September 12, 2012

W&J-Grove City Game Notes

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

Grove City College Wolverines (1-1) at Washington & Jefferson College Presidents (1-1)

Sat., Sept. 15, 2012 – Washington, Pa.

Time:  7:00 pm

Site: Cameron Stadium (3,500)

Series:  W&J leads 34-12

Series Streak: +1 GRO

 

Video: http://washjeffsports.tv

Audio: 1450-AM WJPA; http://www.wjpa.com/sports.htm

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

 

Last Meeting: GRO 24, W&J 21 -- 10/29/2011

First Meeting: W&J 6, GRO 0 -- 10/20/1893

Last W&J Win: W&J 21, GRO 14 -- 10/30/2010

Last GRO Win: GRO 24, W&J 21 -- 10/29/2011

Last W&J Win at W&J: W&J 21, GRO 14 -- 10/30/2010

Last GRO Win at W&J: GRO 31, W&J 7 -- 10/10/1998

 

THE SERIES:  Washington & Jefferson and Grove City meet for the 48th time with the Presidents leading the series by a 34-13 margin.  The Wolverines snapped a 12-game losing streak to W&J with a 24-21 victory last year at Thorn Field.  W&J has not lost to Grove City at home since a 31-7 setback in 1998.  The two teams are playing at night for the third time since 2008. 

THE HEAD COACHES: Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) owns an 86-19 (.819) record at W&J in his 10th season as the  head coach.  The three-time PAC Coach of the Year and 2004 South Region Coach of the Year is fifth among all active NCAA head coaches in winning percentage (minimum five years of experience).  Chris Smith (Grove City '72) is the dean of PAC football coaches as 2012 marks his 29th season.  He owns a 112-158-2 record (.415) and led the Wolverines to the 1997 and 1998 (Co-Champs) PAC titles. 

W&J vs. THE PAC:  W&J has amassed a 255-84-4 (.749) all-time record against current members of the Presidents' Athletic Conference.  Washington & Jefferson has claimed 22 PAC Championships throughout history.  The Presidents have won 68 of their last 75 conference games.

Bethany (68-20)             

Geneva (38-19-2)            

Grove City (34-13) 

Saint Vincent (4-1)      

Thiel (41-22-2)                      

Thomas More (3-4)

Waynesburg (36-3)

Westminster (31-2)

THE LAST MEETING {GRO 24, W&J 21 -- 10/29/11}:  Three second-half fumbles led to 12 Grove City points and helped the Wolverines defeat Washington & Jefferson 24-21.  W&J, which was unable to hold on to an early three-touchdown lead, opened the scoring 3:03 into the first quarter.  Matt Bliss completed a six play, 33-yard drive when he hit Dion Wiegand, who broke a tackle and scampered into the end zone for an 11-yard score.  The touchdown was set up by Wiegand's season-long, 47-yard return of the opening kickoff.  The Presidents took a 14-point lead just 4 1.2 minutes later, as Tim McNerney took a handoff 31 yards into the end zone.  W&J drove 52 yards over five plays after its defense denied a Grove City rush on fourth down and inches near midfield.  The W&J offense found itself pinned deep in its own territory to begin its third possession after a Wolverine punt late in the first quarter.  Bliss keyed a trio of third-down conversions to extend the Presidents' drive, first hitting Alex Baroffio for 12 yards and Max Creighan for nine yards.  Bliss then scrambled out of the pocket for 20 yards to get the Presidents into Wolverine territory on a third and long play.  Four plays later, Taylor Hockman took a shotgun snap and ran straight through the middle for a four-yard touchdown.  In all, the Presidents traveled 93 yards in 14 plays, taking 5:06 off the clock.  Grove City threatened on its first possession of the second quarter as the Wolverines got all the way to the Presidents' 5-yard line before Neil Sorice picked off Brian Pell's fourth-down pass on the goal line.  After the Presidents went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, Grove City got on the board for the first time in the game.  Pell completed a three-yard pass to Joe Gulasky to finish off the 11 play, 41-yard drive, cutting the W&J advantage to 21-6 after the extra-point was missed wide.  The Wolverines continued to cut into the Presidents' lead just 2:51 later.  Pell completed a pass to Blaine Miller, who broke a tackle and ran 56 yards down the sideline for Grove City's second score.   Pell's pass on the two-point conversion fell incomplete, holding the Presidents' lead at 21-12 in which W&J would take into halftime.  Grove City immediately took advantage of a Bliss fumble in W&J territory on the Presidents' second possession of the second half.  Pell threw his third touchdown of the day, a 26-yarder, to Anthony Ritchie on the Wolverines' first play of the drive.  The PAT once again failed, leaving W&J with a three-point lead.  Grove City took the lead for good early in the fourth quarter following another W&J turnover.  Pell found Jimmy Bailey for a 46-yard score, completing a four play, 85-yard drive to give the Wolverines a 24-21 lead.  W&J threatened to tie the game late in the fourth quarter.  The Presidents took the ball down to the Grove City 14-yard line with just over two minutes remaining, but a second effort on a rush by McNerney was thwarted and he fumbled the ball away.  The Wolverines were able to pick up two first downs and run out the remaining time.  In all, W&J fumbled six times on the day, losing three of them, while Grove City did not turn the ball over.  Grove City gained 381 yards of total offense to W&J's 367, but the Presidents held a slight 19-18 first down advantage.

