Eleven Wolverine seniors sealed their third winning season Saturday. They are: front row (L-R) OT Kyle Millet, FB R.J. Bowers, G Andy Jacks, HB Jack Gillespie and SE Jake Dailey. Back row (L-R) K-P Ben Shreve, C Shawn Kelly, HB Adam Shamenek, CB J.P. Stanislaw, QB Steve Lacinski and CB Brock McCullough.
Bowers breaks two more NCAA records as the Wolverines top Alfred, 39-17
GROVE CITY, PA, November 11, 2000--Five Wolverine seniors scored in their final game as Grove City defeated visiting Alfred, 39-17, in the season finale at Thorn Field.
Grove City closed the season with three straight victories, finishing 6-4 overall for the second year in a row. Alfred finished 4-6.
Senior fullback R.J. Bowers (West Midlesex, PA/West Middlesex) rushed for 226 yards on 36 carries, securing NCAA all-divisions records for career 200-yard games (16) and career 100-yard games (35). He raised his all-time career rushing record to 7,353 yards and, with touchdown runs of 75 and 10 yards, boosted his career points standard to 562. With no return yardage in the game, Bowers finished with a Division III-record 9,253 career all-purpose yards, 48 shy of the all-divisions record.
"We really played well today," said Bowers. "It's too bad we didn't have this atmosphere all year long. But it happened at a great time. I'm sad to see it go."
Senior quarterback Steve Lacinski (New Kensington, PA/Valley), who completed 4 of 8 passes for 71 yards, also scored twice on a pair of two-yard runs. Senior halfback Jack Gillespie, (Imperial, PA/Montour) hit paydirt from three yards out and senior place-kicker Ben Shreve (Union City, PA/Union City) booted a career-long 45-yard field goal. Senior split end and holder Jake Dailey (Karns City, PA/Karns City) also had a hand in the scoring, running in a two-point conversion.
The other six Wolverine seniors who helped Grove City post four consecutive non-losing seasons for the first time since 1975-78 include four-year starting center Shawn Kelly (Madison, OH/Madison), guard Andy Jacks (Bridgeville, PA/South Fayette) and offensive tackle Kyle Millet (Erie, PA/Iroquois), who paved the way for 304 yards rushing against the Saxons. Senior cornerbacks Brock McCullough (Spruce, PA/Purchase Line) and John-Paul Stanislaw (Cortland, OH/Lakeview) registered six and three, tackles, respectively, in their final game, while senior halfback Adam Shamenek (Etters, PA/Red Land) contributed a seven-yard gain in his only carry.
"I think the world of our seniors, as well as the whole team," praised head coach Chris Smith. "They played a very good, physical team today. I'm proud of everybody's effort. It was a great way to go out."
Alfred opened up a 7-0 lead on a 61-yard halfback option pass from Jesse Raynor to Nick Freeman. Raynor accounted for 191 yards of total offense, rushing for 130 yards on 30 carries. The Wolverines answered on their next drive when Lacinski ran in from the two.
The Saxons enjoyed their last lead of the game when quarterback Todd Zandrowicz plunged in from the one, giving Alfred a 14-7 edge. Zandrowicz completed 13 of 23 passes for 113 yards.
Bowers opened the scoring in the second quarter with a 75-yard run from scrimmage -- his longest rush of the season. Dailey mishandled the snap on the extra-point try but alertly popped up and ran it in for two points, putting the Wolverines ahead for good, 15-14, with 9:57 left before halftime.
The Wolverines went ahead, 18-14, in the final moments of the first half when Shreve nailed a 45-yard field goal, eclipsing his previous career long of 41 yards.
Grove City outscored Alfred, 21-3, in the second half, picking up another two-yard touchdown run by Lacinski late in the third quarter, which extended the lead to 25-14.
After an Alfred 24-yard field goal, the Wolverines closed the scoring on touchdown runs by Bowers and Gillespie. Bowers, wanting Gillespie to record his first career touchdown, called the play in the huddle that resulted in his fellow senior's three-yard jaunt to the end zone.
Freshman place-kicker Matt Styer (Greenford, OH/South Range) drilled four extra points.
Three Wolverine freshmen helped the defensive cause. Outside linebacker John Bialowas (North Royalton, OH/St. Edward) was credited with a team-high 10 tackles, while cornerback Dan Roseum (Chesterland, OH/West Geauga) and outside linebacker Jake Tobolewski (Girard, PA/Girard) each had an interception.
Junior outside linebacker
Adam Corbett (Warren, OH/Champion) made eight tackles, giving him a team-high
119 on the year -- seven shy of the school's single-season record set by Casey
Creehan in 1998.
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