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September 4, 2010

CMU clips Grove City 28-21

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- Grove City out-gained visiting Carnegie Mellon 443-260 and owned a 12-minute edge in time of possession Saturday afternoon but CMU (1-0) pulled out a 28-21 victory over Grove City in non-conference football action at Robert E. Thorn Field.

Grove City junior quarterback Clayton Hall (North Canton, Ohio/Massillon Jackson) ran for a career-high 228 yards, setting a new Grove City single-game rushing record for a quarterback. Hall ran for a pair of scores and also threw for 134 yards in his first start at quarterback.

Grove City trailed 28-21 with 2:55 left and took possession on its own 15. The Wolverines faced 4th-and-25 at midfield but Hall scrambled for 30 yards to keep the drive alive. Grove City eventually got to the 18 but three straight incompletion passes in the closing seconds snuffed out the drive.

CMU took a 7-0 lead with 6:12 left in the first quarter on Jake Nardone's 54-yard touchdown run around right end. Grove City countered quickly, however, as junior wingback Ed Reith (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) capped a six-play, 62-yard drive with a 32-yard touchdown run.

Carnegie Mellon retook the lead, 14-7, in the closing moments of the first quarter on Patrick Blanks' five-yard touchdown run. Hall sprinted 39 yards up the middle on a keeper with 5:40 left in the third quarter to tie the game at 14.

CMU asserted control of the game later in the third quarter. After Chris Garcia caught a 29-yard scoring pass from Rob Kalkstein at the 4:03 mark, Grove City fumbled the subsequent kickoff and CMU recovered at the Wolverine 30. Six plays later, Justin Pratt bulled in from the 1 to push the lead to 28-14.

Hall's second touchdown of the game -- a 23-yard run with 11:44 left -- closed the scoring.

Grove City ran for 309 yards in the game and accumulated 23 first downs. Hall completed 13 of 27 passes with one interception. The Wolverines turned over the ball four times while CMU had two turnovers.

Senior wingback A.J. Tapper (Venango, Pa./Cambridge Springs) caught a team-leading four passes for 26 yards.

Defensively, Grove City limited Carnegie Mellon to 2-for-9 efficiency on third downs. Junior linebacker Marc Shamley (Orlando, Fla./Pine Castle Christian) and junior defensive tackle Marcus Chakot (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) each had sacks. Shamley and junior end Zack Patterson (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette) both recovered fumbles.

Senior cornerback Chris Korn (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley) had eight tackles, including 2.5 for loss, in his first collegiate start.

Garcia led CMU with 66 yards rushing and Nardone gained 56. Kalkstein completed five of seven attempts for 111 yards.

Saturday's game marked the first time that the teams had faced each other in their respective season opener. CMU has won 12 straight season openers.

Hall's 228 yards are tied for the 15th-most in program history. He is the fourth player to run for more than 200 yards in a game for Grove City, joining R.J. Bowers, Steve Roberts and Doug Steiner.

Grove City will visit Lebanon Valley next Saturday, September 11.

Box Score

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