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September 13, 2003

Comeback falls short at CMU as Wolverines fall 35-21

PITTSBURGH -- Despite a furious second-half rally that saw Grove City nearly erase a 28-0 hole, the Wolverines dropped to 1-1 on the 2003 season with a 35-21 loss at Carnegie Mellon Saturday afternoon.

The Wolverines fell behind 28-0 less than 16 minutes into the game but nearly erased the entire deficit before falling short.

Senior quarterback Sam Mowrey (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) threw for a career-high 249 yards on 16 of 35 passing. The 249 yards is the seventh-highest single-game total in school history and is the most for a Grove City quarterback since T.J. Rockwell threw for a Grove City-record 306 yards at Mercyhurst in 1995. 

Seven of Mowrey's completions went to junior split end Dave DiDonato (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette), who picked up a career-high 132 yards on the seven catches. DiDonato's 45-yard touchdown catch off a deflection brought the Wolverines to within 28-21 at the 5:24 mark of the third quarter.

A pair of Grove City turnovers deep in the Wolverines' own territory set up two short first-quarter scoring drives for Carnegie Mellon (2-0). Leading 7-0, the Tartans turned the first of Grove City's two first-quarter turnovers into a touchdown with a two-play, 20-yard touchdown drive. Fullback Brad Stanley capped the drive with an 18-yard touchdown run, his second of four scores on the day.

Stanley added a one-run touchdown run with 2:55 left in the first quarter, extending the lead to a 21-0 after a Grove City fumble. Following a Grove City punt, CMU boosted the lead to 28-0 on another one-yard touchdown run by Stanley. Stanley ran for 122 yards on 25 carries.

The Wolverines broke through on their final possession of the first half, moving 76 yards in 11 plays. Senior fullback Steve Roberts (East Petersburg, Pa./Hempfield) ignited the drive with a 13-yard sprint while junior wingback Brandon McGlothlin (Freedom, Pa./Freedom) rambled 26 yards on a third-and-3 play.

On fourth-and-4 from the 7, Mowrey slipped into the end zone, cutting the lead to 28-7.

The Wolverines then took the initial possession of the third quarter and marched 70 yards on a dozen plays to cut the lead to 28-14. Sophomore Adam Wargo (Champion, Ohio/Champion) sprinted 15 yards on the first play of the drive while Mowrey threw third-down completions to DiDonato (22 yards) and an 11-yarder to senior Tim Flenner (Perry, Ohio/Perry).

Sophomore fullback Ken Roudybush (Worthington, Pa./Kittanning) ended the drive with a two-yard touchdown run.

Following a Tartan punt, Grove City needed just 2:08 to move 68 yards. Senior Bo Danton (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) picked up a pair of first downs with two catches. Mowrey then lofted the 45-yard touchdown strike to DiDonato, who pulled in the pass after tipping it up in the air. Michael Titzel's (Greenville, Pa./Greenville) third extra point of the game cut the deficit to 28-21.

The Wolverines had an opportunity to potentially tie the game after junior linebacker Mike Choby (North Huntingdon, Pa./Norwin) forced and recovered a Stanley fumble at the Grove City 43. Mowrey connected with Danton for 38 yards on a scissors flea-flicker. However, Carnegie Mellon defensive back Greg Botta intercepted Mowrey's next pass at the 6 and returned it into Wolverine territory.

Carnegie Mellon then sealed the win with a 9-play, 48-yard drive that ended with Ryan Neupaver's 15-yard touchdown run.

Danton caught four balls for 69 yards while McGlothlin and Flenner each caught two passes. Mowrey led the Wolverines with 46 yards rushing. Grove City out-gained CMU, 400-305, but could not overcome four turnovers. DiDonato finished with 197 all-purpose yards. 

Choby led Grove City with 11 tackles while senior strong safety Greg Grupp (Harmony, Pa./Slippery Rock) made 10 stops. Sophomore linebacker Aaron Margo (Dover, Ohio/Dover) recorded his first career sack while senior Monte Bell (Blairsville, Pa./Blairsville) also had a sack. 

Box Score

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