September 24, 2011
Waynesburg downs Grove City 32-26
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GROVE CITY, Pa. (Sept. 24) – During last week's 46-7 win, the Waynesburg University football team not only succeeded on both sides of the ball, but they took care of the minor details like keeping penalties to a minimum and winning the turnover battle. On Saturday, against Presidents' Athletic Conference rival Grove City, the Yellow Jackets were victorious once again. However, the win wasn't nearly as pretty. Pretty or not, the Jackets won their second game in a row by downing the Wolverines 32-26.
The Yellow Jackets (2-1, 2-0) gave Grove City (0-4, 0-2) 116 yards on 14 penalties and trailed for a large portion game in large part because of them. However, impact players on both sides of the ball were able to save the game for the Jackets. One of those players was senior running back Justin Falcon, who put Waynesburg ahead early with a three-yard touchdown run that capped a game-opening 10-play, 60-yard drive.
With just over 10 minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Jackets led 6-0. However, that was the last lead they held until late in the third quarter. Following Falcon's first rushing touchdown of the season, the Wolverines fired back with two-straight touchdowns of their own before the end of the first quarter. Luckily, Grove City was unable to convert either extra point and its lead was just 12-6 at the end of the period.
The potent Waynesburg running game, which featured four different ball-carriers finding the end zone for a second-straight week, came through once again to tie the game early in the second quarter. This time it was senior Jamelle Bowers who struck pay dirt as he sprinted 30 yards for a touchdown to cap a seven-play, 64-yard drive with 12:14 to go until halftime. After a missed two-point try, the game was tied 12-12.
Grove City fired back in their ensuing drive to grab a 19-12 advantage, but Waynesburg was up to the challenge and tied the game back up during their next possession, which started at the Waynesburg 46-yard line. Sophomore running back Bertrand Ngampa posted the final play of a six-play, 54-yard possession by going 10 yards for a score halfway through the second period. Sophomore Dominic Zappa knocked in the extra point to tie the contest at 19-19, which was also the score at halftime.
After both teams scored a trio of touchdowns during the first half, the third quarter was controlled by the two defenses. However, sophomore Dominic Moore was able to put Waynesburg ahead 25-19 with a bulldozing two-yard run into the end zone that closed up a 12-play, 80-yard possession at the 13:25 mark of the period. The scoring drive was Waynesburg's longest of the season in terms of plays and yardage. Another Zappa kick made it 26-19 in favor of the Jackets.
Still leading going into the fourth quarter, Waynesburg lost its advantage 4:35 into the final period when the home team tied the back-and-forth affair up at 26-26 with 10:25 left to play. The lead was short-lived for Grove City.
On the ensuing possession, senior quarterback Josh Graham was given a short field to work with by junior Christian Jackson, who took the kickoff back 37 yards to the Grove City 45-yard line. After a Ngampa run lost a yard, Graham found fellow senior Jeff Young on back-to-back pass plays, the second of which went 37 yards to the end zone for the game-deciding touchdown.
Leading 32-26, the Waynesburg defense, which came into the week as one of the best in Division III in terms of scoring and total yardage, showed what it could do by forcing the Wolverines into a four-and-out, a punt and an interception by cornerback Marvin Sampson that clinched the victory.
Ngampa spearheaded a Jacket rushing attack that piled up 199 yards on the legs of five different ball carriers. The sophomore went for his second collegiate 100-yard game, both of which have come this season, with a personal-best and game-high 112 yards and a score. Conversely, the Jacket defense held Grove City to just 112 yards rushing total.
Graham completed 13-of-23 passes for 167 yards and a score. His favorite target on the day was Young, who hauled in a team-high five passes for 82 yards and the game-winning score. Junior tight end Adam Moses added four catches for 53 yards.
Sophomore defensive end Brandon Fedorka had maybe his biggest game as a Jacket to lead the Waynesburg defensive effort. The Hopewell graduate piled up four tackles for loss and two sacks, both game highs, as part of a seven-tackle effort. Senior safety Ryan Williams racked up a game-high 10 tackles, including six solo stops.
Grove City's offense was paced by running back Blaine Miller, who scored three touchdowns as part of a 21-carry, 58-yard day. Quarterback Brian Pell's (13-of-28, 169 yards, TD) favorite target on the day was Anthony Ritchie, who hauled in a game-high six balls for 96 yards and a score.