Saturday, November 12, 2011
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College football team lost its season finale against visiting Geneva, 23-10, Saturday in Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) action at Harold Burry Stadium. Westminster finishes the season with a 5-5 record and the Titans end the year with a 4-4 PAC record, tying their most conference wins since 2002. Geneva improves to 4-6 overall and 4-4 in the league.
The Titans led 10-3 midway through the third quarter when junior defensive back J.J. Nalesnik (Darlington, Pa./Blackhawk) scored his first career touchdown on a 65-yard fumble return. Geneva then scored on four straight possessions.
Geneva's two quarterbacks, Rocco Collavecchia and Zack Hayward, tied the game with Hayward throwing to Collavecchia for an 8-yard touchdown pass with 1:04 left in the third quarter. After the second of three Bryan Visingardi field goals gave Geneva a 13-10 lead with 13:32 left in the fourth quarter, Geneva sealed the win with Hayward throwing a 20-yard touchdown to Jordon Curry with 9:04 left.
Collavecchia set a Geneva record for rushing yards by a quarterback in a single game as he ran 185 yards on 27 attempts. He also completed 1 of 6 passes for 15 yards. Hayward completed 14 of 23 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns.
Geneva outgained Westminster 387-166 in total yards, including a 247-50 rushing advantage.
Westminster senior quarterback Shawn Lehocky (Conway, Pa./Freedom) completed 10 of 26 passes for 126 yards as he finished his career ranked sixth in team history with 3,974 career passing yards.
Junior wide receiver Collin Wallace (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley) caught four passes for 70 yards and sophomore running back Tyler Banks (Meadville, Pa./Meadville) was the Titans' leading rusher with eight carries for 40 yards.
Westminster sophomore kicker Zac Henry (North East, Pa./North East) finished his season perfect on field goals, making all nine including a 31-yarder in the third quarter that tie the game. Geneva led 3-0 at halftime with a 36-yard field goal by Visingardi in the first quarter.
Westminster linebackers, junior Derrick Orloski (Butler, Pa./Slippery Rock) and sophomore Nate Moot (Johnstown, Pa./Bishop McCort), set career highs with 12 and 11 tackles, respectively, to lead the Titan defense. Junior linebacker Aaron Nauer (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) posted seven tackles, a team-high three for losses, including a forced fumble on the Nalesnik fumble return for a touchdown.
This marks the fifth 5-5 season for Westminster since its last winning record in 2002 as all five of those seasons ended with losses. The Titans' non-losing season is their 53rd in the last 61 years.
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.