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November 1, 2014

Bethany rallies past Grove City

GROVE CITY, Pa. -- The Grove City College football team dropped a 34-9 decision to visiting Bethany in Presidents' Athletic Conference action Saturday afternoon at Robert E. Thorn Field. Grove City led 7-3 at halftime but Bethany (6-3, 5-2 PAC) forced four turnovers in the second half.

Following a scoreless first quarter, Grove City broke through with 13:18 left in the half when freshman fullback Joe Swanson (Wattsburg, Pa./Mercyhurst Prep) scored on a one-yard touchdown run. Swanson's run capped a 16-play, 87-yard drive that used 7:19 of clock. Sophomore kicker Ryan Stewart (Indiana, Pa./Indiana) added the extra point.

Bethany trimmed the lead to 7-3 midway through the quarter on Chris Ray's 30-yard field goal. Grove City moved the ball to the Bethany 10 on its final drive of the half but Bethany blocked Stewart's 27-yard field goal attempt.

Bethany took its first lead of the game, 10-7, with 12:52 left in the third quarter on Brandon Hill's one-yard touchdown run. Grove City answered with a 12-play, 58-yard drive but Bethany stopped Grove City on 4th-and-goal at the 1.

Grove City did not yield a yard to Bethany, however, and on fourth down, senior linebacker Jason Skyrm (Harleysville, Pa./Souderton) blocked Stephen Amic's punt out of the end zone for a safety with 6:29 left in the third quarter.

Grove City fumbled on the first scrimmage play after the free kick and Bethany quickly pushed its lead to 17-9 when Brian Vales threw a nine-yard touchdown pass to Hill. Later in the quarter, Vales fired a 36-yard touchdown pass to Eric Blinn, extending the lead to 24-9.

Ray hit a 27-yard field goal five minutes into the fourth quarter while Martin McCoy's 10-yard interception return for a touchdown with three minutes left closed the scoring.

Swanson led Grove City with 56 rushing yards on 17 carries. Freshman quarterback Gabe Greco (New Brighton, Pa./New Brighton) went 7 for 13 for 64 yards. Freshman Tyler Kepple (Chicora, Pa./Karns City) threw for 37 yards on 3-for-7 accuracy. Both quarterbacks threw interceptions. Junior wide receiver Josh Peach (Hartville, Ohio/Lake) caught four passes for 48 yards.

Skyrm led the defense with eight tackles. He recorded two sacks and also forced a fumble. Freshman linebacker Josh McElrone (Harrison City, Pa./Penn-Trafford) also had eight stops in his first collegiate start.

Vales completed 16 of 23 passes for 172 yards. Blinn had 10 receptions for 155 yards. Hill ran for 58 yards on 18 carries. Grove City held Bethany to just 12 first downs. Bethany owned a 299-244 edge in total offense. Grove City owned a 34:19-25:41 advantage in time of possession. The Wolverines committed just one penalty in the game. Bethany had four penalties for 21 yards.

Grove City will visit conference foe Westminster next Saturday at 1 p.m.

Box Score

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