Saturday, October 15, 2011
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - After erasing a 14-0 second-quarter deficit, the Westminster College football team scored 22 straight points and outlasted visiting Waynesburg, 22-20, Saturday in Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) action at Harold Burry Stadium. The Titans improve to 4-2 after six games for the first time since 2002 and also improve to 3-1 in the PAC for the first time since 2003. Waynesburg suffers its first PAC loss of the season as the Yellow Jackets fall to 4-2 overall and 4-1 in the league.
Westminster held Waynesburg to minus-1 rushing yards which included a 28-yard loss when an errant snap on a Waynesburg punt attempt gave Westminster the ball on the Yellow Jacket 1-yard. One play later the Titans scored on a 1-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Shawn Lehocky (Conway, Pa./Freedom) which gave Westminster its first lead of the game at 15-14 with 3:11 left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Lehocky's career-long run of 43 yards helped set up a 1-yard touchdown run by sophomore running back Tyler Banks (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) that gave the Titans a 22-14 lead with 11:37 remaining.
Waynesburg's Christian Jackson returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown with 3:34 left, but the Yellow Jackets' two-point conversion attempt to tie the game was snuffed out by the Titan defense.
Waynesburg had one last chance with 29 seconds left, but Westminster senior cornerback Jordon Rooney (New Castle, Pa./Union) intercepted a Josh Graham pass at the Waynesburg 42-yard line to clinch the victory. Rooney's interception was his first of the season and the fifth of his career.
Lehocky led the Titans in rushing and passing with 13 totes for 59 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while completing 10 of 17 passes for 123 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.
Lehocky's 43-yard pass to junior wide receiver Geno Pasquinelli (Salem, Ohio/Salem) cut the Waynesburg deficit to 14-6 with 6:39 left in the second quarter.
Pasquinelli snared three balls for 56 yards to lead the Titan receivers.
Waynesburg established the 14-0 lead when Graham threw a pair of touchdown passes to Mike Ferraro from 8 and 14 yards, in the first and second quarters.
Graham completed 20 of 41 passes for 205 yards with two touchdowns, including seven to Jackson for 63 yards.
Westminster sophomore kicker Zac Henry (North East, Pa./North East), who entered the week ranked 23rd in the nation with 1.2 field goals per game, hit a 20-yard field goal to whittle Waynesburg's lead down to 14-9 with 4:32 left in the third quarter. Henry remains perfect on the season at 7-for-7 for field goals.
Westminster outgained Waynesburg 278-204 in total yards including 155 rushing yards as junior running back John Proano (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) and Banks rushed for 58 and 39 yards, respectively, to accompany Lehocky's team-high 59 yards.
Junior linebacker Alex Kernicky (Greensburg, Pa./Greater Latrobe) posted double-digit tackles for a third straight game as he led the Titans with 10 stops with a fumble recovery. Junior linebacker Aaron Nauer (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) also posted six tackles including a sack while his three pass break-ups tied a career high.
Bryan Gary led Waynesburg with a game-high 11 tackles.
Westminster has now won 10 of its last 12 Homecoming games.
The Titans travel to Thiel Saturday, Oct. 22, 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 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.