November 3, 2011

W&J-Thiel Game Notes

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

Thiel College (0-8, 0-6 PAC) at Washington & Jefferson College (4-4, 3-3 PAC)

NCAA Division III Football – Presidents' Athletic Conference

Video: http://www.livesportsvideo.com/golive/goliveevents.asp?q=WashingtonandJeffersonCollege

Live Stats: http://www2.washjeff.edu/Athletics/xlive.htm

Audio: http://www.wjpa.com/sports.htm

Time:  1:30 pm

Site: Cameron Stadium (3,500)

Series:  W&J leads 40-22-2

Series Streak: +5 W&J

 

Last Meeting: W&J 47, THI 14 -- 11/6/2010

First Meeting: W&J 54, THI 0 -- 10/17/1896

Last W&J Win: W&J 47, THI 14 -- 11/6/2010

Last THI Win: THI 38, W&J 35 (OT) -- 10/1/2005

Last W&J Win at W&J: W&J 56, THI 16 -- 9/19/2009

Last THI Win at W&J: THI 38, W&J 35 (OT) -- 10/1/2005

THE SERIES:  Washington & Jefferson and Thiel play for the 65th time in history with the Presidents holding a 40-22-2 edge.  W&J has won five consecutive games in the series since the Tomcats upset the Presidents on Homecoming 2005 at Cameron Stadium by a 38-35 margin in overtime.  Since that game, W&J has outscored TC by a combined 192-89 and has posted four double-digit victories. 

THE HEAD COACHES: Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) owns an 83-18 (.822) record at W&J in his ninth season as the head coach.  Sirianni is a three-time PAC Coach of the Year and the 2004 South Region Coach of the Year.  Kurt Reiser (Allegheny '93) is in his third year as the 25th head coach in Thiel history.  Reiser is 3-25 at the helm of the Tomcats and in 2005, as offensive line coach, helped the team win its first PAC title since 1972.

W&J vs. THE PAC:  W&J has amassed a 253-84-4 (.751) all-time record against current members of the Presidents' Athletic Conference.  The Presidents have won 66 of their last 73 conference contests.

Bethany (68-20)                   

Geneva (38-19-2)                        

Grove City (34-13) 

Saint Vincent (4-1)

Thiel (40-22-2)

Thomas More (3-4)

Waynesburg (35-3)

Westminster (31-2)

THE LAST MEETING {W&J 47, TC 14; 11/6/2010, Greenville, Pa.}:  Jordan Roycroft caught eight passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns in the first half and the Presidents routed Thiel 47-14 at Alumni Stadium.  W&J scored 27 points in the second quarter to build a 34-0 halftime lead.  The opening points came at the 5:01 mark of the first quarter as Andrew Cappucci threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Alex Baroffio.  Roycroft upped the score to 14-0 just over a minute into the second quarter after hauling in a 36-yard scoring pass from Gino Rometo.  Following a bad snap on a Tomcat punt, Tim McNerney capped a quick three-play, 16-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run.  Roycroft took a short pass from Rometo and raced 28 yards across the turf for his eighth touchdown of the season midway through the second quarter and McNerney's 5-yard touchdown jaunt, his 13th of the year, ended the first-half scoring with 1:54 remaining.  W&J held a 317-137 yardage advantage at halftime, including 259 yards through the air.  Washington & Jefferson forced a pair of turnovers in the opening minutes of the second half.  The Tomcats ended the shutout bid with a seven-yard touchdown pass from Jared Soell to Nate Houpt at the 8:14 mark of the third quarter.  Rometo scored on a 10-yard keeper late in the third quarter.  Steven Shumaker and Nick Puckett hooked up for a 26-yard scoring swing pass at the 10:38 mark of the fourth quarter to cap the Presidents' scoring.  W&J outgained Thiel by a 461-345 margin and owned a 24-17 first down edge. Rometo completed 15-of-20 passes for 206 yards and two scores, while Cappucci went 4-of-6 for 79 yards before leaving due to an injury. McNerney rushed 20 times for 75 yards, while Craig Sedunov notched eight tackles.  Frank Gigler had six tackles and two sacks.  Soell led the Tomcats with 248 yards passing (2 TD), while also rushing for 67. Ryan Dawes recorded a game-high 11 tackles.

SCOUTING THIEL:  The Tomcats have lost 20 consecutive games and are looking for their first victory since knocking off Saint Vincent 38-14 on Halloween in 2009.  The Tomcats have struggled defensively as they allow a league-high 40.8 points per game.  Last Saturday, Geneva piled up 409 yards in a 50-31 league win over the Tomcats.  Sophomore Julian McLean returned the opening kickoff 78 yards to the GC 1-yard line to set up freshman running back De'Von Drish's 1-yard touchdown run.  The lead only lasted 14 seconds; however, as Geneva returned the next kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown.  The Golden Tornadoes then added five of the next six scoring drives to pull away.  Four Thiel quarterbacks have seen significant action in the past four games, including freshman Devonte Campbell, who completed 10-of-24 passes for 100 yards and one touchdown (one INT) against Geneva.  Drish rushed 23 times for 90 yards and three touchdowns, two of which came during the first half.  Drish is the fifth-leading rusher in the PAC with 129 attempts for 496 yards and four touchdowns.  Thiel is last in the conference in total yards (242.1 ypg) and yards allowed (397.4 ypg).  The defense is paced by senior defensive end Tim Taylor, who leads in the PAC in sacks (9) and tackles for a loss (18.0). 

