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November 8, 2008

Grove City falls to Westminster, 24-21

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- The Grove City College football team dropped a 24-21 decision to host Westminster Saturday afternoon in Presidents' Athletic Conference action at Memorial Field. Grove City is now 5-4 overall and 2-3 in the PAC.

Grove City drove to the 1 on its final possession but Westminster stopped junior quarterback Andrew DiDonato (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) inches from the goal line on the final play of the game. On the previous play, DiDonato fired an 18-yard pass to sophomore wide receiver Zach Summy (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central) that put the ball on the 1 with 3.8 seconds left.

Grove City used its final time-out after the completion to Summy. On first-and-goal, DiDonato plunged forward but could not get over the goal line as time expired. The Wolverines had moved 56 yards in just 40 seconds prior the final play of the game.

Westminster grabbed a 24-21 lead with 46 seconds left as Justin Morgano caught an eight-yard touchdown pass from Kevin Franz.

Grove City trailed 17-7 entering the fourth quarter but rallied to take the lead with a pair of touchdowns. Freshman tailback Blaine Miller (Mount Joy, Pa./Donegal) scored on a 12-yard touchdown run with 11:43 left, cutting the lead to 17-14. The run capped a 10-play, 67-yard drive.

Following a Westminster punt, the Wolverines marched 61 yards on seven plays to the end zone. DiDonato raced six yards around left end for the go-ahead touchdown. DiDonato led Grove City with 127 yards on 24 attempts while Miller ran for 77 yards on 18 attempts. DiDonato also completed 25 of 38 pass attempts for 236 yards. His 363 yards of individual total offense are a single-game Grove City record.

Grove City amassed 454 yards of offense and a season-high 31 first downs while executing 85 offensive plays. The Wolverines also converted eight of 14 third-down opportunities and also only punted once. Grove City owned a nine-minute edge in time of possession.

Senior wide receiver Stephen Mercer (East Liverpool, Ohio/Beaver Local) caught eight passes for 82 yards while Summy had six catches for 57 yards.

Grove City moved the ball inside the Westminster 20 on seven different occasions but only converted three opportunities into points.

Westminster took a 7-0 lead with 1:06 left in the first quarter on Nick McKolosky's nine-yard touchdown run. The Titans extended the lead to 10-0 early in the third quarter on Travis Young's 26-yard field goal. Grove City broke through at the 6:01 mark of the third quarter on Miller's four-yard touchdown run. Mercer set up the five-play drive by returning a short punt to the Titan 30.

Defensively, senior middle linebacker Adam Eichler (North Versailles, Pa./East Allegheny) recorded 10 tackles, forced a fumble and also intercepted a Franz pass in the fourth quarter. Freshman linebacker Marc Shamley (Orlando, Fla./Pine Castle Christian) recorded his fifth sack of the season.

McKolosky ran for 132 yards on 30 carries. Franz completed 15 of 29 passes for 155 yards. Westminster had 280 yards of offense and 17 first downs.

Grove City will wrap up the 2008 regular season next Saturday against Thiel in the 25th annual Mercer County Cup game.

Box Score

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