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November 13, 2010

Grove City retains coveted Mercer County Cup

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College football team closed the 2010 regular Saturday afternoon with a 35-21 victory over visiting Thiel in the 27th annual battle for the prestigious Mercer County Cup at Robert E. Thorn Field. Grove City finishes the regular season 5-5 overall and 3-4 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference.

Junior tailback Blaine Miller (Mount Joy, Pa./Donegal) ran for a career-high 225 yards on 33 carries while junior wingback Ed Reith (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) added a career-high 98 yards on 10 carries. Grove City ran for a season-high 369 yards and averaged 6.4 yards per carry in the win.

Grove City jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first half. Freshman quarterback Brian Pell (Streamwood, Ill./Wheaton Academy) gave Grove City a 7-0 lead with a 15-yard touchdown run at the 1:23 mark of the first quarter.

The lead grew to 14-0 with 4:17 left in the half when Reith raced 50 yards around left end on a jet sweep to the end zone.

Grove City then recovered the subsequent kickoff as sophomore linebacker Mitch White (Norton, Ohio/Nordonia) jumped on the loose ball at the Thiel 30. Three plays later, Pell lofted a 20-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Luke O'Hara (New Castle, Pa./Shenango).

Thiel (0-10, 0-7 PAC) closed the gap to 21-7 before halftime on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Jared Soell to Kyle Turkalj. Thiel then trimmed the lead to 21-14 five minutes into the third quarter when Soell scored on an eight-yard scramble.

Thiel attempted a pooch kickoff but Grove City's Jeff Amstutz (Wooster, Ohio/Wooster) caught the ball at the Thiel 47 and after a penalty against the Tomcats, Grove City took over at the 32. Miller carried the ball seven straight plays and scored on a 3-yard touchdown run to extend the lead back to 14 points, 28-14.

Soell's second eight-yard touchdown run cut the Grove City lead to 28-21 with 2:09 left in the third quarter. Grove City put the game away in the fourth quarter when Miller raced 58 yards to the end zone for a touchdown with 3:11 remaining in the game.

Grove City outgained Thiel 467-177 and held a 21-11 edge in first downs. Grove City also owned possession for 36 minutes, 21 seconds.

Pell completed eight of 13 passes for 98 yards. He also ran for 38 yards. O'Hara grabbed three passes for 57 yards. Senior Zach Summy (Manheim, Pa./Manheim Central) added two catches for 14 yards.

Soell completed 10 of 22 passes for 92 yards. Turkalj had four catches for 49 yards.

Defensively, the Wolverines recorded a season-high five sacks. Junior defensive end Zach Patterson (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette) recorded a career-high 2.5 sacks while junior linebacker Marc Shamley (Orlando, Fla./Pine Castle Christian) and junior tackle Marcus Chakot (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) both had sacks. Junior nose tackle Jarred Frawley (Franklin, Pa./Franklin) added a half-sack.

Senior cornerback Chris Korn (Spring Mills, Pa./Penns Valley) intercepted his team-leading third pass of the season.

Senior free safety Mark Rossol (Waterville, Ohio/Toledo Christian) led the Wolverines with six tackles.

Grove City now leads the Cup series 18-9. It is Grove City's fourth straight Cup victory. The Wolverines are also 11-1 in their last 12 Senior Day games. The 35 points are a season-high for Grove City. The Wolverines are 126-5-1 all-time when scoring 30 or more points in a game.

Grove City recognized its 16 seniors prior to Saturday's game: kicker Craig Bicehouse (Prospect, Pa./Slippery Rock), defensive end/long snapper Blane Gold (Franklin, Pa./Franklin), defensive tackle Luke Harmon (Corvallis, Ore./Santiam Christian), wingback Tyler Kirkwood (Frenchville, Pa./Clearfield), Korn, strong safety Butch Kriger (Pittsburgh, Pa./Montour), end Dwayne Lettie (Southington, Ohio/Southington), O'Hara, defensive tackle Dan Pesta (Girard, Pa./Girard), offensive tackle Pete Polesnak (Hermitage, Pa./Kennedy Catholic), Rossol, end Jes Schnatterly (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park), guard Sam Schwabenbauer (Franklin, Pa./Franklin), linebacker Matt Skyrm (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton), Summy and wingback A.J. Tapper (Cambridge Springs, Pa./Cambridge Springs).

Box Score

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