SCOUTING GROVE CITY:  The Wolverines are a late fourth-quarter, 45-yard Carnegie Mellon touchdown pass away from being 2-0.  GCC opened the season with a 23-20 road loss at CMU.  Grove City held a 10-minute time of possession advantage, held a 22-15 first down edge and did not commit a penalty; however, three interceptions ended up being the difference.  Last week, the Wolverines breezed to a 47-10 win over Anderson behind 153 rushing yards and three touchdowns by senior tailback and PAC Player of the Week Shane Kaclik.  Grove City racked up 32 first downs and 451 yards of total offense.  Defensively, junior linebacker Ben Manwaring had 11 tackles.  Junior quarterback Brian Pell is completing 56 percent of his passes (37-of-66) for 332 yards and four touchdowns, while Kaclik has produced 218 yards and four scores on the ground.  Senior strong safety Shawn Mercer has notched 14 tackles and three pass breakups. 

COVERING THE PRESIDENTS:  WJPA-AM (1450) once again serves as the official radio voice of Washington & Jefferson football.  Bob Gregg and Mark Uriah have the call every Saturday (home or away).  In addition, Saturday's game and all W&J home contests can be watched live online at www.washjeffsports.tv.  The WJPA audio is part of the online broadcast.  Audio only online broadcasts are available at www.msasports.com.  The Presidents' streak of 28-straight winning seasons started in 1984, the first year the Gregg-Uriah broadcasting duo started covering Presidents' football.

THE CLIMB: Wide receiver Alex Baroffio is off to a fast start to his junior season with 24 catches through two games.  His 12.0 reception per game average leads all NCAA Division III wide receivers.  He has raised his career total to 124, putting him 48 behind W&J Hall of Famer Ryan Silvis '01 for fifth place on the all-time list.  He is the first player in school history to have 100 receptions during his first two seasons on campus.     

READY TO RUN:  Senior running back Tim McNerney posted his ninth career 100-yard rushing day with 167 yards on 24 carries against St. John Fisher.  He has scored at least one touchdown in 16 of his 24 career appearances.  

BIG GAME HUNTER:  Senior linebacker John Hunter is making the most out of his first year as a starter as he is tied for the team lead with 14 tackles, including a team-high three for a loss.  Hunter paced the Presidents with nine stops against St. John Fisher and returned a fumble 63 yards in week one at Methodist to set up the team's second touchdown.   

HIGHLIGHT CREEL:  Senior wide receiver Hunter Creel got behind the SJF defense twice last Saturday for touchdowns of 37 and 40 yards.  He finished the day with career-high totals of eight catches for 109 yards and two scores.  Creel enters Saturday's game with 56 receptions for 532 yards and seven touchdowns. 

IN A RUSH:  Washington & Jefferson gained 217 yards on the ground last Saturday and lost when amassing 200-plus rushing yards for the first time since 1999.  The Presidents had won 31 consecutive games when reaching the 200-yard mark.

EARLY RISERS:  The Presidents have not allowed a point in the first quarter in eight consecutive games.  Thomas More's 14 points in week four of last season is the last time W&J allowed an opponent to score during the first 15 minutes.  In the 105 games with Mike Sirianni as head coach, W&J has outscored opponents on average by a 10.7-3.5 margin in the first quarter.

KEY TO VICTORY:  W&J has won 10 consecutive games when committing one turnover or less.  The last time that the Presidents lost when turning the ball over only once was the 2010 season opener at Delaware Valley (27-0).  Since 2009, Washington & Jefferson has turned the ball over three or more times in a game on 12 occasions and holds a 4-8 record in those contests. 

SEEING RED:  From 2005-2010, the Presidents were one of the most consistent red-zone scoring teams in NCAA Division III.  W&J scored on 77.5 percent (272-of-351) trips inside the 20-yard line, including touchdowns 70.7 percent (248 TDs in 351 red-zone possessions) of the time.  Since the start of last season, Washington & Jefferson is only scoring on 57.8 percent (37-of-64) of its red-zone appearances.  The touchdown percentage is even lower at 48.4 percent (31 TDs in 64 chances). 

AYE-AYE:  Four seniors serve as the Presidents' captains this fall.  Linebacker DeAndre Simmons, safety/linebacker Nathan Melhorn, running back Tim McNerney and linebacker Ian Hennessy represent their teammates for the coin toss each week.

HOMESICK: Prior to last year's close home losses to Delaware Valley (20-19) and Thomas More (35-32), W&J has not suffered back-to-back losses at Cameron Stadium since falling to Hanover (30-20) and Grove City (31-7) in 1998.  The Presidents have not lost multiple regular-season home games in back-to-back seasons since 1982 (2-3 home record) and 1983 (1-2-1). 

PAC LEADER:  The W&J offense leads the conference in total yards with 401.5 per game.  The Presidents piled up 445 yards of offense against ninth-ranked St. John Fisher.  A week before, the Cardinals limited Thomas More to 130 total yards (45 rushing) and seven points. 

SENIOR DAY:  Head Coach Mike Sirianni has announced that the team will hold its 2012 Senior Day on October 13 versus Westminster.  The college will honor the senior players, cheerleaders and their families prior to kickoff.

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