Westminster (Pa.) at Bethany (W.Va.) Game Notes
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The game notes for the Westminster College football team's Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) game at Bethany on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 2 p.m. are now online. The notes are best viewed in .pdf format by clicking here.
WESTMINSTER COLLEGE TITANS
BETHANY COLLEGE BISON
Saturday, Oct. 8 - 2 p.m.
Bison Stadium - Bethany, W.Va.
Radio: WWNW-FM 88.9 (www.titanradio.net)
TV: WCN, Replay on Monday at 7 p.m.
Westminster (2-2, 1-1 PAC) ranks in the bottom half of the PAC in all major statistical categories with the exception of a league-leading +6 turnover margin that is tied with Thomas More. The Titans were last in the PAC with a minus-16 margin in 2010. Westminster returned 13 starters from last year's team that went 2-8, including senior QB Shawn Lehocky who's averaging 141.3 passing yards this year. Junior WR Geno Pasquinelli is the PAC's leading second-leading receiver with six catches per game. Junior S Kyle Allen is a third-year starter who leads the PAC with three interceptions this year. Junior ILB Alex Kernicky is the team's leading tackler with 32 after posting a career-high 15 last week vs. W&J.
Bethany (2-2, 1-2 PAC) is coming off a 23-7 loss at Waynesburg last week in which the Bison outgained Waynesburg, 348-313, but failed to score in five trips inside the Red Zone. Bethany returned 20 starters from last year's team that went 5-5 for its first .500 record since 2001 and 4-3 for a third-place tie in the PAC. Sophomore QB Matt Grimard, who ran for three touchdowns and threw for two in last year's 47-39 win at Westminster, is the PAC's second-leading passer with 237.5 yards per game including 240 vs. Waynesburg last week. His favorite target is sophomore Alex Evans (18 for 294 yards) but he threw five for 115 yards to Ed Holmes last week vs. Waynesburg. Junior LB Kyle Arrington leads the Bison with 38 tackles, the second-most in the PAC.
TITANS' LAST GAME
Westminster lost to visiting Washington & Jefferson, 20-16, Oct. 1 in PAC action. It was the closest margin for a Westminster-W&J game since the Titans last beat the Presidents, 19-17, in 2000 and the first time since 2003 that W&J won by fewer than 25 points. W&J outgained Westminster 425-236 in total yards including a 174 to minus-17 rushing, but the Titans forced five W&J turnovers and they stopped the Presidents on three fourth-down attempts. Senior QB Shawn Lehocky threw for 253 yards, three shy of a career high, on 16-30 passing with two touchdowns, an interception and six sacks, including two sacks on the team's potential game-winning touchdown drive in W&J territory with under two minutes remaining. Junior WR Geno Pasquinelli and senior WR John Baummer each caught three passes for 52 and 59 yards, respectively and TD passes from 16 and 20 yards. Junior LB Alex Kernicky led the Titans with a career-high 15 tackles and junior CB J.J. Nalesnik picked off a career-high two interceptions.
Westminster seventh-year head coach Jeff Hand is 24-40 (.375) as the Titans' coach and 61-64 (.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. Sixth-year Bethany coach Tim Weaver, a 1990 Davidson grad, is 21-33 (.388) as a head coach after seven years as an assistant in the Ivy League with Columbia (3) and Harvard (4) and three years at West Virginia Wesleyan.
Westminster leads the all-time series vs. Bethany 34-11-2 that dates back to 1909 including last year's 47-39 loss in New Wilmington. The last three meetings were decided by an average of 4.6 points including Westminster winning 31-28 at Bethany in 2009 and 46-43 at home in 2008. Westminster is 8-3 against Bethany since the Titans began playing a PAC schedule in 2000.
Series Started: 1909 (WC won 35-0)
Series Record: WC leads 34-11-2
Current Win Streak: Bethany 1
Longest WC Win Streak: 17 (1951-2000)
Longest BC Win Streak: 5 (1936-40)
Largest Margin WC win: 62-6 in 1990
Largest Margin BC win: 56-0 in 1920
Last Five Meetings: Westminster leads 3-2
2010: Bethany 47, at Westminster 39
2009: Westminster 31, at Bethany 28
2008: at Westminster 46, Bethany 43
2007: at Bethany 41, Westminster 21
2006: at Westminster 49, Bethany 13
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (Oct. 9, 2010) -- Westminster could not maintain an early 10-0 lead before losing a shootout to Bethany, 47-39, as the Bison won at Westminster for the first time since 1940 (17 straight). Bethany outgained the Titans 501-380 and it turned a 10-point first-quarter deficit into a 34-10 third-quarter lead after outscoring the Titans 21-0 in the second quarter. Westminster junior QB Shawn Lehocky completed 12 of 24 passes for 209 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Sophomore WR Geno Pasquinelli set a career high for a second straight game by catching six passes for 129 yards and a touchdown. Westminster freshman RB Tyler Banks, who entered the game and posted his first career rushing attempt in the third quarter, led his team with eight carries for 62 yards and a touchdown. Lehocky also rushed 12 times for 56 yards and a score. Bethany QB Matt Grimard completed 10 of 12 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing 19 times for 82 yards and three touchdowns. Bethany RB Eric Walker rushed 33 times for 174 yards and a touchdown. Walker also had a receiving touchdown.
