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September 22, 2007

Waynesburg slips past Grove City, 27-23

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Waynesburg running back Robert Heller scored on a one-yard touchdown run with 13 seconds left in the game, giving Waynesburg a 27-23 victory over host Grove City Saturday night in Presidents' Athletic Conference football action at Robert E. Thorn Field in the first-ever night home football game at Grove City College.

Heller's touchdown capped a penalty-aided six-play, 36-yard drive. Following a Grove City punt, a kick catch interference penalty moved the ball to the Grove City 36. The Yellow Jackets (3-0, 1-0 PAC) moved the ball to the 5 and on second-and-goal, Grove City cornerback Mike Baker (Harrison City, Pa./Greensburg Central Catholic) intercepted Andy Lauterbach's pass at the goal line. However, the Wolverines were flagged for both roughing the passer and pass interference.

Grove City stopped Heller on first down, but Heller scored the game-winner on second down. Heller finished the game with 211 yards on 39 carries.

Grove City fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter but rallied to tie the game with a pair of second-quarter touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Andrew DiDonato (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) fired a 21-yard touchdown pass to senior Jay Yanak (Upper Saint Clair, Pa./Upper Saint Clair) with 12:04 left in the first half. DiDonato completed 17 of 23 passes for 128 yards.

Moments later, junior linebacker Adam Eichler (North Versailles, Pa./East Allegheny) recovered a Heller fumble at the Waynesburg 20. Four plays later, senior tailback Matt Weil (Fombell, Pa./Riverside) scored on a four-yard touchdown run. Freshman Chris Haley (Butler, Pa./Butler) added his second extra point of the night, tying the game.

Heller gave Waynesburg a 20-14 lead with 3:44 left in the half, closing a six-play, 90-yard drive. However, Grove City cut the lead in half with 12 seconds left in the half as Haley drilled a 27-yard field goal. An interception by junior cornerback Matt Green (Mineral City, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley) at midfield set up Grove City's final drive in the first half. It is Green's first career interception.

Haley kicked a 26-yard field goal with 8:48 remaining in the third quarter. He then drilled a career-long 49-yard field goal with 9:11 left, giving Grove City a 23-20 lead.

Waynesburg out-gained Grove City, 373-226. Grove City owned a 32:49-27:11 advantage in time of possession. Weil led Grove City with 72 yards rushing on 20 carries. Freshman split end Zach Summy (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central) caught a career-high seven passes for 64 yards, including a 27-yard catch-and-run in the third quarter.

Baker recorded a team-high 11 tackles, along with his two interceptions and two pass deflections. Senior Bill Waugh (Bellefonte, Pa./Bellefonte) added 10 stops.

Waynesburg committed 12 penalties for 113 yards while Grove City had five penalties that cost the Wolverines 38 yards. A Thorn Field-record crowd of 5,100 attended.

Grove City will visit Westminster next Saturday, September 29, at 1:30 p.m.

Box Score

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