Westminster Captures PAC Opener by Winning at Grove City
GROVE CITY, Pa. - The Westminster College football team never trailed in its Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) opener as the Titans improved to 2-1 for the first time since 2008 by winning 25-20 at Grove City Saturday night. The Titans, who also won their PAC opener for the first time since 2007, led 25-13 entering the fourth quarter before hanging on for the win. Grove City is now 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the PAC.
Junior wide receiver Geno Pasquinelli caught seven passes for 85 yards and he tied a career high with two touchdown receptions. Pasquinelli, who extended his streak of games with at least five receptions to 10 games, snared touchdown passes from two different quarterbacks for Westminster's first two touchdowns of the game.
Pasquinelli sandwiched a pair of scoring grabs from 12 and 40 yards around a Grove City punt return for a touchdown to give Westminster a 13-7 lead early in the second quarter. Jimmy Bailey set a Grove City record with an 88-yard punt return for a touchdown late in the first quarter that tied the game at 7-7.
Westminster used two quarterbacks in the game to replace injured senior starter Shawn Lehocky. The starting quarterback was sophomore Zach Hoffman, who was 8-of-12 passing for 124 yards with an interception and Pasquinelli's first touchdown of the game. Hoffman also rushed for 21 yards including a 2-yard sneak for a touchdown with 7:14 left in the third quarter that gave Westminster a 25-13 lead. That touchdown was set up by junior Kyle Allen whose seventh career interception was returned 37 yards to the Grove City 2-yard line.
The other Westminster quarterback that alternated possessions was sophomore Tommy Turnbull who was a near-perfect 9-of-10 passing for 94 yards with Pasquinelli's second touchdown.
Junior wide receiver Collin Wallace tied a career high with five receptions and set a new personal best with 81 receiving yards.
Sophomore kicker Zac Henry set a new career high for field goals in a game as he split the uprights from 34 and 21 yards to extend Westminster's lead to 16-13 and 19-13, both in the second quarter.
Senior defensive lineman Ryan Brucker set a new career high with 10 tackles including a forced fumble and a sack on the last play of the game when Grove City was attempting a Hail Mary pass from the Westminster 44-yard line.
Ed Reith and Clayton Hall scored Grove City's other two touchdowns. Reith ran one in from 30 yards to tie the game at 13-13 in the second quarter and Hall ran 13 yards for the final score of the game with 13:16 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Westminster outgained Grove City 321-225 in total yardage including an 218-87 advantage in passing yards, this after the Titans faced a 463-89 yardage discrepancy including 294-108 in passing yards in last week's 41-3 loss to Lycoming for the largest yardage deficit in Westminster history.
Westminster is off next week before hosting Washington & Jefferson Saturday, Oct. 1 at 1 p.m.