Sunday, September 2, 2012NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Junior running back Tyler Banks (Meadville, PA / Meadville) scored a career-high two touchdowns, all in the first quarter, as the Westminster College football team opened the season with a 28-0 nonconference win over visiting Hiram Saturday night at Harold Burry Stadium. The Titans defeated Hiram in their season opener for the third straight season.
Banks, who rushed 19 times for 50 yards, scored on a pair of 2-yard touchdown runs. The first touchdown came on the Titans' first drive of the game, following a 44-yard punt return from senior Connor Kobis (Elma, NY / Bishop Timon-St. Jude). Banks's second score capped off an eight play-38 yard drive with 4:07 left in the first quarter.
In the second half, the Titans picked up where they left off as they scored with three minutes into the third quarter. Junior Dak Britt (Battle Creek, MI / Battle Creek) connected with senior Geno Pasquinelli (Salem, OH / Salem) for a 43-yard touchdown pass. Pasquinelli separated himself from the Hiram defender which created 10 yards of separation and an easy target for Britt.
Westminster's final score might have been the most impressive with an 18-play-98 yard drive. The Titans came out of a timeout and faced third-and-10 from their own 14-yard line. Junior Tommy Turnbull (Pittsburgh, PA / Avonworth), who took over for the injured Britt, found Kobis downfield for 21 yards and a Westminster first down. Westminster faced another third down on the drive, this time from the Hiram's 33 yard line. Britt was back in the game and found room for a six-yard rush and another Titan first down. Six plays later, Britt completed a pass to Kobis for a 5-yard touchdown pass.
Britt finished the game with 154 yards (14-for-25), two touchdowns, and an interception in his first game in a Titan uniform. The Tiffin transfer also had a game-high 52 yards on the ground off eight carries.
Pasquinelli led the Titans with six receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown and passed Lamont Boykins '83 for seventh all-time with 116 career receptions.
For the game, Westminster's offense out-powered Hiram 337-154 in yards.
The Titan defense was stout and only gave up 10 yards of rushing and picked off Hiram three times. Senior Derrick Orloski (Butler, PA / Slippery Rock) led Westminster with eight and a half tackles, including a team-high two tackles for a loss. Freshman Steve Ferringer (Pittsburgh, PA ) followed with five tackles. Senior Kyle Allen (New Wilmington, PA / West Middlesex) blocked a Hiram field goal attempt in the second quarter.
Westminster takes a week off and will travel to Thomas More on September 15 at 1:30 p.m.
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, a top-tier liberal arts college, ranks third in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster ranked 6th 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 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 42 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.