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October 4, 2008

Wolverines down Saint Vincent, 27-12

LATROBE, Pa. -- The Grove City College defense forced three turnovers, scored a touchdown and held host Saint Vincent to just 56 rushing yards Saturday afternoon as the visiting Wolverines earned a 27-12 victory over Saint Vincent Saturday afternoon at Chuck Noll Field in a clash of Presidents' Athletic Conference members. Grove City is now 3-2.

Offensively, senior tailback Brian Mercer (Ridgewood, N.J./Ridgewood) ran for 118 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. He also caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Andrew DiDonato (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) in the third quarter that gave Grove City a 19-3 lead.

Grove City took a 6-0 lead on its opening possession of the game as Mercer's two-yard touchdown run capped a nine-play, 80-yard drive. Mercer ran for a pair of first downs on the drive while freshman quarterback/running back Clayton Hall (North Canton, Ohio/Jackson) caught a 17-yard pass and also ran for 20 yards on the possession.

Grove City owned a 6-3 lead in the final minute of the first half when senior safety Zach Fulmer (New Holland, Pa./Garden Spot) intercepted a Jake Smith pass at the Wolverines 40 and returned it 60 yards for his first collegiate touchdown. It is Fulmer's PAC-leading fourth interception of the season. Freshman wingback Ed Reith (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) added the extra point.

The Wolverines opened the second half by stretching their lead to 19-3. DiDonato kept the drive alive by firing a six-yard pass to senior wide receiver Stephen Mercer (East Liverpool, Ohio/Beaver Local) on third-and-5 at the Saint Vincent 21. On the next play from scrimmage, DiDonato threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Brian Mercer. The 8-play, 61-yard drive used six minutes and 44 seconds.

Saint Vincent pulled to within 19-6 with 2:11 left in the third quarter on a 37-yard field goal from Aaron Jones. However, Grove City put the game away on the ensuing drive. DiDonato capped the 10-play, 63-yard march with a 21-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Zach Summy (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central). DiDonato then threw a successful two-point conversion pass to junior wingback Danny Van Dyke (Sandy Lake, Pa./Lakeview).

Saint Vincent closed the scoring with 9:03 left as Smith threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Dan Blaszkowski.

Stephen Mercer caught five passes for 50 yards while Summy had three catches for 50 yards. Hall also caught three passes for 23 yards. DiDonato completed 15 of 25 attempts for 161 yards and two touchdowns, along with two interceptions. Grove City converted seven of 13 third-down situations and also owned a 10-minute edge in time of possession during the second half.

Freshman weakside linebacker Jason Ferguson (Mineral Ridge, Ohio/Mineral Ridge) recorded eight tackles, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. Senior middle linebacker Adam Eichler (North Versailles, Pa./East Allegheny) recorded 11 tackles while senior cornerback Mike Baker (Harrison City, Pa./Greensburg Central Catholic) added nine stops. Sophomore end Kevin Twarek (Aurora, Ohio/Aurora) posted seven tackles, including three for loss. He also had 1.5 sacks. Senior strongside linebacker Ian Minster (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) recorded eight stops and a sack. Junior safety Vance Keirsey (Mineral Ridge, Ohio/Mineral Ridge) forced a fumble.

Smith completed 18 of 29 passes for 146 yards for Saint Vincent (1-4). Saint Vincent is in its second year of varsity football after restarting its program last year after a 45-year hiatus. Grove City had not played in Latrobe since 1932.

The win is Grove City's first on the road this season. The Wolverines return home next Saturday, October 11 to host Geneva at 1:30 p.m.

Box Score

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