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October 7, 2006

Bethany tops Grove City

BETHANY, W. Va. -- The Grove City College football team fell to 1-4 overall and 1-3 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference Saturday afternoon with a 34-28 loss to host Bethany at Bethany Field.

Grove City jumped out to a 14-6 lead in the first half. Freshman quarterback Andrew DiDonato (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) scored on a one-yard touchdown run on the final play of the first quarter. Sophomore kicker Greg Collins (Mantua, Ohio/Garfield) added the extra point.

That scoring drive started at the Bethany 16 after senior defensive end Richard Welch (Dryden, N.Y./Dryden) forced a fumble that sophomore end Ryan Rylands (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) recovered.

In the second quarter, freshman halfback Matt Weaver (Waite Hill, Ohio/Notre Dame Cathedral Latin) scored on a 17-yard touchdown run at the 9:51 mark. Collins' PAT extended the lead to 14-6. A 42-yard burst on a counter play by junior halfback Ian Tobin (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) helped set up Weaver's touchdown run.

Weaver led Grove City with 67 yards rushing on nine attempts. He also caught five passes for 16 yards. DiDonato completed 15 of 25 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown.

However, Bethany (3-2, 1-1 PAC) scored 20 straight points over the second and third quarters to take the lead for good. Matt Cruse caught a pair of touchdown passes from Brent Owens to give Bethany a 20-14 halftime lead. Owens scored on a one-yard sneak with 10:39 left in the third quarter, extending the lead to 12.

DiDonato's second touchdown run of the afternoon, a seven-yard run, cut Bethany's lead to 26-21 with 14:07 left. Bethany responded with a 10-play, 64-yard drive that ended with Brett Clough's four-yard touchdown run.

Tobin hauled in a six-yard touchdown pass from DiDonato with 37 seconds left, pulling Grove City to within six, 34-28. That capped a 21-play, 86-yard drive. Tobin caught four passes for 33 yards. Junior Jay Yanak (Upper Saint Clair, Pa./Upper Saint Clair) led Grove City with five catches for 52 yards.

Bethany outgained the Wolverines, 361-295. Owens threw for 145 yards on 12 of 20 passing.

Junior linebacker Bill Waugh (Bellefonte, Pa./Bellefonte) led Grove City with 14 total tackles.

Grove City had won nine straight against Bethany. The Wolverines will host Thiel October 14 in the annual Homecoming game. It is also the 23rd battle for the Mercer County Cup.

Box Score

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