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September 18, 2010

Grove City rolls past Westminster

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- The Grove City defense forced four turnovers and limited host Westminster to just seven offensive points Saturday as the visiting Wolverines earned a 31-16 victory over Westminster in both teams' Presidents' Athletic Conference opener at Memorial Field. Grove City is now 2-1 overall and atop the PAC with a 1-0 league mark.

Grove City's defense sealed the win by intercepting Westminster passes on each of the Titans' final two drives of the game. Sophomore cornerback Mike Brown (Corry, Pa./Corry) intercepted a Shawn Lehocky pass at the Grove City 35 with 3:55 remaining in the game.

In the final minute of the game, junior linebacker Tim Irwin (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central) intercepted Lehocky at the 12-yard line, clinching the victory.

Grove City turned each of Westminster's first two turnovers into touchdowns. After junior linebacker Marc Shamley (Orlando, Fla./Pine Castle Christian) intercepted a deflected pass at the Westminster 43 at the 3:31 mark of the second quarter, the Wolverines assembled an eight-play touchdown drive. Junior quarterback Zach Gross (Butler, Pa./Knoch) capped the possession by firing an eight-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Will McCoy (Newark, Ohio/Newark) with 32 seconds left in the half.

Gross entered the game two plays prior after junior quarterback Clayton Hall (North Canton, Ohio/Massillon Jackson) left the game due to injury. Hall completed nine of 14 passes for 58 yards. Gross, in his first extensive action of the season, completed seven of eight passes for 105 yards and two scores.

The Wolverines forced the second of those four turnovers early in the third quarter when junior defensive end Zack Patterson (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette) sacked Lehocky and forced a fumble. Junior nose tackle Jarred Frawley (Franklin, Pa./Franklin) recovered the ball at the Westminster 29. Nine plays later, Gross scored on a five-yard touchdown to give Grove City a 24-9 lead with 8:42 left in the period.

Grove City broke the game open early in the fourth quarter when Gross hit senior wide receiver Luke O'Hara (New Castle, Pa./Shenango) on a 64-yard touchdown pass with 11:48 left.

The Wolverines took a 7-0 lead with 4:09 left in the opening period when Hall tossed a three-yard touchdown pass to senior wingback A.J. Tapper (Venango, Pa./Cambridge Springs) on third-and-goal.

Westminster got on the board 14 seconds into the second quarter when a shotgun snap went over Hall's head and into the end zone. Hall fell on the ball, conceding a safety. On the subsequent drive, Grove City stopped Westminster running back Logan Belinda on fourth down at the Wolverine 36.

The Wolverines extended their lead to 10-2 on a 31-yard field goal by senior kicker Craig Bicehouse (Prospect, Pa./Slippery Rock) with 8:23 left in the half. A 29-yard run by sophomore tailback Shane Kaclik (Mars, Pa./Mars) helped set up Bicehouse's field goal.

Westminster's Kyle Allen returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, cutting Grove City's lead to 10-9.

Junior linebacker Vince Angelo (Lower Burrell, Pa./Burrell) recorded a team-high 10 tackles for Grove City while classmate Jason Ferguson (Mineral Ridge, Ohio/Mineral Ridge) made nine stops from his linebacker position. Brown also broke up a pair of passes.

O'Hara caught four passes for 80 yards. Junior tailback Blaine Miller (Mount Joy, Pa./Donegal) added four catches for 38 yards. Kaclik led Grove City with 30 yards rushing.

Lehocky completed 20 of 40 passes for 238 yards. Belinda ran for 53 yards. Westminster owned a 303-239 edge in total yards. Grove City held Westminster to 1-for-4 efficiency inside the red zone. Meanwhile, the Wolverines converted on all four trips inside Westminster's 20-yard line. Grove City also converted nine of 16 third-down opportunities and went 2-for-2 on fourth down. Grove City also stopped Westminster three times in four chances on fourth down.

The win is Grove City's first at Westminster since the Titans joined the PAC in 2000.

Grove City will visit Waynesburg (1-1, 1-0 PAC) next Saturday in conference play. The game will end a three-game road swing for the Wolverines.

Box Score

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