October 10, 2012

W&J-Westminster (Pa.) Game Notes

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

Westminster College Titans (2-2, 1-2 PAC) at Washington & Jefferson College Presidents (4-2, 3-1 PAC)

 Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 – Washington, Pa.

Time:  1:30 pm

Site: Cameron Stadium (3,500)

Series:  W&J leads 31-2

Series Streak: +11 W&J

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

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

 

Last Meeting:  W&J 20, WES 16 -- 10/1/2011

First Meeting:  W&J 16, WES 0 -- 11/10/1894

Last W&J Win: W&J 20, WES 16 -- 10/1/2011

Last WES Win: WES 19, W&J 17 -- 9/29/2001

Last W&J Win at W&J: W&J 49, WES 7 -- 10/2/2010

Last WES Win at W&J: TMC 19, W&J 17 -- 9/29/2001

THE SERIES:  Washington & Jefferson has dominated the series with Westminster, owning a 31-2 lead.  The Presidents have won 11 consecutive games against the Titans, including an exciting 20-16 triumph last year in New Wilmington.  The Titans' last victory in the series came in 2000 by a 19-17 margin.  Westminster, which recorded a school-record 10 sacks in that win, was a provisional member of NCAA Division III in 2000 following its move from NAIA Division II.
THE HEAD COACHES: One of college football's most successful coaches, Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) owns an 89-20 (.816) record in his 10th season as the  W&J 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).  Jeff Hand (Clarion '82) has notched a 29-45 record in his eighth season at Westminster.  He came to Westminster after four years at Waynesburg where he led the Yellow Jackets to its first outright PAC Championship and Division III playoff berth in 2003.  Hand's overall career record is 66-69 in 14 years.
W&J vs. THE PAC:  W&J has amassed a 258-85-4 (.746) all-time record against current members of the Presidents' Athletic Conference.  Washington & Jefferson has claimed 22 PAC Championships throughout history.  The Presidents have won 71 of their last 79 conference games.
Bethany (69-20), Geneva (38-19-2), Grove City (35-13), Saint Vincent (4-1), Thiel (42-22-2), Thomas More (3-5), Waynesburg (36-3), Westminster (31-2)

 THE LAST MEETING {W&J 20, WES 16 -- 10/2/11}:  Andy McGill and Brian DeFranco notched sacks on Westminster's final two plays to help the Presidents hold off Westminster 20-16 at Burry Stadium.  The Presidents outgained the Titans by a 429-236 margin, but committed five turnovers which kept Westminster into the game after falling behind 13-0.  The W&J defense limited the Titans to (-17) yards rushing, while the Presidents piled up 178 yards on the ground.  Westminster had the opening possession, but W&J forced a punt after just three plays and took advantage three plays later on Tim McNerney's 4-yard touchdown run.  The score was set up by Matt Bliss' 39-yard pass to Hunter Creel.  The Presidents' defense forced another punt, but Alex Baroffio fumbled on the return, setting the Titans up at the W&J 46.  Westminster took the ball to the Presidents' 2-yard line, but fumbled on a third down play which was recovered by Jimmy Thompson.  W&J capitalized with a 12-play, 92-yard touchdown drive.  Bliss completed five passes on the possession, including a 23-yard strike to Baroffio for a 13-0 lead after the extra-point attempt was missed.  The Presidents appeared to be in position to increase their lead twice early in the second quarter, but Bliss fumbled inside the 10-yard line on the first drive and the Titans held on fourth down at their 10-yard line four minutes later.  Westminster used the momentum from the defensive stop to narrow the deficit to 13-7 after a 90-yard drive that took 3:56 off the clock.  Shawn Lehocky hit Geno Pasquinelli for a 16-yard touchdown pass.  W&J quickly entered Westminster territory again, but was stopped on another fourth down play.  Two plays later, Lehocky's pass was intercepted by Dan Sciortino and the Presidents took the six-point lead into halftime.  Bliss was intercepted twice in the opening minutes of the third quarter and Zac Henry converted a 26-yard field goal at the 9:55 mark to bring Westminster to within 13-10.  Washington and Jefferson strung together a 13-play drive which spanned the end of the third quarter and the first three minutes of the fourth.  Bliss dove in from one yard for the touchdown after completing five passes on the 40-yard drive.  Westminster refused to quit and got to within 20-16 with 5:02 remaining as Lehocky connected with John Baummer over the middle for a 20-yard touchdown pass.  The Titans forced a punt two minutes later and advanced to the W&J 39 before sacks by McGill and DeFranco ended the threat.  McGill notched a pair of sacks, while Neil Sorice had a team-high eight tackles, including three for a loss.  Bliss completed 24-of-40 passes for 251 yards.  Creel caught six passes for 85 yards, while Baroffio hauled in five receptions for 80 yards.  Lehocky led the Titans with 253 passing yards, but was sacked six times.  Alex Kernicky paced the WC defense with 15 stops.

