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October 13, 2007


GREENVILLE, Pa. -- The Mercer County Cup has returned to Grove City College.

Led by two rushing touchdowns from junior tailback Brian Mercer (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) and a defensive effort that yielded just 204 total yards, Grove City pulled out a 14-13 win at Thiel in the 24th annual battle for the Mercer County Cup at Alumni Stadium. Grove City is now 3-2 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference.

Thiel (2-5, 1-3) pulled to within 14-13 with 3:05 left in the game on a seven-yard touchdown run from junior running back Dan Hess. However, Grove City junior end Ryan Rylands (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) deflected the extra point, preserving the lead. Thiel regained possession 2:32 left and advanced the ball to the Grove City 36. However, Sammy Koyl's 53-yard field goal with 1:28 left fell short and Grove City sealed the win.

Grove City (3-4 overall) took a 7-0 lead with 11:48 left in the first quarter on a four-yard touchdown by Mercer. The score came two plays after Mercer forced a fumble on a punt, which freshman long snapper A.J. Tapper (Venango, Pa./Cambridge Springs) recovered at the 9.

Thiel tied the game with 3:01 left in the first quarter as Steve Minton scored on a two-yard touchdown run. Midway through the second quarter, Minton fumbled at the Thiel 26 and freshman strong safety Butch Kriger (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour) recovered. Senior linebacker Bill Waugh (Bellefonte, Pa./Bellefonte) forced the fumble.

Following the recovery, Mercer capped a six-play drive with a four-yard touchdown run. Mercer led Grove City with a career-high 92 yards on 22 carries. Senior Wes Basham (Nokesville, Va./Brentsville) added 63 yards on 14 carries. As a team, Grove City ran for 151 yards. The Wolverines owned a 212-204 edge in total yardage. Grove City also finished the game plus-3 in turnover margin. Grove City is now plus-8 in turnover margin this year.

Junior linebacker Ian Minster (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) intercepted a pass in the third quarter while Waugh led Grove City with 11 tackles. Junior defensive tackle Tony Clark (Stow, Ohio/Stow) added nine stops, including two for loss. Grove City had a season-high seven tackles for loss.

Sophomore quarterback Andrew DiDonato (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) completed 10 of 21 passes for 61 yards. Senior split end Jay Yanak (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper Saint Clair) caught four passes, as did senior wingback Ian Tobin (Titusville, Pa./Titusville).

Minton ran for 59 yards on 14 carries while quarterback Marc LaScola and Hess both ran for 30 yards. Thiel averaged just 2.9 yards per carry. LaScola threw for 85 yards on 9-of-14 accuracy.

Grove City had not won the Cup since a 16-15 win at Thiel in 2003. Grove City leads the Mercer County Cup series 15-9.

The Wolverines will host nationally-ranked Washington & Jefferson next Saturday, October 20 at 1:30 p.m.

Box Score

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