TACKLING DRILL: Senior Neil Sorice, the PAC's second-leading leading tackler, is averaging 10.0 per game and is on pace to break the 100-tackle barrier.  With 20 stops against Thiel and Waynesburg, Sorice would become the first President with 100 or more tackles in a season since 2001 when B.J. Swartzlander (115) and Matt Dietz (114) both accomplished the feat.

McTOUCHDOWN:  Junior running back Tim McNerney officially moved into the PAC lead in rushing this week (115.0 ypg) after his third 100-yard effort in the past four weeks.  McNerney missed two games earlier in the season and was not eligible for the league statistical guidelines until reaching 75 percent of W&J's total games played.  McNerney (25 career TDs) now sits 11 touchdowns shy of tying R.J. Zitzelsberger '06 and Joey Nichols '03 for fifth place on the all-time list.

THE OTHER HALF: W&J trailed Geneva 7-6 at halftime two weeks ago, but rallied to win in the second half.  The last time the Presidents trailed at the half at Cameron Stadium and came back to win was Nov. 27, 2004 against Christopher Newport in the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs.  CNU held a 14-7 edge after two quarters, but W&J scored 17 third-quarter points to pull out a 24-14 victory.  On the flip side, the Presidents own a 76-5 record under Sirianni when leading at halftime.

ALEX THE GREAT: Sophomore wide receiver Alex Baroffio continues to lead the PAC in receptions per game (6.6) and receiving yards per game (103.5).  Baroffio needs 171 yards to amass 1,000 for the season.  The last player to reach that mark was Craig Besong in 2009.

WINNING OUT:  The Presidents need wins over Thiel and Waynesburg to increase their consecutive winning season streak to 28 years.  The current 27-year streak ranks as the 10th-longest in NCAA Division III history and 16th among all divisions.  Only Linfield (55 years), Ithaca (39) and Mount Union (33) own longer active streaks among Division III schools.

NINE NOT ALIVE:  W&J's streak of 16 consecutive nine-win seasons came to an end in 2011.  Only 27 of the previous 119 W&J squads throughout history have achieved at least nine victories. 

BY LAND AND AIR:  As a team, W&J has rushed for at least one touchdown in 16 consecutive games.  The last time the Presidents were held without a rushing touchdown was at Thomas More on Sept. 25, 2010.  Presidents' quarterbacks have not been held to below 10 completions in a game since W&J competed 8-of-10 passes at Bethany on Nov. 11, 2006 (56-game streak). 

MEMORY LANE:  The first time W&J and Thiel met on the gridiron occurred on Oct. 17, 1896, a game won by the Presidents 54-0.  Earlier that year, Utah was admitted as the 45th state.  W&J actually did not allow a point that entire season, but finished with an 8-0-1 record after tying the Pittsburgh Athletic Club, a professional team, in week two. 

300 CLUB: The Presidents' defense allowed 300 yards passing for the first time this season on Saturday against Grove City.  W&J had not allowed a team to pass for 300 yards in the air since Bethany produced 422 in week 10 of the 2007 season.  Opposing offenses have gone over the 300-yard passing mark just 10 times since 2003. 

400 CLUB:  W&J owns a 55-2 record when amassing 400 or more yards of total offense.  Prior to this year's losses to Thomas More (524) and Saint Vincent (458), W&J had not lost during a 400-yard effort since Nov. 2, 2002.  The Presidents lost that game at Hanover despite holding a 503-364 edge in total yards.

DON'T CALL IT A COMEBACK: W&J led Grove City by three points after three quarter of play last week.  The Presidents were unable to hold on the lead in the final 15 minutes for only the third time under Sirianni.  W&J is now 80-3 when leading after 45 minutes since 2003, with the only other losses coming to Thomas More last season (35-32) and Thiel in 2005 (38-35 OT).

PRESSURE THE QB: For the first time in its last 17 games, W&J did not record a sack against Grove City.  The last time that W&J went without a sack was September 18, 2010 versus Bethany.  However, W&J is still tied for the PAC lead with Waynesburg with 22 sacks this season.

NO RUMBLE:  The Presidents' defense has recovered 15 fumbles over the past two seasons, but has not recorded a return yard on any of them.  W&J does not have a return yard on any of its 18 fumble recoveries since Matthew Gal scored on a 16-yard return on Oct. 24, 2009, at Westminster.  In addition, W&J has 17 interceptions in the past two years and has racked up 72 return yards.  In 2009, the team had 17 interceptions which were returned for 326 yards. 

SENIOR DAY:  W&J will honor 26 seniors (24 players, 2 coaches) prior to next week's game with Waynesburg.  This year's senior class owns a 33-10 overall record and has made two appearances in the NCAA Division III playoffs. 

BRAWL AHEAD:  The PAC Backyard Brawl will be played for the 39th time in history next Saturday at Cameron Stadium as the Waynesburg Yellow Jackets make the short trip north on Interstate 79.  W&J has won seven consecutive games in the series and 19 of 20 since Waynesburg joined the conference in 1990.   The Presidents lead the overall series by a 35-3 margin.

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