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November 7, 2009

Grove City rallies past Westminster, 38-31

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Senior quarterback Andrew DiDonato (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) fired a 21-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Luke O'Hara (New Castle, Pa./New Castle) with 13 seconds left Saturday to give Grove City a 38-31 victory over visiting Westminster in Presidents' Athletic Conference action at Robert E. Thorn Field. It is Grove City's 10th Senior Day win in the last 11 years.

Grove City converted a pair of 3rd-and-13 situations on its game-winning 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. On the first conversion, DiDonato fired a 34-yard pass to sophomore wingback Clayton Hall (North Canton, Ohio/Jackson). Later in the drive, DiDonato tossed a 21-yard completion to sophomore tailback Blaine Miller (Mount Joy, Pa./Donegal).

Two plays later, DiDonato hit a leaping O'Hara in the back of the end zone for the touchdown. O'Hara caught three passes for 85 yards with all three catches going for touchdowns. O'Hara tied a single-game Grove City record with the three touchdown catches.

Miller, meanwhile, finished with 167 yards receiving on five catches. The 167 receiving yards are the most ever by a Grove City running back. That total is also the fourth-highest single game total by any Wolverine receiver.

DiDonato threw for 365 yards on 20-of-31 accuracy. Grove City outgained Westminster 498-282.

Westminster (3-6, 2-4 PAC) jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first half. Nick McKolosky capped the opening drive of the game with a three-yard touchdown run six minutes into the game. Trevor Young's 39-yard field goal at the 14:04 mark of the second quarter extended the lead to 10-0.

However, Grove City scored the final 10 points of the first half. Miller scored on a two-yard plunge with 11:09 left in the half to punctuate an eight-play, 83-yard drive. Miller's 63-yard catch and subsequent run highlighted the drive.

Later in the quarter, Westminster recovered a fumble at the Grove City 21. On third-and-goal at the 3, Grove City cornerback Randy Santina (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) intercepted a Shawn Lehocky pass in the end zone to snuff out the drive.

Miller's 55-yard reception on the subsequent drive advanced the ball to Westminster's 25. With 1:48 left in the half, junior kicker Craig Bicehouse (Prospect, Pa./Slippery Rock) drilled a 24-yard field goal to tie the game.

Westminster reclaimed the lead at 17-10 early in the second half as Daniel Joyce returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown. Grove City responded by scoring 21 straight points, though. Miller tied the game with a one-yard touchdown run with 8:48 remaining in the third quarter.

Following a Westminster punt, Grove City took its first lead of the game with 2:09 in the period as Hall took a handoff and before turning upfield, threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to an open O'Hara in the end zone.

Grove City pushed the lead to 31-17 as DiDonato lofted a 36-yard touchdown pass to O'Hara. Westminster tied the game though as Lehocky scored on a one-yard touchdown run and McKolosky scored from two yards out with 3:06 left.

Following O'Hara's go-ahead touchdown, Westminster moved to the 50 but sophomore linebacker Jason Ferguson (Mineral Ridge, Ohio/Mineral Ridge) intercepted Lehocky's desperation pass.

McKolosky ran for 107 yards on 24 carries. Lehocky ran for 42 yards and also completed 11 of 21 passes for 68 yards.

Junior Zach Summy (Manheim, Pa./Manehim Central) added five catches for 58 yards for the Wolverines. Miller ran for 59 yards on 14 carries. Miller's 226 yards from scrimmage are the most for a Grove City player since R.J. Bowers ran for 226 yards against Alfred November 11, 2000.

Ferguson recorded 10 tackles for the Wolverines while junior safety Mark Rossol (Waterville, Ohio/Toledo Christian) had nine stops.

Each of the last six meetings between Grove City and Westminster has been decided by seven points or less.

Grove City will conclude the 2009 regular season next Saturday at Thiel in the 26th annual battle for the prestigious Mercer County Cup. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m.

Box Score

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