Grove City 55, Thiel 0

October 3, 1998--
Still going.

Grove City sophomore R.J. Bowers (West Middlesex, PA/West Middlesex) broke the school's single-game rushing record for the third week in a row, rolling up 304 yards on 30 carries and six touchdowns in a 55-0 victory over visiting Thiel on Homecoming at Thorn Field. 

Coming off 264 and 292-yard performances, Bowers' effort eclipsed the Presidents' Athletic Conference's single-game record that he tied one week earlier at Bethany.  Bowers had matched Bethany's Ernie Whitted's 292-yard mark set in 1969 against Washington & Jefferson.

The 6-1, 230-pound fullback's six touchdowns also established a new conference standard, breaking the record of five set by Whitted against W&J in 1969 and former Wolverine star Doug Steiner against Waynesburg last year.   The six touches, from 44, 2, 37, 2, 28 and 38 yards, tied the school record set by Greg Magness in 1968. Bowers, who entered the game leading the nation with 201.3 yards per game, gained 254 of Grove City’s 304 first-half rushing yards.

Meanwhile, the Wolverine defense tossed its second straight home shutout, limiting Thiel to 68 yards on 53 plays, an average of 1.3 yards per play. Thiel’s option-based rushing attack, which entered the game ranked 20th in Division III, managed only 59 yards on 43 attempts. Grove City collected four sacks, and held Thiel to three first-half yards. Grove City also forced four turnovers.   

Quarterback Steve Lacinski (New Kensington, PA/Valley) added a 20-yard touchdown run in the third period. Bowers’s understudy Michael Orlando (Wickliffe, OH/Wickliffe) capped the scoring with a two-yard plunge in the fourth quarter. Junior halfback Jeremy Moore (Leechburg, PA/Kiski) chipped in with 48 yards rushing on five carries.  Junior halfback Matt Paylo (Baden, PA/North Allegheny) gained 35 yards on three attempts.

Free safety Mike Kashurba (Latrobe, PA/Greater Latrobe) intercepted his conference-leading fourth pass of the season, while Adam Booth (North Canton, OH/Uniontown Lake) and Brock McCullough (Spruce, PA/Purchase Line) also recorded picks. Inside linebacker Casey Creehan (Belle Mead, NJ/Vermilion (SD)) registered a game-high eight tackles and ILB Corey Sarosy (Fairport Harbor, OH/Perry) had four tackles-for-loss. Outside linebacker Ed Fox (Middletown, PA/Middletown) boasted a pair of sacks. Thiel quarterbacks completed only one of ten pass attempts.

The win marked the Wolverines' largest margin of victory since 1962 when they blanked Carnegie Tech, 62-0.  It also secured the Mercer County Cup for the fifth consecutive year.

Grove City (3-2, 2-0 PAC), winner of three straight games, travels to Washington & Jefferson (2-2, 0-0 PAC) next Saturday, October 10, for a 2:00 p.m. league match-up.  The Wolverines ended W&J's 11-year deathlock on the PAC crown last season with a 31-28 victory that was decided in the final seconds.  "What a great opportunity to play a game with the importance and emotion that this Saturday will encompass," commented Smith.  "It will demand hard work, maturity and a great team effort." 


Final Score
Grove City 55, Thiel 0

OFFENSIVE: R.J. Bowers (West Middlesex, PA/West Middlesex) ... sophomore fullback ...  6-1, 230 ... eclipsed the school and PAC single-game rushing record with 304 yards (254 in the first half) on 30 carries after tying the league record last week with 292 yards on 37 attempts (Bethany's Ernie Whitted gained 292 yards on 45 rushes against W&J on November 8, 1969) ... broke the PAC single-game scoring record with six touchdowns on runs of 44, 2, 37, 2, 28 and 38 yards (old record of five TDs was shared by Whitted (vs. W&J in '69) and Grove City's Doug Steiner (vs. Waynesburg in '97)) and tied the school record for TDs in a game (Greg Magness vs. Geneva in '68) ... leads Division III in rushing with an average of 221.8 yards per game ... has been named PAC and ECAC offensive player of the week for three straight weeks, rushing for 264, 292 and 304 yards, consecutively ... Coach Smith, "R.J. had a level of production in the first half that I have never seen before.   His yards came as a result of everyone's work but still could not have been accomplished without his determination to run hard."

DEFENSIVE: Corey Sarosy (Fairport Harbor, OH/Perry) ... senior linebacker ...  6-0, 225 ... recorded six tackles, including two solos and two for loss ... Coach Smith, "Corey played very well Saturday.  He had several big hits and really played an intelligent game letting his reads take him to the ball."

SPECIAL TEAMS: Ben Shreve (Union City, PA/Union City) ... sophomore punter ... 5-10, 190 ... averaged 39.5 yards on four punts (long of 51 yards) ... Jake Dailey (Karns City, PA/Karns City) ... sophomore ... 6-3, 200.

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