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 24 games followed by Allen (16) and Fueller (15).
PASSING TO PASQUINELLI
Junior WR Geno Pasquinelli, a second team all-PAC pick last year, ranks second in the PAC with 6.0 receptions per game (24 for 248 yards, 3 TDs) and his 62.0 receiving yards per game rank fifth in the league. Pasquinelli's streak of 10 straight games with at least five receptions was snapped last week vs. W&J. He tied a career high with eight receptions (for 65 yards) vs. Lycoming and he tied a career high with two touchdown receptions at Grove City before finishing with seven catches for 85 yards. 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. His career high for receiving yards is 129 (on 6 catches) vs. Bethany last year. 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 leads the PAC with 0.75 interceptions per game (3 for 63 yards) which is tied for 17th in the nation. He also ranks eighth in the PAC in kick return average (14.2) and 13th in the league with 7.0 tackles per game (28). Allen, a second-team all-PAC pick as a return specialist last year, led the PAC and ranked 42nd in the nation with a 24.7 kickoff return average last year. He has eight career interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown last year. He also returned a kickoff for a touchdown last year to become the first Titan since two-time All-American Aldridge Jones in 1991 to return an interception and a kickoff for a touchdown in the same season.
LEHOCKY THE LEADER
Senior QB Shawn Lehocky became the eighth 3,000-yard passer in school history with 253 yards, three shy of a career high, last week vs. W&J to give him 3,190 for his career. Lehocky needs 91 yards to tie Rich Edder (1980-83) for seventh place with 3,281 yards. In three games this year (he missed one with an injury), Lehocky has thrown for 424 yards on 42-76 passing and his 141.3 passing yards per game ranks sixth in the PAC. Lehocky ranked fifth in the PAC last year with 172.6 passing yards per game (155-293 for 1,726, 14 TDs, 16 Ints.). He's also a rushing threat. As a platoon quarterback in 2009, he rushed for 446 yards and seven TDs including a career-high 112 yards and a career-high two rushing scores vs. Waynesburg to become the team's first-ever quarterback to rush for 100 yards in a game. Lehocky's other 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) and 19 rushing attempts (Waynesburg, 2010).
Sophomore K Zac Henry leads the PAC and ranks 19th nationally with 1.25 field goals per game. He is a perfect 5-for-5 including two at Grove City, one of which was a season-long 34-yarder. A first-year starter, Henry is 6-for-10 for his career including a 44-yarder at Geneva last year.
TURNING THE TIDE
The biggest difference between the 2010 Titans and the 2011 Titans: turnover margin. Westminster and Thomas More have the best turnover margins in the PAC at +6 (+1.5 per game) which rank 22nd in the nation. The Titans are one of 15 teams in the nation and the only PAC team with at least eight fumble recoveries and they are tied for the PAC lead with five interceptions. Last year, the Titans absorbed a minus-16 turnover margin which ranked last in the PAC and 226th out of 236 Division III teams. In this year's season opener vs. Hiram, Westminster tied a school record with five fumble recoveries. Only two other times in team history have the Titans recovered five fumbles: Nov. 18, 1989 in a 29-9 home playoff win over Georgetown (Ky.) and Nov. 15, 1986 in a 14-7 loss at Clarion.
Westminster lost five defensive starters from last year's team including three linebackers that each ranked in the top five in the PAC in tackles per game. Despite this, the Titans have improved. After four games in 2011 compared to the first four games of 2010 played against the same four opponents (Hiram, Lycoming, Grove City and W&J), Westminster has held opponents to 38 fewer points (126-88) and 226 fewer yards (1525-1299).
W&J GAME AWARD-WINNERS
Junior ILB Alex Kernicky was named PAC Defensive Player of the Week for the W&J game after he posted a career-high 15 tackles which were the most by any Titan this year and the most by any PAC player on Oct. 1. The Westminster coaching staff also named scout team players of the week: sophomore QB Tommy Turnbull (offense) and freshman LB Blake Otterson (defense).
- Since winning at Bethany in 2005 the Titans have gone 6-22 in their last 28 road games including another win at Bethany in 2009 and their only road game this year at Grove City.
- Senior punter Andrew Clark is ranked third in the PAC with 38.3 yards per punt.
- Sophomore DE Sean Christofferson leads the PAC with 0.5 forced fumbles per game (2).
- Senior DL Ryan Brucker leads the team with 5.5 tackles for loss including a team-high three sacks.
- 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.
- Junior RB John Proano rushed for 100+ yards twice last year including a career-high 123 yards on 23 carries at Hiram as he became the eighth Titan since 1992 with at least two 100-yard 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 (176 vs. Hiram 9/3/11; 153 vs. Thiel 10/22/05; 89 vs. Lycoming 9/10/11).
- Lycoming (3-1) is now the top rated defense in the nation, holding opponents to 168 yards per game.
- 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.
- 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 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's returning all-PAC players from 2010 are junior WR Geno Pasquinelli, junior S Kyle Allen (as a returner specialist) and junior OLB Aaron Nauer, all of which earned second-team honors.
Westminster has a 71% winning percentage since 1952 (400-159-10), 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 574-403-54 (.583) and its 574 wins are tied for ninth with St. John's (Minn.) 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.