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October 20, 2007

Grove City falls to W&J

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College football team fell to 3-3 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference Saturday afternoon with a 49-14 home loss to No. 9 Washington & Jefferson (7-0, 3-0) at Robert E. Thorn Field.

W&J led 21-0 at halftime, then extended the lead to 35-0 after three quarters.

Grove City broke through with 10:51 left in the fourth quarter as freshman split end Zach Summy (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central) scooped up a fumble by senior tailback Wes Basham (Nokesville, Pa./Brenstville) and carried the loose ball into the end zone for his first collegiate touchdown. Basham had caught a screen pass from sophomore quarterback Andrew DiDonato (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) and gained 14 yards before fumbling.

A blocked punt set up Grove City's first touchdown drive as senior wingback Ian Tobin (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) blocked a Zack Zebrasky punt in W&J territory. Freshman safety Butch Kriger (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour) recovered the blocked punt at the W&J 25. Kriger also recovered two fumbles.

Grove City (3-5 overall) posted its second touchdown of the afternoon with 6:58 left in the fourth quarter as junior tailback Brian Mercer (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) scored on a one-yard touchdown run. Mercer's score capped an 11-play, 58-yard drive. Tobin caught an 18-yard pass on third-and-15 during the drive, giving Grove City a goal-to-go situation.

Tobin caught six passes for 36 passes. DiDonato completed 16 of 38 passes for 124 yards. W&J did intercept DiDonato three times however. Mercer led Grove City with 33 yards rushing on seven carries.

Grove City committed six turnovers after entering the game plus-8 in turnover margin this season.

W&J outgained Grove City, 517-196. W&J quarterback Bobby Swallow completed 22 of 33 passes for 256 yards and five touchdowns. Luke Espe and Craig Besong both caught a pair of touchdown passes for W&J, which entered the game averaging 584 yards of total offense per game.

Junior middle linebacker Adam Eichler (North Versailles, Pa./East Allegheny) paced Grove City with 11 total tackles while junior free safety Zach Fulmer (New Holland, Pa./Garden Spot) had eight tackles and a forced fumble. Senior nose tackle Justin Fowler (Newton Falls, Ohio/Newton Falls) recorded his fourth sack of the season while sophomore safety Vance Keirsey (Mineral Ridge, Ohio/Mineral Ridge) thwarted a W&J drive by intercepting a pass at the 6. It is Keirsey's first career interception.

The Presidents held a 36:58-23:02 edge in time of possession, including a 14-minute advantage in the second half.

Grove City is off next week and will return to action Nov. 3 against visiting Saint Vincent. It will be Senior Day for Grove City.

Box Score

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