10-Ranked Saints Defeat Westminster to Clinch at Least a Share of the PAC Championship
(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) - The 10th-ranked Thomas More College football clinched at least a share of the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Championship as it defeated Westminster College, 37-13, today (Saturday, October 30, 2010) at The Bank of Kentucky Field in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.
With the win, the Saints improve to 8-0 overall, 6-0 in the PAC and can clinch the outright championship and the conference's automatic bid to the 2010 NCAA Division III Playoff with a win at Waynesburg University next Saturday (November 6). With the loss, the Titans fall to 2-6 overall and 1-5 in the PAC.
Thomas More never trailed in the game as it led 14-0 after one quarter, 17-6 at halftime and 30-13 after three quarters.
The Saints took an early 7-0 lead as junior wide receiver Austin Studer (Alexandria, Ky./Campbell County) scored on a 56-yard touchdown catch from sophomore quarterback Rob Kues (Fort Thomas, Ky./Newport Central Catholic) and senior place kicker Dustin Zink (Cold Spring, Ky./Newport Central Catholic) added the point-after-attempt with 14:13 to play in the first quarter.
At the 4:37 mark of the opening quarter Thomas More increased the lead to 14-0 when freshman running back Dominique Hayden (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Christian Academy) scored on a one-yard touchdown run and Zink added the PAT.
In the second quarter, Westminster cut the lead to 14-6 when Shawn Lehocky scored on a one-yard touchdown run and Trevor Young's PAT failed with 12:34 to play in the quarter.
Thomas More increased the lead to 17-6 at halftime when Zink connected on a 31-yard field with 3:07 to play in the first half.
In the third quarter, Zink increased the Saints' lead to 20-6 with 8:00 to play in the quarter when he connected on a 27-yard field goal.
Westminster cut the lead to 20-13 with 5:13 to play in the third quarter when Lehocky connected on a six-yard touchdown pass to Geno Pasquinelli and Zac Henry added the PAT.
Thomas More increased the lead to 23-13 when Zink maded a 35-yard field with 2:15 to play in the third quarter.
As time expired in the third quarter junior running back Kendall Owens return a punt 96-yards for a touchdown and Zink added the PAT to extend the Saints' lead to 30-13.
With 4:21 to play in the fourth quarter Kues scored on a one-yard touchdown run and Zink added the PAT for the final score of 37-13.
Owens finished the day with 253 all-purpose yards as he had eight rushes for 20 yards, five catches for 67 yards, three kick returns for 64 yards and two punt returns for 102 yards and a touchdown. Kues was 12-of-23 passing for 181 yards and one touchdown and had 17 rushes for 50 yards and one touchdown. Hayden finished the game with 16 carries for 82 yards and one touchdown and had one catch for 12 yards, while Studer had two catches for 62 yards and one touchdown.
Sophomore linebacker Nick Gramke (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) led the defense with nine tackles. Senior defensive tackle Tyler Owens (Fort Thomas, Ky./Highlands) had eight tackles, including three and a half for a loss and one sack, senior linebacker Aaron Monk (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) had eight tackles, including one for a loss and sophomore defensive back Zach Autenrieb (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) added six tackles and two interceptions.
The Saints return to action next Saturday when they travel to Waynesburg, Pennsylvania to play Waynesburg. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 1:30 p.m. at Wiley Stadium.