SCOUTING WESTMINSTER:  The Titans have earned a pair of decisive victories this season over Hiram (28-0) and Saint Vincent (17-6), but have dropped narrow decisions to Thomas More (27-23) and Grove City (23-21).  In the loss to the Wolverines, GCC scored on a five-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds remaining.  Thomas More scored with the same exact amount of left to erase a 23-20 deficit two weeks earlier.  The Titans have made a commitment to running the football this year as 67 percent of their offensive plays have been rushing attempts. Junior Tyler Banks leads the squad with 310 rushing yards and four touchdowns, while junior quarterback Dak Britt is a dual threat with 222 rushing yards and 594 through the air (6 passing TDs).  Defensively, the Titans have forced nine turnovers and are led by senior linebacker Derrick Orloski.  He has produced 36 tackles (six for a loss) and one interception.  WC ranks 24th in NCAA Division III in scoring defense (14.0 ppg) and 31st nationally in total defense (273.8 ypg). 
IT'S BEEN AWHILE: Thomas More became the first team to defeat W&J five consecutive seasons since the Presidents lost to Carnegie Mellon 12 times from 1972-1983.
SENIOR DAY RECOGNITION: W&J will honor 22 seniors prior to Saturday's game with Westminster. The group of seniors has helped the Presidents win 28 games, make an appearance in the 2009 NCAA Division III playoffs and claim a 54-41 victory over Franklin & Marshall in the 2010 ECAC Southwest Bowl.

OCTOBER FEST: Under Head Coach Mike Sirianni, W&J has compiled a record of 33-6 during the month of October, including a 17-2 mark in Washington. The Presidents have not lost an October home game since Oct. 31, 2009, a 14-7 setback to Thomas More.

FALL OF THE TITANS: During W&J's 11-game game winning streak against Westminster, the Titans have not led during any point in any of those contests. Meanwhile, the Presidents have held the lead for 586:34 of a possible 660 minutes.
RUNNIN' WILD: The W&J rushing attack has averaged 220.5 yards on the ground during its last eight games against Westminster.  The Presidents have rushed for at least 148 yards and two touchdowns in all eight games and have gained over 260 yards on four occasions.
BOUNCING BACK: W&J has not lost consecutive games during the same season since 1997 when it fell during weeks one and two to Emory & Henry and Buffalo State. During each of the past two years, the Presidents have defeated Westminster following a loss the previous week.
HISTORY LESSON:  Washington & Jefferson is 15 victories shy of becoming the third program in NCAA Division III history to win 700 games.  W&J is competing in its 121st varsity season (685-379-40) and is third behind Wittenberg (712) and Mount Union (704) among NCAA Division III schools.  Widener (657) and Williams (630) round out the top five.  Once W&J reaches 700 victories, it will join an elite group among all college football divisions which currently has 20 members of 700-plus wins (Wittenberg, Mt. Union, Yale, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Michigan, Texas, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Alabama, Tennessee, Southern Cal, Georgia, LSU, Penn State, Auburn and West Virginia).  
ZACH ATTACK:  Last week, senior defensive back Zach DeCicco turned in an all-around defensive performance with five tackles (one for loss), a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, an interception and two pass breakups. DeCicco is the first President this decade to force a fumble, recover another fumble and intercept a pass in the same game. 
SACK ARTISTS: Despite not recording a sack against Thomas More, W&J remains second among PAC teams with 16 sacks. Sophomore defensive end Jon Lowery leads the team and is tied for 24th nationally with an average of 1.08 sacks per game (6.5 total sacks).  As a team, W&J is 46th nationally in tackles for a loss (6.7 tpg) and tied for 52nd in sacks (2.7 spg).  
ALEX THE GREAT: Junior wide receiver Alex Baroffio ranks 13th in NCAA Division III with 8.17 receptions per game. He is second in the PAC in receiving yards per game (67.0) and fourth in all-purpose yards (101.6).  Baroffio is also 11th in NCAA Division III in punt return average with 14.8 yards per return.  In two career games against Westminster, Baroffio has caught nine passes for 123 yards and one touchdown. 
CATCHING ON: Senior wide receiver Hunter Creel established a new career high with 111 receiving yards on Saturday.  He is one of only two PAC receivers with multiple 100-yard receiving games this season and ranks fifth among conference pass catchers in yards per reception (13.5).

MELHORN SECTION:  Senior linebacker Nathan Melhorn enters Saturday's game with a streak of 24 consecutive games with at least one tackle.  Melhorn has 143 career stops (81 solo) and is second on the team this year with 39. 

THE SINGLE LIFE:  W&J has won 132 consecutive games when limiting opponents to less than 10 points.  The last time an opponent scored less than 10 and beat W&J occurred during the 1981 season opener when St. Francis nipped the Presidents 9-7 in Loretto. 
JUST FOR KICKS:  Junior placekicker Eric Eberle's five field goals are the most by a President since Chuck Grabner made 6-of-10 attempts in 2007.  Grabner also made 60 extra points that season to finish with 78 points.  Eberle drilled a 40-yard field goal at Thomas More, making him the first W&J kicker since Mike Evan'97 in 1995 to connect on two 40-plus yard field goals during a single season. 
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