Westminster (Pa.) at Grove City Game Notes
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The game notes for the Westminster College football team's Presidents' Athletic Conference opener at Grove City on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. are now online. The notes are best viewed in .pdf format by clicking here.
WESTMINSTER COLLEGE TITANS (1-1, 0-0 PAC)
GROVE CITY COLLEGE WOLVERINES (0-2, 0-0 PAC)
Saturday, Sept. 17 - 7 p.m.
Robert E. Thorn Field - Grove City, Pa.
Radio: WWNW-FM 88.9 (www.titanradio.net)
TV: WCN, Replay on Monday at 7 p.m. (www.wcnlive.com)
Live Stats: click here
Westminster looks to start anew in its Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) opener after going 1-1 in nonconference play. The Titans averaged only 132.5 yards per game in their first two games in two of the three lowest offensive outputs for Westminster in the last 10 years. The status of the team's senior second-year starting QB Shawn Lehocky is unknown for Grove City game after he left the Lycoming game with a concussion. Junior WR Geno Pasquinelli, a second-team all-PAC selection, leads the PAC with seven receptions per game after he tied a career high with eight (for 65 yards) in the 41-3 loss to Lycoming last week. The Titans returned 13 starters, including all offensive backs and receivers, from last year's team that went 2-8 and 1-6 for seventh place in the PAC.
SCOUTING GROVE CITY
Grove City, one of three PAC teams that started the season 0-2, returned 16 starters (9 defense, 7 offense) from last year's team that went 5-5 and 3-4 for fifth place in the PAC. Grove City lost 27-7 at home to Lebanon Valley last week after trailing 13-7 in the third quarter. The Wolverines are led by senior TB Blaine Miller who has scored all four (3 rushing, 1 receiving) of the team's touchdowns this year. Senior QB Clayton Hall and Miller are the leading rushers with 118 and 60 yards, respectively, while Hall is 24-36 passing for 205 yards this year, including 10 to Miller for 85 yards. Junior ILB Mario Posteraro is the leading tackler with 23 stops this year.
TITANS' LAST GAME
Westminster lost to visiting Lycoming, 41-3, Saturday in a nonconference game. Lycoming remains unbeaten at 2-0 after beating No. 22 Rowan. Lycoming outgained Westminster in total yardage 463-89 including a 169 rushing yards while limiting the Titans to minus-19 rushing yards. After Lycoming scored first, Westminster cut the margin to 7-3 in the first quarter. Junior S Kyle Allen blocked a Lycoming punt that was recovered at the Lycoming 7-yard line. Four plays later sophomore K Zac Henry made a 24-yard field goal for Westminster's only points. Lycoming QB Zach Klinger completed 19 of 34 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns to Warren Oliver who finished with eight snares for 215 yards. Westminster senior QB Shawn Lehocky completed 10 of 21 passes for 68 yards before leaving the game with an injury. Junior WR Geno Pasquinelli tied a career high with eight receptions (for 65 yards). Junior OLB Derrick Orloski led the Titans with 10 tackles.
Westminster seventh-year head coach Jeff Hand is 23-39 (.371) as the Titans' coach and 60-63 (.488) for his 13-year career, which includes two other head-coaching jobs (Benedictine (Ill.), Waynesburg). A 1992 Clarion graduate, Hand's best season was in 2003 when he guided Waynesburg to the PAC championship and an NCAA playoff appearance with a 9-2 record. Grove City head coach Chris Smith, a 1972 Grove City graduate, is 108-151-2 (.418) in his 28th season at this alma mater.
Westminster makes the 12-mile drive on Route 208 to Grove City for the 92nd renewal of the series that dates back to 1892. The Titans lead the series 49-34-8. Grove City is Westminster's second-most common opponent behind Geneva (112 meetings). The Titans won 10 straight vs. Grove City from 1980-2005; however, the Wolverines have won three of the last five including last year's win that snapped a 12-game losing streak in New Wilmington.
Series Started: 1892 (WC won 28-6)
Series Record: WC leads 49-34-8
Current Win Streak: Grove City 2
Longest WC Win Streak: 10 (1980-2005)
Longest GCC Win Streak: 7 (1896-1898)
Largest Margin WC win: 60-0 in 1956
Largest Margin GCC win: 57-0 in 1922
Last Five Meetings: Grove City leads 3-2
2010: Grove City 31, at Westminster 16
2009: at Grove City 38, Westminster 31
2008: at Westminster 24, Grove City 21
2007: at Westminster 14, Grove City 7
2006: at Grove City 21, Westminster 20
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (Sept. 18, 2010) -- Westminster lost its home-opener and PAC-opener against Grove City, 31-16, last year for Grove City's first win at Westminster since 1961, snapping a 12-game losing streak in New Wilmington. Westminster failed to convert three fourth downs on short yardage situations, including two on its opening three drives. The Titans also missed a field goal and threw three interceptions. Westminster junior QB Shawn Lehocky's 20 completions, 40 attempts, and 3 interceptions in the game remain his career highs, while his 238 passing yards in the game he since eclipsed. Sophomore WRs Connor Kobis and Collin Wallace were 5 for 55 receiving and 4 for 54, respectively. Grove City never trailed in the game. Grove City QB Clayton Hall completed a 3-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Tapper before Hall left the game with an injury and was spelled by Zach Gross who threw for two more TDs. Westminster sophomore CB Kyle Allen returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown that cut Grove City's lead to 10-9 midway through the second quarter and that was as close as the Titans would get.
