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The Cup Stays Here

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Game Stats

GREENVILLE, PA, October 2, 1999--Grove City had as many 100-yard rushers as Thiel did first downs Saturday as the Wolverines claimed the Mercer County Cup for the sixth straight year with a 56-0 victory at Stewart Field in Greenville.

For the first time in school history, three Wolverines rushed for over 100 yards in the same game, helping Grove City improve to 2-0 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference, 2-3 overall.

Junior fullback R.J. Bowers (West Middlesex, PA/West Middlesex) led the assault with 270 yards on 28 carries, while sophomore Michael Orlando (Wickliffe, OH/Wickliffe) gained 119 yards on only five attempts. Senior halfback Jeremy Moore (Leechburg, PA/Kiski) added a career-high 103 yards on six rushes, including his first two career touchdowns. As a team, Grove City ran for 547 yards, the second-highest total in school history. Grove City posted 18 first downs via the run, 20 overall, while Thiel had only three first downs on the day.

"I really expected the game to be a lot closer," Wolverine head coach Chris Smith said. "We played with a lot of emotion and we got up early.  Our rushing offense had a super day."

Bowers’s total pushed him past the 1,000-yard mark for the season (1,006). The 242-pound All-American ran for three touchdowns, giving him 11 in 1999.

"Against Thiel, the backyard rival, you have to go all out," Bowers said. "This is a game where people around here are coming out to watch you play. You’re playing against guys from the county and you want to show them what you’ve got. I think we came out and did that today."

Thiel’s defense entered the game ranked ninth in the nation in total defense and thirteenth in scoring defense. However, the Wolverines jumped ahead early on a 27-yard run by Bowers with 11:05 left in the first quarter. A 13-yard scoring dash from Moore, a 50-yard TD sprint by Orlando and a 39-yard touchdown run from Bowers put Grove City up 28-0 at the intermission.

Meanwhile, Grove City’s defense put the clamps on the Tomcat offense. The Wolverines held Thiel to 78 yards of total offense. Tomcat quarterbacks combined to complete 2-of-11 passes for 19 yards, along with two interceptions. Brock McCullough (Spruce, PA/Purchase Line) returned the first interception 44 yards, putting GCC deep in Thiel territory. Free safety Mike Kashurba (Latrobe, PA/Greater Latrobe) also had an interception. Kashurba also ran back six punts on the afternoon. Grove City forced Thiel to punt eleven times.

The Wolverines’ offensive outburst continued into the second half. After a Tomcat punt, Bowers stormed 80 yards on the drive’s first play for his 59th career touchdown. Ben Shreve (Union City, PA/Union City) added his fifth PAT of the game to put Grove City ahead 35-0.

Grove City’s next two possessions also ended in touchdown runs. After McCullough’s interception, Orlando posted a five-yard jaunt, stretching the lead to 42-0. Moore’s career-long 61-yard run along the left sideline with 3:32 left in the third period accounted for GCC’s seventh touchdown run of the day. Freshman Mike Reese (North Huntingdon, PA/Norwin) capped the scoring with a two-yard plunge. Shreve’s eight extra points established a new school record.

Outside linebacker Tony Kunczewski (Irwin, PA/Penn Trafford) led the Grove City defense with 13 tackles and two sacks. Linebackers Adam Corbett (Champion, OH/Champion) and Burt Romanoff (Washington, PA/Trinity) each had eight tackles and a sack. Sophomore Josh Broerman (Grove City, PA/Grove City) also posted a sack.

"I was very happy, very proud of (the defense)," Smith said. "We have a lot of young kids in our interior five. They really stepped up."

Next week, the Wolverines host nationally-ranked Washington and Jefferson (4-1) at Thorn Field. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 pm.

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