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September 3, 2011

CMU edges Grove City 21-19

PITTSBURGH -- The Grove City College football team opened the 2011 season Saturday afternoon with a 21-19 setback at non-conference rival Carnegie Mellon at Gesling Stadium.

Grove City (0-1) pulled to within 21-19 with 3:07 left in the game on a two-yard touchdown run by senior tailback Blaine Miller (Mount Joy, Pa./Donegal). The Wolverines then went for the game-tying two-point conversion but misfired on the attempt.

Carnegie Mellon then recovered the Wolverines' onside kick attempt. The Tartans successfully ran out the clock by picking up a pair of first downs on their final possession of the game.

Grove City trailed 6-0 in the second quarter when Miller scored the first of his three touchdowns on an eight-yard run around left end with 5:25 remaining. Freshman Ethan Witmer (Columbiana, Ohio/South Range) kicked the extra point, giving Grove City a 7-6 lead.

CMU reclaimed the lead with 1:07 left in the first half on a 10-yard touchdown run by Patrick Blanks. A Grove City fumble set up CMU's four-play, 27-yard touchdown drive. The Tartans extended the lead to 18-7 on the first possession of the second half as Blanks scored on a two-yard run with 11:26 remaining in the third quarter.

Grove City slashed the lead to 18-13 late in the third quarter when Miller caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Clayton Hall (North Canton, Ohio/Massillon Jackson) with 1:59 left. The Wolverines' two-point conversion attempt failed.

Hall completed 10 of 12 passes for 104 yards. He also rushed for 100 yards on 21 attempts. Miller ran for 42 yards on 13 carries and also caught a game-high six passes for 75 yards. Sophomore wide receiver Anthony Ritchie (Big Rock, Ill./Wheaton Academy) added three catches for 18 yards.

Defensively, junior middle linebacker Mario Posteraro (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) made his first collegiate start and led Grove City with 17 tackles. Sophomore safety Chris Gibbs (Akron, Ohio/Revere) added 11 stops.

Blanks ran for 125 yards on 17 carries for CMU. CMU ran for 281 yards and owned a 332-268 edge in total offense. Grove City finished the day with 135 passing yards and 133 rushing yards. The Wolverines had a 19-18 advantage in first downs.

Grove City committed just one penalty, which cost the Wolverines five yards.

Grove City will host Lebanon Valley next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. in the 2011 home opener at Robert E. Thorn Field.

Box Score

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