Saturday, September 21, 2013NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College football team lost, 31-0, in its home and Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) opener against Thomas More Saturday under the lights of Harold Burry Stadium. The Titans dropped to 0-2 overall, while the Saints improved to 2-0 on the season.
Thomas More, who has received national votes, scored first with 6:52 remaining in the first quarter after Saints' Jensen Gebhardt found Bobby Leonard for a 42-yard touchdown pass which capped off a four-play, 45-yard scoring drive.
On the Titans' ensuing drive, Westminster responded with a big pass-play when senior Dak Britt (Battle Creek, MI / Battle Creek) found teammate Collin Wallace (Mechanicsburg, PA / Cumberland Valley) for a 44-yard completion to the Saints' 25-yard line. Westminster, however, was unable to put any points on the scoreboard as it missed a 37-yard field goal attempt. Three plays later, Thomas More added to their lead following a 40-yard touchdown pass from Gebhardt to Winkler for Gebhardt's second score of the game. The Saints would lead 14-0 with 3:17 left the first quarter.
Westminster was at Thomas More's 35-yard line after a 12-play, 50-yard drive with 12:08 on the clock in the second quarter, however, the Titans turned the ball over on downs after an incompletion on fourth-and-eight. Thomas More added three more points to their lead after a 19-yard field goal in its next drive after a 10-play, 64-yard drive with 7:33 remaining in the half.
The Titans had another scoring opportunity in their last drive of the second half, after a 12-play, 66-yard drive, however they missed a field goal attempt as time expired.
Thomas More added two more scores in the second half. The first came in its second possession of the half off a 71-yard rush from Domonique Hayden. Two possessions later, the Saints took a 31-0 lead when Gebhardt found Winkler again, this time for 27 yards.
Wallace led the Titan offense with a game- and career-high 139 receiving yards from eight receptions. Britt went 22-for-36 for 239 yards in the air and added a team-high 32 yards rushing. Titan senior Josh Beistel (Somerset, PA / Somerset) led the defense with a team-high eight tackles, followed by senior Nate Moot (Johnstown, PA / Bishop McCort) with seven. Adding five tackles each were sophomore Justin Shaw (Monaca, PA / Central Valley), junior Dave Buzzacco (Canfield, OH / South Range), and senior Aaron Nauer (Pittsburgh, PA / Shaler).
Thomas More's Gebhardt went 12-17 with 216 yards and three touchdowns. Winkler led the Saints with 112 yards receiving and two touchdowns, while Hayden led on the ground with 178 yards rushing and a score. Kyle Fuller led Thomas More's defense with nine tackles.
Westminster will hit the road for two-straight weeks before its homecoming game. First up is at Saint Vincent on Sept. 28 at 1 p.m.
Highlights courtesy of Corey Benedict ‘14, Scott Hanicak ‘14, and Amanda Sloan ‘16:
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 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 www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.