Westminster Wins Opener Over Hiram for Second Straight Year
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - Junior running back John Proano scored a career-high two touchdowns as the Westminster College football team opened the season with a 17-7 nonconference win over visiting Hiram Saturday night at Harold Burry Stadium. The Titans defeat Hiram in their season opener for the second straight season.
Proano, who rushed 19 times for 43 yards, scored on a pair of 6-yard touchdown runs both resulting from two of Hiram's five lost fumbles. The first touchdown came on the Titans' second drive of the game after sophomore defensive lineman Sean Christofferson forced a fumble that was recovered by junior linebacker Derrick Orloski on the Terriers' 7-yard line.
After a 22-yard field goal by sophomore Zac Henry gave the Titans a 10-0 lead later in the first quarter, Westminster scored on its first drive of the second quarter.
This time Proano capped off a 5-play, 31-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown after senior defensive lineman Ryan Budziszewski pounced on Hiram's aborted snap at the Terrier 31-yard line.
Overall, Hiram fumbled seven times, five of which were recovered by the Titans.
Hiram closed the gap to 17-7 when quarterback Brandon Hanna scored on a 3-yard touchdown run with 5:19 remaining in the second quarter.
Westminster at one point converted 5 of 9 third-down conversions before finishing the game at 6-of-14. Hiram outgained Westminster 188-176 in total yards including 108-73 in rushing yards.
Westminster senior quarterback Shawn Lehocky completed 16 of 25 passes for 103 yards with no interceptions while getting sacked four times. Junior Gino Pasquinelli led the Titans with six catches for 46 yards.
Hanna finished the game with 18 carries for 110 yards while completing 16 of 25 passes, matching Lehocky's completions and attempts, for 80 yards with one interception.
The one interception Hanna threw was picked off by junior safety Kyle Allen on the Westminster 1-yard line after Hiram had the ball first-and-10 on the Titan 15-yard line while trailing 17-7. The interception was Allen's sixth of his career and his first since returning an interception 33 yards for a touchdown in Westminster's 23-6 win at Hiram last year.
Sophomore linebacker Nate Moot led the Titans with eight tackles and a fumble recovery in his first college start. Allen also posted seven stops.
Westminster returns to action at home Saturday as it hosts Lycoming at 1 p.m.