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October 30, 2010

Comeback falls just short

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- The Grove City College football team nearly rallied from a 21-point deficit at Presidents' Athletic Conference rival Washington & Jefferson Saturday afternoon but the Wolverine comeback fell just short in a 21-14 setback at Cameron Stadium.

Grove City trailed 21-0 in the third quarter but broke through with 3:10 left on a three-yard touchdown run by junior tailback Blaine Miller (Mount Joy, Pa./Donegal). Miller's run capped an 11-play, 67-yard drive that used up 5 minutes, 7 seconds.

After forcing a W&J punt, the Wolverines (3-5, 1-4 PAC) assembled a 17-play, 69-yard scoring drive that consumed 8:32. Miller scored from the 1 to trim the lead to 21-14.

Grove City regained possession twice in the final three minutes but could not tie the game. W&J safety Erik Espe intercepted a pass at the Grove City 35 to end the first of those two possessions. The Wolverines then turned over the ball on downs at their own 21 in the closing moments.

Miller ran for 64 yards on 19 carries and junior wingback Ed Reith (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) added 44 yards on seven carries. Freshman quarterback Brian Pell (Streamwood, Ill./Wheaton Academy) completed 22 of 37 passes for 183 yards.

Junior tight end Anthony Reda (Pittsburgh, Pa./Seton La Salle) caught a career-high six passes for 42 yards. Senior wide receiver Luke O'Hara (New Castle, Pa./Shenango) had five catches for 65 yards.

Grove City out-gained W&J 329-301. The Wolverines also had a 35:11-24:49 edge in time of possession and a 21-18 advantage in first downs. Grove City converted 11 of 19 third-down opportunities.

W&J (6-2, 4-1 PAC) took a 7-0 lead at the 9:36 mark of the first quarter on Tim McNerney's seven-yard touchdown run. The Presidents pushed the lead to 14-0 at the 10:15 mark of the second quarter on a nine-yard touchdown pass from Gino Rometo to Jordan Roycroft. That touchdown came after a Grove City fumble at the 37.

McNerney scored on a nine-yard run three minutes into the second half. He ran for 97 yards on 25 carries. Rometo completed 19 of 30 passes for 197 yards. Roycroft caught eight passes for 85 yards.

Senior free safety Mark Rossol (Waterville, Ohio/Toledo Christian) and junior linebacker Tim Irwin (Flemington, N.J./Hunterdon Central) led Grove City with seven tackles each. Junior linebacker Jason Ferguson (Mineral Ridge, Ohio/Mineral Ridge) and junior end Marc Shamley (Orlando, Fla./Pine Castle Christian) both had sacks.

Grove City will host Bethany November 6 in conference play at 1:30 p.m.

Box Score

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