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September 29, 2012

Wolverines shock Westminster in closing moments

NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. -- Junior wide receiver Anthony Ritchie (Big Rock, Ill./Wheaton Academy) caught a five-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Brian Pell (Streamwood, Ill./Wheaton Academy) with 18 seconds left Saturday afternoon, vaulting the Grove City College football team to a 23-21 over host Westminster in Presidents' Athletic Conference action at Memorial Field.

Ritchie's five-yard touchdown reception capped a 12-play, 66-yard drive, which featured a pair of fourth-down conversions. Pell threw a seven-yard completion to Ritchie on fourth-and-5 early in the drive. Moments before the touchdown, Ritchie ran for three yards on fourth-and-inches on an end around.

Grove City took a 7-0 lead on its first possession of the game when Bell bootlegged into the end zone from five yards out with 8:55 left in the first quarter. Westminster (2-2, 1-2 PAC) tied the game on its subsequent possession as Tyler Banks scored on a three-yard run with 4:16 left in the quarter.

The Wolverines reclaimed the lead, 14-7, with 6:10 left in the half on Pell's 10-yard touchdown pass to Ritchie. Senior tailback Shane Kaclik (Mars, Pa./Mars) set up the touchdown with a career-long 61-yard run to the Westminster 12.

Grove City (3-2, 2-1) pushed the lead to 17-7 at the end of the first half when senior kicker Kurt Devlin (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny) drilled a career-long 35-yard field goal. Devlin's kick closed a 12-play, 51-yard scoring drive.

Westminster pulled to within 17-14 in the final minute of the third quarter on Dak Britt's one-yard touchdown run. Westminster then took its first lead of the game with 10:30 remaining in the game on Britt's 21-yard touchdown pass to Geno Pasquinelli.

Pell finished the game 23 of 34 for 200 yards. Ritchie caught nine passes for 61 yards while Kaclik had four receptions for 19 yards. Junior wide receiver Khalil Ervin (Malvern, Pa./Phoenixville) caught three passes for 64 yards, including a season-long 43-yard reception in the first half.

Kaclik ran for 127 yards on 25 carries, marking his fourth consecutive 100-yard performance. Grove City accumulated 407 yards of total offense with 207 yards coming on the ground. Grove City also had 21 first downs while limiting Westminster to just 14 first downs. The Wolverines also held an eight-minute edge in time of possession.

Junior outside linebacker Ryan Althausen (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) recorded two sacks for the Wolverines while sophomore linebacker Jason Skyrm (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton) and senior end Marc Shamley (Orlando, Fla./Pine Castle Christian) also had sacks.

Shamley also recovered a fumble -- his fourth recovery of the season -- and junior free safety Joe Diani (West Leechburg, Pa./Leechburg) intercepted a pass. Senior linebacker Jason Ferguson (Mineral Ridge, Ohio/Mineral Ridge) led Grove City with 12 total tackles.

Banks led Westminster with 91 rushing yards. Britt went 12 for 19 for 137 yards. Pasquinelli caught five passes for 49 yards.

Grove City has outscored opponents 47-17 in the fourth quarter this year. The Wolverines have won two straight games at Westminster. Grove City earned a 31-16 win at Memorial Field in 2010.

Grove City will visit Waynesburg (5-0, 3-0 PAC) next Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. in conference action.

Box Score

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