Westminster has 13 returning starters, not including senior WR John Baummer who started two years ago. Of those 14 players, one is a fourth-year starter in senior P Andrew Clark and two are third-year starters in junior S Kyle Allen and senior CB Jordon Rooney. The other 11 are second-year starters but there are also five additional players who have started at least one game entering the 2011 season. Rooney, Allen, senior QB Shawn Lehocky and senior RT Adam Fueller are the only returners who started all 10 games last year and Rooney holds the team's longest start streak at 22 games followed by Allen (14) and Fueller (13).
PASSING TO PASQUINELLI
Junior WR Geno Pasquinelli, a second team all-PAC pick last year, has caught at least five passes in his last nine games after tying a career high with eight receptions (for 65 yards) vs. Lycoming. His 7.0 receptions per game (14 for 111 yards) this year are tied for the most in the PAC. Last year, he ranked second in the PAC with 5.3 receptions per game and fifth with 57.1 receiving yards per game despite not starting until the fifth game of the season because of an injury. He's the only player in school history to catch at least six passes in six straight games, including a career-high eight (for 92 yards) and a career-high two touchdowns at Waynesburg last year. His career high for receiving yards is 129 (on 6 catches) vs. Bethany. Pasquinelli tied a school record in 2010 with a five-game touchdown reception streak and his six total touchdowns led the team.
ALL IN WITH ALLEN
Junior S Kyle Allen led the PAC and ranked 42nd in the nation with a 24.7 kickoff return average last year. He was named second team all-PAC as a return specialist. This year he is fifth in the PAC at 16.2. The only Titan in his junior class to start as a freshman, Allen ranked fifth on the team last year with 50 tackles and he is tied for the team lead this year with 15. He had his sixth career interception this year vs. Hiram. Allen became the first Westminster player to return a kickoff and an interception for a touchdown in the same season last year since two-time All-American Aldridge Jones accomplished the feat in 1991. Allen's fifth career interception was returned for his first career touchdown 33 yards at Hiram in the 2010 opener. It was only the team's third "pick six" since 2005. Allen then returned a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown vs. Grove City. It marked only the team's third kickoff return for a touchdown since Jones last played in 1993 and the first since Sean Buggey's school-record 100-yarder in 2005.
Junior OLB Aaron Nauer earned a second-team nod for all-PAC last year after he led the Titans with 18 tackles for loss (71 yards), 7 sacks (42 yards), 2 forced fumbles, and 6 pass break-ups (all on batted down passes, 3 vs. Thiel). Nauer ranked second in the PAC and 12th in the nation in tackles for loss. In the PAC he also ranked fourth in forced fumbles, sixth in sacks, 12th in pass defenses, and 21st in tackles. With 61 stops he was the team's top returning tackler from the 2010 season. This year Nauer has nine tackles (1.5 for loss) and two pass break-ups.
LIKE A PRO
Junior RB John Proano set a career high with two touchdown runs this year vs. Hiram after rushing for 43 yards on 19 carries. Proano's career-high 123 yards on 23 carries and 1 TD came in his debut as a starter in the season opener at Hiram last year. He finished as the team's leading rusher with 530 yards on 121 totes and two scores. Proano, who also rushed for 110 yards vs. Saint Vincent, is the eighth Titan since 1992 with two 100-yard games.
LEHOCKY THE LEADER
Before sustaining a concussion vs. Lycoming, senior QB Shawn Lehocky moved into eighth place on Westminster's career passing list as his 68 yards on 10-of-21 passing gave him 2,937 yards, moving him ahead of Steve Kraus who threw for 2,910 yards from 1975-78. Lehocky needs 63 yards to become the eighth 3,000-yard passer in team history and 344 yards to tie Rich Edder (1980-83) for seventh place with 3,281 yards. So far this year Lehocky has thrown for 171 yards on 26-46 passing. Lehocky ranked fifth in the PAC last year with 172.6 passing yards per game (155-293 for 1,726, 14 TDs, 16 interceptions). He's also a threat to run the ball. As a platoon quarterback in 2009, he rushed for 446 yards and seven TDs including 112 yards and two scores vs. Waynesburg to become the team's first-ever quarterback to rush for 100 yards in a game. Lehocky's career highs are 256 passing yards (Saint Vincent, 2010), 20 completions (Grove City, Thomas More, 2010), 40 pass attempts (Grove City), 3 passing touchdowns (Bethany, 2010; Waynesburg, 2009), 3 interceptions (Grove City, 2010), 112 rushing yards (Waynesburg, 2009), 2 rushing touchdowns (Waynesburg, 2009), and 19 rushing attempts (Waynesburg, 2010).
