Saturday, September 29, 2012
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College football team lost the lead and the game with 18 seconds left in regulation to the visiting Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) foe Grove City, 23-21, in Westminster's Homecoming game. The Titans dropped to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the PAC, while the Wolverines improved to 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
It was almost a mirror image to how the Titans lost to the nationally ranked Thomas More two weeks ago, when Westminster was leading 23-20 with a minute remaining in the game. The Saints would go on and score the game-winning touchdown with 18 seconds left on the clock. Today, Westminster was up 21-17 with 3:26 to go in the game. The Wolverines then conducted a 12-play-66-yards drive that was capped off with 5-yard touchdown pass from Grove City quarterback Brian Pell to receiver Anthony Ritchie, leaving 18 seconds on the clock. The Titans got the ball to Grove City's 12-yard line after a 32-yard pass-and-catch from junior Dak Britt ((Battle Creek, MI / Battle Creek) to senior Collin Wallace (Mechanicsburg, PA / Cumberland Valley), however the game ended as time expired.
Grove City took a 7-0 lead with 8:46 to play in the first quarter when quarterback Brian Pell scored on a 5-yard run. On Westminster's ensuing possession, junior Tyler Banks (Meadville, PA / Meadville) scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the year with a 3-yard plunge to tie the game 7-7 with 4:12 left in the quarter.
The Wolverines regained the lead with 9:06 left in the first half when Pell completed a 10-yard pass to Anthony Ritchie to put Grove City up 14-7. Running back Shane Kaclik had a 61-yard run that gave the Wolverines a first-and-ten at Westminster's 12-yard line. Grove City added insurance with a 35-yard field goal as time expired to end the first half to take a 17-7 halftime lead.
Westminster, at the 2:41 mark in the third quarter, got the ball at its 48-yard line, when Titan freshman Darrin Donikowski (Erie, PA / Mercyhurst Prep.) intercepted his first pass of his collegiate career. Grove City's Pell lost the ball initially as he was hit by junior Sean Christofferson (New Wilmington, Pa. / Wilmington), but managed to stay on his feet. The Titans narrowed Grove City's lead to 17-14 when Britt scored on a 1-yard run.
The Titans took a 21-17 lead, their first of the game, with 10:23 to go in the fourth quarter, when Britt found senior Geno Pasquinelli (Salem, OH/Salem) for a 21-yard score.
For the game, Pasquinelli had a team-high five catches for 49 yards a score and now ranks sixth all-time in Westminster history with 127 career receptions.
Banks added 91 rushing yards off 17 carries and a touchdown. Britt was 12-for-19 for 137 yards and threw a touchdown and had one interception.
Junior Dylan Heitmeier (Venetia, PA / Peters Township) led the Titan defense with a career-high 11 tackles. Junior Nate Moot (Johnstown, PA / Bishop McCort) added seven tackles, while senior Derrick Orloski (Butler, PA / Slippery Rock) and junior Taylor Heinrich (Brookville, PA / Brookeville) earned 6.5 tackles each.
Westminster will enter its second bye week of the season and will travel to Washington & Jefferson on October 13 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 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 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.