September 17, 2011
Westminster edges Grove City
GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College football team dropped its Presidents' Athletic Conference opener Saturday night as visiting Westminster (2-1, 1-0) pulled out a 25-20 win over the Wolverines before an overflow crowd at Robert E. Thorn Field.
Grove City trailed 25-13 early in the fourth quarter but pulled to within five on a 13-yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Clayton Hall (North Canton, Ohio/Jackson). A 29-yard interception return by sophomore safety Joe Diani (Leechburg, Pa./Leechburg) set up Hall's touchdown run.
The Wolverine defense then stopped Westminster on three consecutive possessions but Grove City could not generate the go-ahead score. Grove City advanced to the Westminster 44 on its final drive before time ran out.
After Westminster took a 7-0 led with 5:41 left in the first quarter on a 12-yard touchdown catch by Geno Pasquinelli, the Wolverines forged a 7-7 tie when sophomore Jimmy Bailey (North East, Pa./North East) returned a punt 88 yards to the end zone. The return is the longest in Grove City program history.
Pasquinelli caught a 40-yard touchdown pass on the first play of the second quarter but Grove City tied the game at 13 on a 30-yard touchdown run by senior wingback Ed Reith (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills). The conversion failed.
Westminster extended its lead to 19-13 by halftime on field goals of 34 and 21 yards, respectively, by Zac Henry. Zach Hoffman's two-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave the Titans a 25-13 lead with 7:14 left in the period.
Reith led Grove City with 55 rushing yards on four carries while Hall added 49 yards on 12 attempts. Hall completed 9 of 14 passes for 33 yards. Sophomore Brian Pell (Streamwood, Ill./Wheaton Academy) threw for 54 yards on 4-of-8 passing.
Sophomore Anthony Ritchie (Big Rock, Ill./Wheaton Academy) caught four passes for 44 yards. Bailey finished with 194 all-purpose yards on the night.
Sophomore safety Chris Gibbs (Akron, Ohio/Revere) led Grove City with 10 tackles. Senior defensive end George Matthews (Allison Park, Pa./Deer Lakes) recorded eight tackles, including five for loss. He also had a sack. Junior linebacker Mario Posteraro (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) and senior nose tackle Jarred Frawley (Franklin, Pa./Franklin) combined for a sack.
Pasquinelli led Westminster with seven catches for 85 yards. John Proano led the Titans with 37 rushing yards on 18 attempts. Westminster outgained Grove City 321-225. Grove City had 14 first downs and Westminster had 13. The Titans had a 33:32-26:28 advantage in time of possession. Grove City held Westminster to a 2-for-12 effort on third down.
The Wolverines will host Waynesburg next Saturday at 2 p.m. in the annual Homecoming game.
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