November 14, 2015
Wolverines edged in 32nd Cup fray
GREENVILLE, Pa. -- The Grove City College football team dropped a 28-23 decision Saturday afternoon at Presidents' Athletic Conference foe Thiel in the 32nd annual battle for the prestigious Mercer County Cup.
Grove City trailed 28-14 midway through the fourth quarter but the Wolverines cut the lead in half when sophomore linebacker Deion Minor (Sykesville, Md./Century) stripped Thiel quarterback Ryan Radke of the ball, secured possession, and raced 60 yards to the end zone for a touchdown.
The Wolverines twice drove into Thiel territory later in the fourth quarter but could not tie the game. Thiel punter Dylan Squires ran out of the end zone for a safety on the final play of the game, closing the scoring.
Grove City took a 7-0 lead with 7:05 left in the first quarter when senior fullback Steve Maskrey (Cranesville, Pa./Northwestern) scored on a two-yard run, capping a 10-play, 80-yard drive.
Radke ran for a 19-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, then gave Thiel a 14-7 lead with 48 seconds left in the half by throwing an eight-yard touchdown pass to halfback Kevin Daly.
Grove City tied the game on the final play of the first half, however, as junior quarterback Caleb Jakiel (Moon Township, Pa./Moon) fired a 25-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Josh Peach (Hartville, Ohio/Lake) as time expired.
Thiel reclaimed the lead on the opening drive of the third quarter when Radke threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Alex Horvatits. Thiel linebacker Jake Elk extended the lead to 28-14 by returning a fumble 62 yards for a score with 8:33 left in the third quarter.
Jakiel completed 16 of 35 passes for 233 yards. He also led Grove City with 69 rushing yards on 17 attempts. Maskrey added 47 yards on 14 carries. Peach caught six passes for 93 yards while Maskrey had five receptions for 51 yards.
Sophomore strong safety Andrew Seifert (Kettering, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) intercepted two passes for the Wolverines, who forced four turnovers for the second straight week. Minor also forced a fumble on a kickoff return that freshman safety Troy Atwood (Hudson, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian) recovered.
Senior linebacker Bobby Tuttle (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper Saint Clair) recorded a game-high 14 tackles and a half sack. Sophomore defensive end Eric Kinderman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) and senior end Tyler Campbell (Winchester, Va./Keystone Oaks, Pa.) also posted sacks. Senior nose tackle Brent Veerman (Powell, Ohio/Columbus Crusaders) added a half sack.
Radke completed 17 of 25 passes for 174 yards. He also ran for 71 yards. Grove City outgained Thiel, 349-290, and also had a 23-20 edge in first downs.
Grove City now leads the Cup series 21-11.
Saturday's game marked the final game for Grove City head coach Chris Smith, who will be retiring after 32 seasons in charge.
Twenty Wolverine seniors also played their last game: linebacker Brandon Berringer (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler), Campbell, kicker Payton Carlucci (Mars, Pa./Vincentian), quarterback/holder Drew Chorey (Grand Island, N.Y./Grand Island), wide receiver David Folkmire (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway), defensive end Ryan Hickey (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional), tackle Jake Jaszcar (Darlington, Pa./Blackhawk), guard Alex Jewell (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny), Maskrey, defensive tackle Ben McKnight (Butler, Pa./Butler), wide receiver Gabriel Moore (Lawrenceburg, Ind./Landmark Christian), wide receiver Tyler Patterson (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette), Peach, long snapper Nick Piett (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler), wide receiver Zach Rader (Butler, Pa./Butler), linebacker Joey Siefert (Vienna, Ohio/Mathews), Tuttle, Veerman, linebacker Nate Weiland (Delaware, Ohio/Columbus Crusaders) and tight end P.J. Wycech (Erie, Pa./Mercyhurst Prep).
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