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Sophomore FB Steve Roberts accounted for 205 of the Wolverines' 325 yards of total offense Saturday. (photo by Jake Forbes)

GCC blanks Bethany, 9-0

by Ryan Briggs


GROVE CITY, PA, October 27, 2001--Sophomore fullback Steve Roberts ran for a career-high 205 yards on 31 carries and the Wolverine defense held Bethany to just 137 yards of offense, lifting Grove City College to a 9-0 win over the Bison at Robert E. Thorn Field.

The Wolverine defense harassed Bison quarterback Jeremy Lacaria into an 8-for-34 passing peformance. Grove City intercepted three Lacaria passes and broke up an additional 11 passes.

It’s the Wolverines’ first shutout since a 56-0 win at Thiel in 1999.

“The defense played a super game,” 18th-year head coach Chris Smith said. “In this day with all of the offense there is, a shutout is a huge, huge thing.”

Meanwhile, Grove City quarterback Mike Kashurba completed 8 of 14 attempts for 55 yards. Kashurba added 43 yards rushing.

Kashurba helped the Wolverines break a scoreless tie late in the first half. The senior lofted a 10-yard touchdown pass to split end Todd Gibson in the back of the end zone with 35 seconds left in the half. The PAT failed, leaving GCC on top 6-0 at the intermission.

An 18-yard run by halfback Todd Smargiasso helped keep the drive going while a 9-yard gain from Roberts on third-and-3 put Grove City in scoring position.

Smargiasso, Grove City’s backup quarterback, started at halfback due a rash of injuries in the Wolverine backfield. Smargiasso and Dan Stoffer each caught a team-high three passes.

“I’m proud of (Smargiasso),” Smith said. “He’s playing out of position and is doing a great job.”

The Wolverine defense kept Bethany at bay all afternoon, holding the Presidents’ Athletic Conference’s top rushing attack to just 64 yards on 23 attempts.

Bethany crossed into Grove City territory just once in the first three quarters and had just two first downs at halftime. The Wolverines also forced nine punts.

Inside linebacker Adam Corbett led the Wolverine defense with 10 tackles and two pass break-ups while Greg Grupp, Mike Prioletti and Josh Sachleben all intercepted passes. Grupp and Nathan Nosal each broke up two passes, also.

Midway through the third quarter, Roberts ripped off a 25-yard run up the middle on a trap play, putting the Wolverines deep in Bethany territory.

“(Roberts) twists and turns and finishes off his runs very well,” Smith said.

Mike Titzel booted a 24-yard field goal that stretched the lead to 9-0. Titzel also averaged 38 yards per punt and recovered an onside kick in the game.

“Mike Titzel had a great special-teams day,” Smith said.

Grove City held a 2-to-1 advantage in time of possession and finished with 270 yards rushing.

The game was the lowest scoring contest at Thorn Field since Grove City defeated John Carroll, 3-2, in the 1988 season finale.

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