Grove City 40, Kenyon 3


October 24, 1998--
Two hundred sixty-two today.

Sophomore fullback R.J. Bowers (West Middlesex, PA/West Middlesex), who leads all divisions of the NCAA in rushing yards, posted his sixth consecutive 200-plus yard game and rushed for five touchdowns as the Grove City College Wolverines defeated the visiting Kenyon College Lords, 40-3, at Thorn Field.

The non-conference victory was made sweeter by news that Washington & Jefferson College had beaten Waynesburg College, 26-14, to secure a piece of the Presidents' Athletic Conference title for the defending champion Wolverines.  Grove City and Waynesburg finished their PAC slates with 3-1 records, while W&J, 2-1 in the league, will look to produce the conference's first tri-champs with a win November 14 at Thiel College. 

With 262 yards on 38 carries, Bowers raised his season sum to 1,887 yards, an average of 235.9 yards per game.  He needs 499 yards in the Wolverines' final two games to break the Division III single-season rushing record (2,385) set by Marietta's Dante Brown in 1996.  He also surpassed the 3,000-yard mark for his career, leaving the game with 3,126 yards.

Bowers' 39-yard dash to paydirt in the third quarter broke Doug Steiner’s school record of 40 touchdowns from 1994-97. Bowers also scored on three one-yard runs and a 13-yard jaunt.

"Great effort today from R.J.," said Wolverine head coach Chris Smith. "Kenyon did a good job scheming us defensively. I think we were just a little deeper and stronger than them today."

The Lords limited Bowers to 75 yards in the first half, however, the Lords could not contain the 6’1, 230-pound sophomore fullback in the second half. Bowers picked up 89 yards on Grove City’s first two second-half possessions.

"In the first half, we were shifting formations a lot," explained Bowers. "They were shifting with us and we weren’t able to make our line calls. But in the second half, we didn’t shift as much and the line was able to make its calls. They blew open some big holes in the second half for us."

Grove City’s passing attack also stepped up with Steve Lacinski (New Kensington, PA/Valley) and John Napotnik (Sharpsville, PA/Sharpsville) combining to complete six of nine passes for 114 yards. Lacinski was a double-threat on offense, picking up 57 yards on seven carries. The Wolverines gained 439 yards of offense, 325 on the ground.

As impressive as the Grove City offense was, the PAC’s top-rated defense was even better. The Wolverine "D" held Kenyon to –6 yards rushing and 84 yards of total offense. Senior outside linebacker Ed Fox (Middletown, PA/Middletown) registered three of Grove City’s eight sacks on the afternoon. Corey Sarosy (Fairport Harbor, OH/Perry) had a pair of sacks and a game-high 11 tackles. Cornerback Brock McCullough (Spruce, PA/Purchase Line) picked off a Lord pass and broke up two other attempts.

Smith added, "It was great to see the team bounce back and come up with another big home victory."

In three home games, Grove City has outscored its opponents, 135-3.

The Wolverines play their home finale this Saturday against former PAC member Alfred University at 1:30.  They close the regular season on November 7 at Muhlenberg College.


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

Final Score
Grove City 40, Kenyon 3


OFFENSIVE: RT Steve Coutris (Sr., 6-2/260, Poland, OH/Poland) ... helped the Wolverines accumulate 439 total offensive yards, including 325 yards on the ground ... Coach Smith, "Steve played extremely well against Kenyon.  His experience as our right tackle really allows him to make big blocks."

DEFENSIVE: SS Tony Kunczewski (Jr., 6-1/205, Irwin, PA/Penn Trafford) ... keyed the defense effort which held Kenyon to -6 yards rushing and 84 total yards in the game ... Coach Smith, "Tony played a near perfect game on Saturday.  His coverage and run support were big factors in shutting down the Kenyon offense."

SPECIAL TEAMS: Jake Dailey (So., 6-3/200, Karns City, PA/Karns City) and Dave Long (Fr., 6-0/200/Pittsburgh, PA/North Catholic).


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