Saturday, September 3, 2011
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Junior running back John Proano (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) scored a career-high two touchdowns as the Westminster College football team opened the season with a 17-7 nonconference win over visiting Hiram Saturday night at Harold Burry Stadium. The Titans defeat Hiram in their season opener for the second straight season.
Proano, who rushed 19 times for 43 yards, scored on a pair of 6-yard touchdown runs both resulting from two of Hiram's five lost fumbles. The first touchdown came on the Titans' second drive of the game after sophomore defensive lineman Sean Christofferson (New Wilmington, Pa./Wilmington) forced a fumble that was recovered by junior linebacker Derrick Orloski (Butler, Pa./Slippery Rock) on the Terriers' 7-yard line.
After a 22-yard field goal by sophomore Zac Henry (North East, Pa./North East) gave the Titans a 10-0 lead later in the first quarter, Westminster scored on its first drive of the second quarter.
This time Proano capped off a 5-play, 31-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown after senior defensive lineman Ryan Budziszewski (Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler) pounced on Hiram's aborted snap at the Terrier 31-yard line.
Overall, Hiram fumbled seven times, five of which were recovered by the Titans.
Hiram closed the gap to 17-7 when quarterback Brandon Hanna scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 5:19 remaining in the second quarter.
Westminster at one point converted 5 of 9 third-down conversions before finishing the game at 6-of-14. Hiram outgained Westminster 188-176 in total yards including 108-73 in rushing yards.
Westminster senior quarterback Shawn Lehocky (Conway, Pa./Freedom) completed 16 of 25 passes for 103 yards with no interceptions while getting sacked four times. Junior Geno Pasquinelli (Salem, Ohio/Salem) led the Titans with six catches for 46 yards.
Hanna finished the game with 18 carries for 110 yards while completing 16 of 25 passes, matching Lehocky's completions and attempts, for 80 yards with one interception.
The one interception Hanna threw was picked off by junior safety Kyle Allen (New Wilmington, Pa./West Middlesex) on the Westminster 1-yard line after Hiram had the ball first-and-10 on the Titan 15-yard line while trailing 17-7. The interception was Allen's sixth of his career and his first since returning an interception 33 yards for a touchdown in Westminster's 23-6 win at Hiram last year.
Sophomore linebacker Nate Moot (Johnstown, Pa./Bishop McCort) led the Titans with eight tackles and a fumble recovery in his first college start. Allen also posted seven stops.
Westminster returns to action at home Saturday as it hosts Lycoming at 1 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 is a top-tier liberal arts college, a national leader in graduation rate performance, and a "Great School, Great Price," 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 376 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.