Senior CB Jordon Rooney has started 22 straight games, the most on the team, since he converted from a receiver to a defensive back after his freshman year. Rooney, who twice received an honorable mention for the all-PAC team, led the Titans with three interceptions last year giving him four for his career. He also had 15 tackles, two pass break-ups and two blocked kicks in 2010. Rooney's two blocked kicks last year were the most since Tom Froelich posted a school-record four blocks in 2003. This year, he has seven tackles and one pass break-up.
The Westminster coaching staff announced the game week awards for the Lycoming game. Scout team players of the week were freshman RB Tre Sims (offense) and freshman DB Jared Heck (defense).
The Titans are 5-4 in night games (2-0 at home, 3-4 on the road) since 1997 and their last road night win was 12-7 at Geneva in 2001.
Westminster's four captains as voted by the players for the 2011 season are senior DL Ryan Budziszewski, senior OL Adam Fueller, senior QB Shawn Lehocky, a second year captain, and senior CB Jordon Rooney.
Westminster averaged 132.5 yards in its first two games (176 vs. Hiram, 89 vs. Lycoming) which are the fewest in NCAA Division III for a team with at least one win and the fourth fewest of teams that have played at least two games.
Since Westminster beat Geneva, 12-7, in 2001 with 53 total yards, two of the Titans' three lowest offensive games have occurred this season (153 yards in a 34-0 loss to Thiel in 2005 was the other).
The Titans held Hiram to just 188 total yards, the fewest against any team since they held Hiram to 107 yards in a 38-7 win in 2005.
Westminster tied a school record with five fumble recoveries against Hiram, equaling the recoveries in a 1989 win over Georgetown (Ky.) and a 1986 loss to Clarion.
Junior LB Derrick Orloski had two sacks for seven yards vs. Hiram marking the seventh time since 2005 that a Titan player had two or more sacks in a game.
Westminster led the PAC last year with 21.2 kickoff return yards per attempt.
The Titans were the least penalized team in the PAC last year with 52.2 yards per game.
Senior WR John Baummer may not be one of the Titans' returning starters this year because he sat out last year, but he started in 2009 (29 catches for 393 yards, TD) and he played a lot in 2008 (17-240, TD).
Westminster's losing season last year was just the team's eighth in 60 seasons dating back to 1951 and for only the third time since 1951 the Titans had back-to-back losing seasons (1998-99, 2005-06).
Sophomore RB Tyler Banks' 95 rushing yards at Waynesburg last year were the most by a Westminster freshman since Scott Froelich, the school's second all-time rushing leader, rushed for 198 yards at Waynesburg in 2001.
Westminster is 11-4 since 2007 when it has a player rush for 100 yards or more in a game.
Since 2004, the Titans are 10-1 when they rush for 200 yards (only loss was last year's season finale at Geneva).
Westminster was picked eighth in the 2011 PAC preseason poll and three-time defending champion Thomas More is once again the favorite.
Westminster has a 71% winning percentage since 1952 (399-158-10), including 47 winning seasons, 11 undefeated regular seasons, and six national championships (NAIA Division II 1970, '76, '77, '88, '89, and '94). Westminster has an all-time record of 573-402-54 (.583) and its 573 wins are ranked 10th amongst current NCAA Division III programs. Westminster also has four representatives enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind. They include QB Harold Davis (1953-56) in the Class of 2004, coach Joe Fusco (1972-90) in the Class of 2001, OG/LB Larry Pugh (1961-64) in the Class of 1998, and coach Harold Burry (1952-71) in the inaugural non-NCAA Division I Class of 1996.
TITANS ON THE RADIO
All Westminster football games, home and away, are carried live on WWNW 88.9 FM throughout Lawrence County at 4,000 watts and live and archived on the Internet at titanradio.net and westminster.edu/athletics. Calling the action will be Dr. Dave Barner on play-by-play, along with Westminster senior Marshall Cupelli as color analyst. New for the 2011 season, fans can listen to broadcasts on their smart phones or mobile devices by downloading a free application online at tunein.com/mobile. Once linked, listeners can access Titan Radio by typing "WWNW" or "Titan Radio" in the application search box and those who live locally can already see the station under the local radio tab.
TITANS ON TV
The Westminster Cable Network (WCN) will telecast all home games live on television and on an online video stream at wcnlive.com with archived games available online. All games, home and away, will be televised on a tape-delay basis on Mondays at 7 p.m. Games can be seen on Armstrong Cable (Channel 72 (basic) in New Wilmington; Channel 204 in Grove City, Mercer and Slippery Rock -- basic-only users in that area tune to 92-12), and on Comcast Cable (Channel 183 in Lawrence County). Westminster senior Bradford Arick will call the play-by-play with former Titan football coach Scott Renninger for home games. Head coach Jeff Hand also appears on the WCN show "Coaches Corner" that airs Thursday and Friday evenings at 7 p.m.
TITANS ON THE BLOG
Senior QB Shawn Lehocky writes a weekly diary that can be found on the Titan Sports Blog at westminster.edu/athletics/blog.cfm.