Westminster Loses Fourth Straight After Homecoming Shootout with Bethany
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The Westminster College football team
could maintain an early 10-point lead before losing a shootout to
Bethany, 47-39, Saturday in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC)
game at Harold Burry Stadium. Bethany (3-3, 2-1 PAC) snaps a
17-game losing streak at Westminster, as it wins in New Wilmington
for the first time since 1940. Westminster (1-4, 0-3 PAC) loses its
fourth straight game of the season, making the team's longest
losing streak since it lost seven straight in 1999.
Westminster set a new season high with 380 yards of total offense, but they also surrendered a season-high 501 yards.
The Titans opened their Homecoming game by taking a 10-0 lead, including a field goal on their opening drive, followed by a touchdown after Bethany fumbled away its first play from scrimmage. From there it was all Bethany as the Bison scored touchdowns on seven of their next eight possessions.
Bethany quarterback Matt Grimard completed 10 of 12 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing 19 times for 82 yards and three touchdowns. Bethany running back Eric Walker rushed 33 times for 174 yards and a touchdown. Walker also had a receiving touchdown.
Westminster junior quarterback Shawn Lehocky threw for over 200 yards for the second time this season as he completed 12 of 24 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns, while also throwing two interceptions. His favorite target was sophomore receiver Geno Pasquinelli who set a career high for a second straight game by catching six passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.
Westminster freshman running back Tyler Banks, who entered the game and posted his first-career rushing attempt in the third quarter with the Titans trailing 34-10, led his team with eight carries for 62 yards and a touchdown. Lehocky also rushed 12 times for 56 yards and a score.
Lehocky's 10-yard touchdown run with 10:21 remaining in the first quarter came two plays after senior linebacker Cory Meeker recovered a fumble forced by classmate Jake Brown (Medina, Ohio/Medina) on the Bethany 17-yard line.
Grimard culminated three long scoring drives for Bethany with touchdowns of 1, 1 and 3 yards on marches that were 8 plays for 77 yards, 18 plays for 66 yards, and 10 plays for 51 yards, respectively.
Chris Collins caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Grimard to end the first half and give Bethany a 27-10 lead, before Walker scored on a 39-yard touchdown reception late in the third quarter to give the Bison a 34-10 lead.
Banks then scored from 8 yards to nudge Westminster to within 26 points at 34-18, but Bethany answered when Nico Irizarry scored from 4 yards early in the fourth quarter to put the Bison on top 40-18.
Lehocky threw touchdown passes to Pasquinelli from 22 yards and to sophomore Connor Kobis and freshman Austin Cope each from 17 yards in the fourth quarter. The latter two touchdowns came in the final 2:26 after the Titans trailed 47-25.
Cope tied a career high with three catches and set a new career high with 53 receiving yards. Kobis' touchdown catch was his only reception of the game.
Westminster senior linebacker Tom Geraghty, the PAC's leading tackler, once again led the Titans with 16 stops, while Meeker registered 12 tackles to go with his fumble recovery. The Titans also collected eight tackles for loss, including a sack by defensive end Aaron Nauer.
Gage Lotozo and Jordan Joyce led the Bison with nine tackles apiece, including Joyce posting an interception.
Westminster travels to Waynesburg Saturday, Oct. 16 at 1:30 p.m.