Ohio Wesleyan 25, Grove City 15

September 12, 1998--Grove City overcame two deficits but not a third as host Ohio Wesleyan prevailed 25-15 in its season opener in Delaware, Ohio.  The Wolverines fell to 0-2.

Grove City sophomore fullback R.J. Bowers (West Middlesex, PA/West Middlesex) posted his second straight 100-yard rushing day with 122 yards on 25 carries, including a 55-yard touchdown run. 

Ohio Wesleyan got on the board first at 4:07 of the first quarter on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Ty Stillman to Phil Heyn.  The Battling Bishops led 6-0 after the extra-point kick failed.

The Wolverines took their first lead of 1998 on their ensuing possession when junior halfback Matt Paylo (Baden, PA/North Allegheny) scampered in from 20 yards out, capping a nine-play, 73-yard drive to start the second quarter.  Sophomore kicker Ben Shreve (Union City, PA/Union City) drilled the point-after to give Grove City a 7-6 edge. 

The Battling Bishops regained the lead with 8:10 left before halftime on a 19-yard run by James Dietz.  Ohio Wesleyan's two-point conversion pass failed and the Bishops led 12-7.

Less than two minutes later, Grove City again responded with a touchdown of its own courtesy of Bowers' 55-yard run.  Sophomore Jake Dailey (Karns City, PA/Karns City) hauled in a two-point pass to put the Wolverines ahead, 15-12.

Ohio Wesleyan added the game-winning score 1:35 before halftime on a 76-yard punt return by Kevin McMahon.

The Bishops added 21 and 22-yard field goals in the second half, while shutting out the Wolverines the rest of the way.

Grove City trailed in total offense with a 215-yard effort compared to Ohio Wesleyan's 379 yards.  Paylo rushed for 23 yards on three carries.  Sophomore quarterback Steve Lacinski (New Kensington, PA/Valley) was 3-for-8 passing for 64 yards, including a 51-yard strike to junior Garret Schmidt (Irwin, PA/Penn Trafford).  Lacinski missed part of the first half due to injury and was replaced by freshman John Napotnik (Sharpsville, PA/Sharpsville), who went 1-for-2 with a nine-yard completion to Bowers.   Dailey and junior halfback Jeremy Moore (Leechburg, PA/Kiski) also recorded one grab each.

Shreve, who doubles as the Wolverine punter, averaged 46.6 yards on seven boots.

Early in the first quarter, Grove City sophomore cornerback Brock McCullough (Spruce, PA/Purchase Line) intercepted a pass at the Ohio Wesleyan 28-yard line, but the Wolverines' gave it right back with a fumble on the next play.  The interception and fumble were the only two turnovers of the game.

Ohio Wesleyan is now 6-0-0 all-time against the Wolverines.

Grove City plays its first home game Saturday, September 19, against Bluffton, who fell to 1-1 with a 39-24 loss to Hiram Saturday. 


GROVE CITY COLLEGE FOOTBALL
FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF PENNSYLVANIA PLAYERS OF THE WEEK vs. OHIO WESLEYAN

Final Score
Ohio Wesleyan 25, Grove City 15


OFFENSIVE: Garret Schmidt (Irwin, PA/Penn Trafford) ... junior split end ...  5-8, 170 ... had one reception covering 55 yards ... Coach Smith, "Garret gave us a great effort on every snap.  He blocked two men to make our first touchdown (20-yard run) possible."

CO-DEFENSIVE: Mark Furgeson (Gaithersburg, MD/Gaithersburg) ... senior defensive end ...  6-3, 250 ... registered 15 tackles, including six for loss plus a sack ... Coach Smith, "Mark's combination of strength and speed makes him someone every opponent talks about.  He really played hard against Ohio Wesleyan." ... Casey Creehan (Belle Mead, NJ/Vermillion (SD)) ... senior inside linebacker ...  5-11, 200 ... was credited with 23 tackles, including 13 solos... Coach Smith, "I don't remember anyone ever making more hits than Casey did Saturday.  He was all over the field."

SPECIAL TEAMS: Ben Shreve (Union City, PA/Union City) ... sophomore punter/kicker ... 5-10, 190 ... averaged 46.6 yards on seven punts (long of 56 yards) ... Coach Smith, "Ben had another great day of kicking and punting.  He also made a touchdown-saving tackle on a kickoff." ... Adam Corbett (Champion, OH/Champion) ... freshman linebacker ... 6-0, 205 ... Coach Smith, "Adam worked very hard on several special units.  You will be hearing his name often."

 
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