November 10, 2012
Wolverines retain Mercer County Cup, 21-7
GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College football team retained possession of the prestigious Mercer County Cup Saturday afternoon by earning a 21-7 Senior Day victory over visiting Thiel in Presidents' Athletic Conference action at Robert E. Thorn Field. Grove City won the Cup for sixth straight season and now leads the all-time Cup series 20-9.
Junior quarterback Brian Pell (Streamwood, Ill./Wheaton Academy) threw a pair of touchdown passes for the Wolverines (6-4, 5-3 PAC) and also ran for a score. Meanwhile, senior linebacker Jason Ferguson (Mineral Ridge, Ohio/Mineral Ridge) led the Wolverine defense with 12 total tackles, a fumble recovery, an interception and a sack.
Pell threw his two touchdown passes in the first half to give Grove City a 14-0 lead at the intermission. His 10-yard scoring pass to junior wide receiver Anthony Ritchie (Big Rock, Ill./Wheaton Academy) with 1:11 left in the first quarter opened the scoring. That closed a 10-play, 66-yard drive.
The Wolverines doubled the lead to 14-0 with just 24 seconds left in the half when Pell threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Ritchie. Senior tailback Shane Kaclik (Mars, Pa./Mars) helped set up the touchdown with a 30-yard run on the fourth play of the nine-play possession.
Thiel (3-7, 3-5) opened the second half with an eight-play, 86-yard drive that tailback Josh Potter capped with a nine-yard touchdown run at the 10:17 mark. The Tomcats drove to Grove City's 8 on their next possession but after a penalty, Ferguson recovered a Potter fumble at the 16. Junior linebacker Ben Manwaring (Lisle, N.Y./Whitney Point) forced the fumble.
Grove City eventually converted the turnover into points as the Wolverines assembled a 12-play, 84-yard drive that used 6 minutes, 51 seconds. Pell scored on a four-yard keeper with 10:57 left, pushing the lead to 21-7.
Ferguson ended Thiel's final possession with an interception at midfield with 2:41 left. Pell's four-yard sneak on fourth-and-1 sealed the victory.
Pell completed 14 of 21 passes for 141 yards. He also ran for 94 yards on 14 carries. Kaclik added 70 yards on 19 attempts and finished the season with 1,098 yards, the sixth-highest single-season mark in program history.
Senior Dustin Anewalt (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) caught a game-high six passes for 64 yards while Ritchie had four grabs for 43 yards.
Potter led Thiel with 139 rushing yards on 18 carries while Taylor Fink had 103 yards on 14 carries. Quarterback Andrew Smith completed 12 of 24 passes for 100 yards. Matt Fezden had five catches for 48 yards.
Thiel ran for 263 yards and finished the game with a 363-315 edge in total yardage. Grove City went 7 for 13 on third down while holding Thiel to a 3-for-11 performance. Thiel had a 31:00-29:00 advantage in time of possession.
Grove City had just two penalties for 13 yards. The Wolverines committed a conference-low 41 penalties for 343 yards, another conference low, in 10 games this year.
Grove City is 13-1 on Senior Day over the last 14 seasons. Prior to the game, the Wolverines honored seniors Anewalt, guard Josh Bermann (Youngstown, Ohio/Ursuline), cornerback Mike Brown (Corry, Pa./Corry), wingback Ben Dallatore (Valencia, Pa./Mars), kicker Kurt Devlin (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny), Ferguson, Kaclik, center Scott Linkowski (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny), defensive tackle George Matthews (Allison Park, Pa./Deer Lakes), quarterback Mike McDonald (North Brunswick, N.J./North Brunswick), safety Shawn Mercer (East Liverpool, Ohio/Beaver Local), wide receiver Zac Page (Navarre, Ohio/Tuscarawas Valley), tackle Andy Pisorn (Kirtland, Ohio/Kirtland), linebacker Mario Posteraro (Wexford, Pa./North Allegheny), defensive end Marc Shamley (Orlando, Fla./Pine Castle Christian), guard Aaron Sircy (Troy, Mich./Lutheran Northwest) and linebacker Mitch White (Norton, Ohio/Norton).
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