lead and the eventual win.

On its first drive, Carnegie Mellon moved the ball down to Westminster's 19-yard line after a 40-yard catch from Fred Bolio. On the Tartans' next play, Titan senior Taylor Heinrich (Brookville, PA / Brookeville) forced a fumble in the back field which was recovered by sophomore Joe Glennon (Johnstown, PA / Westmont Hilltop) at Westminster's 21-yard line. The Titans drove down the field and scored off a 41-yard touchdown run from Banks capping off a 5-yard, 75-yard drive. After a successful extra point field goal from freshman Justin Dahl (Cochranton, PA / Maplewood), Westminster led 7-0 with 9:29 left in the first quarter.

The Tartans responded with a 9-play, 90-yard drive that included a 32-yard touchdown pass from Rob Kalkstein to Bryce Pardoe. After a successful extra point, the game was tied 7-7 with 4:41 remaining in the first.

On its next possession, Carnegie Mellon, orchestrated an 11-play, 57-yard drive, however an interception by Titan junior Dave Buzzacco (Canfield, OH / South Range), on fourth-and-seven at the Titans' 16-yard line, halted the drive. Westminster added to its lead after senior Dak Britt (Battle Creek, MI / Battle Creek) found classmate Collin Wallace (Mechanicsburg, PA / Cumberland Valley) through the air for a 26-yard touchdown, capping off a 12-play, 84-yard drive that took five minutes. Another successful extra point field goal from Dahl put Westminster up 14-7 with 7:47 left in the half.

Once again Carnegie Mellon did not let Westminster's lead last long as the Tartans scored on their ensuing possession off a 44-yard touchdown pass from Kalkstein to Troy Witt, capping off a 6-play, 74-yard drive. With five remaining in the half, the game was tied 14-14.

The Titan defense ended the first half on a high note as it had back-to-back sacks courtesy of sophomore Justin Shaw (Monaca, PA / Central Valley) and senior Aaron Nauer (Pittsburgh, PA / Shaler).

Westminster took over after Carnegie Mellon turned the ball over on downs at the Titans' 30-yard line with 10:11 remaining in the third quarter. The Titans drove down the field and regained the lead after Britt found sophomore Taran Sifontes-Lavine (Pittsburgh, PA / Chartiers Valley) for a 31-yard score, for Sifontes-Lavine's first career touchdown. An extra point from Dahl put Westminster ahead, 21-14 with 7:39 left in the third quarter.

For the third time in the game, Carnegie Mellon answered and tied the game 21-21 after a 62-yard touchdown pass from Kalkstein to Tim Kikta. The drive took only three plays and 53 seconds.

Early in the fourth quarter, Westminster threw an interception on its own 7-yard line. On third-and-six, Kalkstein was sacked by Titan seniors Sean Christofferson (New Wilmington, PA / Wilmington) and Shawn Kronenwetter (Saint Marys, PA / Saint Marys). A 28-yard Tartan field goal gave Carnegie Mellon its first lead of the game, 24-21, with 11:26 left in regulation.

After both teams were forced to punt, Banks put Westminster ahead 27-24, capping off a 11-play, 50-yard drive that took five minutes. A blocked extra point left the score 27-24 with 2:57 remaining.

In the Tartans' final drive on third-and-13 at the Titans' 49-yard line, Westminster junior Rich Ellebie (Farrell, PA / Farrell) came up with a pivotal sack forcing a 4th-and-20 for Carnegie Mellon. Westminster sealed the win after Titan senior Nate Moot (Johnstown, PA / Bishop McCort) broke-up the Tartans' fourth-down desperation pass.

For the game, Britt was 14-for-27 with two touchdowns and an interception. Banks rushed for a game-high 87 yards with two scores. Wallace led the Titan receivers with 55 yards off six catches. Christofferson and senior Josh Beistel (Somerset, PA / Somerset) led the Titan defense with nine tackles each. Christofferson had game-highs 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for a loss.

Westminster will host Washington & Jefferson next Saturday at 7 p.m.

Highlights courtesy of Corey Benedict ‘14, Scott Hanicak ‘14, and Amanda Sloan ‘16:

Titan Fifth Quarter CMU v. WC from WCN 24/7 on VIMEO on Vimeo.

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 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 378 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 to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.

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