Game Stats September 7, 2002
Wolverines roll past Hiram, 30-7
HIRAM, Ohio -- The Grove City Wolverines amassed 471 yards of total offense and held the ball for nearly 42 minutes as the visiting Wolverines (1-0) downed Hiram, 30-7, at Charles A. Henry Field.
While the Wolverine offense produced its largest output of yardage in three years, the Grove City defense allowed just 64 yards of total offense and held Hiram scoreless. Grove City forced Hiram into an 0-for-11 performance on third down and forced eight punts.
The Wolverines took the lead on their second possession of the game. A 13-yard punt return by Steve Roberts (East Petersburg, Pa./Hempfield) gave Grove City the ball at the Hiram 40. Senior Jason Walent (Massillon, Ohio/Tuslaw) rambled 27 yards on the second play of the drive and three plays later, Roberts scored from the 5. Mike Titzel (Greenville, Pa./Greenville) added the extra point.
After the Wolverines forced a punt, Grove City marched 55 yards in eight plays for the Wolverines' second touchdown of the quarter. Brandon McGlothlin (Freedom, Pa./Freedom) burst through the middle for 13 yards while Roberts added consecutive runs of 11 and 12 yards. Walent finished the drive with a one-yard plunge, extending the lead to 14-0.
McGlothlin finished the afternoon with a career-high 93 yards while Walent added 75 yards. Roberts gained 67 of the Wolverines' 359 rushing yards.
Hiram cut the lead in half late in the first quarter when John Smith intercepted a Todd Smargiasso (New Wilmington, Pa./Wilmington) pass and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown. However, Grove City answered with an 11-play drive that consumed over six minutes of the second-quarter clock. McGlothlin highlighted the drive with an 18-yard sprint while Walent picked up 15 on third-and-13. Titzel then booted a career-long 46-yard field goal with 9:58 left in the half.
In the final minute of the first half, Grove City moved 69 yards in just 47 seconds. Smargiasso, who threw for a career-best 100 yards, connected with Jason DeMeo (Washington, Pa./Trinity) for 19 yards. With five seconds left in the half, Smargiasso lofted a 34-yard touchdown pass to Bo Danton (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake), pushing the lead to 23-7.
Grove City capped the scoring midway through the third quarter when freshman fullback Ken Roudybush (Kittanning, Pa./Kittanning) bulled into the end zone from the 1. An interception by free safety Ross Trimmer (Hermitage, Pa./Hickory) allowed Grove City to starting its final scoring drive at the Hiram 37.
Mike Prioletti (Harmony, Pa./Seneca Valley) led the Wolverines with eight tackles while senior Kyle Vuchak (Warren, Ohio/Howland) made five stops and forced a fumble. Cornerback Gene Iannuzzi (Port Jervis, N.Y./Minisink Valley) broke up three passes while Trimmer deflected a pair. Hiram's longest drive of the day was 33 yards.
Grove City's offensive output was the highest since a 565-yard day at Thiel in 1999. The Wolverines converted 10 of 17 third-down opportunities and had to punt just once. DeMeo and Tim Flenner (Perry, Ohio/Perry) both caught a pair of passes while Roberts finished the day with 200 all-purpose yards. Grove City also executed 78 plays compared to just 41 for Hiram.
The win was Grove City's first in a season opener since 1997 when Grove City won at Kenyon, 37-30. The Wolverines now hold a 22-20-1 series edge over Hiram.
FIRST NATIONAL BANK PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
OFFENSE -- Steve Roberts
"Steve had a very productive day statistically and he did so much more than the stats show," head coach Chris Smith said. "He contributes in every way possible.
DEFENSE -- Monte Bell
"Monte played a great game," Smith said. "He caused fumbles between their quarterback and center and forced Hiram to continually commit more than one player to try and block him."
SPECIAL TEAMS -- Nick Schneider and Ross Trimmer
"Nick acted as a leader on our special teams," Smith said. " He did a great job of keeping people focused. Ross really came in and made his first college game a very successful one. He had several key hits."
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