11: Ritchie accounts for four TDs, Pell scores on keeper in OT to lead
Wolverines to Mercer Co. Cup victory
Quite a few college football players will score a touchdown over the
course of their careers. Some will account for touchdowns in multiple
ways (receiving, rushing, passing, return, defensive) during their four
years. Some may even score in two of those ways in the same game. But to
account for touchdowns in three different manners in the same game is a
pretty rare feat.
Grove City College senior wide receiver Anthony Ritchie accomplished
that very achievement at an opportune time, passing for a touchdown,
rushing for one and receiving a pair to lead the Wolverines to a 50-44
overtime victory over local and Presidents' Athletic Conference rival
Thiel to retain the coveted Mercer County Cup in the game's 30th
After trading first quarter touchdowns with the Tomcats, it looked as if
the Wolverines might pull away for the win. Ritchie found senior tight
end Pat Donoughe for a 16-yard touchdown pass - the first touchdown
completion of his career - to give the Wolverines a 14-7 lead early in
the second quarter and, following a Ben Manwaring fumble recovery,
extended their lead to 21-7 just 49 seconds later when senior
quarterback Brian Pell found Ritchie for a 42-yard score.
Following a Thiel score, Pell and Ritchie would connect for the second
time - this time a 22-yard completion - to push the Wolverine lead back
to 27-14. Thiel would not waver, scoring 10 unanswered to close the half
and cut the lead to 27-24.
Thiel continued its surge, retaking the lead at 37-30 early in the
fourth quarter but Coach Smith continued to bring out every play in the
book and the Wolverines executed. Sophomore halfback Zach Rader found
Khalil Ervin for a 30-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 38 and
Grove City went back on top 44-37 when Ritchie rushed 22 yards to the
end zone on a reverse.
The Tomcats, however, would answer once again with a game-tying
touchdown with just 29 seconds remaining in regulation.
In overtime, Thiel had possession first, but senior free safety Joe
Diani intercepted a pass to end Thiel's drive. That was the break that
the Wolverine offense needed, and Pell took care of the rest, scoring on
a 13-yard option keeper to seal the victory and send the seniors off
with a win.
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