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Football: Westminster 2009 Season Review

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Despite a rare losing season, only the seventh in the last 59 years, the Westminster College football team posted a 4-6 record in 2009 that included two signature victories.

Westminster gutted out two memorable wins at home, including a 49-42 overtime shootout over Waynesburg on Homecoming and another cliffhanger in the season finale when the Titans knocked off archrival Geneva, 31-28, with a touchdown in the final 11 seconds.

Those wins improved Westminster to 9-1 in its last 10 Homecoming games and 9-2 in its last 11 Senior Days, which are the final home games of the season. The win over Geneva was also Westminster's first victory since 2003 over a team that completed the season with seven or more wins.

With the win over Waynesburg, the Titans also defeated Bethany, 31-28, on the road before finishing with a fourth-place 2-4 record in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC), a league that put two teams in the NCAA Division III playoffs in three of the last five years.

Coached in his fifth year by Jeff Hand, the Titans placed five players on all-PAC teams including two on the first team in senior tight end Gary Hutsler (Coraopolis, Pa./Cornell) and senior tailback Nick McKolosky (Johnstown, Pa./Westmont Hilltop).

Hutsler, the team's all-time leader for receptions by a tight end, caught 27 passes for 296 yards in 2009. McKolosky was the PAC's third-leading rusher in 2009 with 82.7 yards per game. He rushed for 744 yards on 199 carries including nine touchdowns, while also catching 19 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. McKolosky, who started and played in all but one game during his four-year career, ranks fifth in school history for career rushing yards (2,891) and sixth for total touchdowns (30).

Other notable seniors that made their mark in the school record book are quarterback Kevin Franz (Finleyville, Pa./Thomas Jefferson) and receivers Jon Gubish (Pittsburgh, Pa./Northgate) and Chad Rosatelli (Clinton, Pa./Hopewell).

Franz was a four-year starter who split time as the starter in 2009 with sophomore quarterback Shawn Lehocky (Conway, Pa./Freedom). Franz finished his career at Westminster with seven major school passing records, including 7,483 career passing yards.

Gubish and Rosatelli finish their careers ranked third and fourth on the school's career receptions list with 135 and 134 catches, respectively, including Gubish breaking the school marks for catches in a season (64 in 2008) and a game (14 vs. Waynesburg in 2009).

About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College is a top tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Guide to America's Best Colleges. Westminster ranked third among liberal arts colleges in social mobility, according to the Washington Monthly College Guide, and is one of the most affordable national liberal arts colleges in Pennsylvania. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 371 Colleges" and "Best in the Northeast" 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.

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Gary Hutsler

 

Nick McKolosky