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September 11, 2004

Wolverines force 6 turnovers, nip CMU 16-14

PITTSBURGH -- The Grove City College defense forced six Carnegie Mellon turnovers, registered three quarterback sacks and a safety Saturday afternoon, helping lead the Wolverines (2-0) to a 16-14 win over CMU at Gesling Stadium in non-conference football action.

It is Grove City's first-ever victory at Gesling Stadium, which was built in 1990. Grove City is also 2-0 for the first time since 1994.

Junior strong safety Aaron Margo (Dover, Ohio/Dover) helped lead the defensive charge with a career-high 15 tackles, including four for loss. Senior cornerback Gene Iannuzzi (Port Jervis, N.Y./Minisink Valley) and junior free safety Ross Trimmer (Hermitage, Pa./Hickory) both intercepted passes.

As a unit, Grove City limited Carnegie Mellon's ground-oriented offense to just 2.9 yards per carry.

For the second straight week, Grove City fell behind 7-0 in the first quarter as CMU assembled a 6-play, 52-yard drive that Joseph Hurley capped with a four-yard touchdown run.

After junior punter Henry Johnston (Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill) pinned CMU inside its own 5, the Wolverines tackled Tartan fullback Jon Cakert in the end zone on the final play of the first quarter, cutting the Tartan lead to 7-2.

Following the free kick, Grove City opened the second quarter with 12-play, 58-yard drive that consumed over seven minutes. The Wolverines converted four third-down situations on the drive and did not throw the ball during the possession. Senior fullback Brandon McGlothlin (Freedom, Pa./Freedom) capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown run.

Sophomore quarterback Scott Fichter (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) then lofted a pass to senior split end Dave DiDonato (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) in the end zone for the two-point conversion.

Later in the second quarter, junior linebacker Ben Szelong (Gibsonia, Pa./Hampton) recovered a fumbled punt at the CMU 15. Three plays later, junior quarterback Bradford Clark (Letart, W. Va./Wahama) tossed a nine-yard touchdown pass to DiDonato on a fade pattern after Clark called an audible at the line of scrimmage. The extra point failed.

The Tartans slashed the lead to 16-14 on the first play of the fourth quarter as Mike Ginestra scored on a 13-yard touchdown run. Carnegie Mellon could not regain the lead later in the quarter, however, as kicker Neil Stegall missed a 38-yard field goal with 4:23 left.

Stegall then missed a 49-yard attempt with 18 second left and the Wolverines were able to run out the clock.

Szelong added nine tackles for Grove City while senior All-America linebacker Mike Choby (North Huntingdon, Pa./Norwin) added eight tackles, including three for loss. Junior defensive end Steve Weary (Fredonia, Pa./Reynolds) racked up seven tackles and a sack while sophomore defensive tackle Jordan Johnston (Strattanville, Pa./Clarion-Limestone) added a sack.

Senior end Dan Bukowski (North East, Pa./Mercyhurst Prep) had a sack, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble. Trimmer and junior nose tackle Adam Gaab (McMurray, Pa./Peters Township) also recovered fumbles.

McGlothlin led Grove City with 53 yards rushing while Clark went 5-of-11 for 32 yards. Fichter completed one of four attempts for seven yards. Ginestra led CMU with 53 rushing yards while quarterback Jarrod Highberger went 8-for-21 for 95 yards and two interceptions.

Grove City will host Wooster next Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Box Score

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