October 16, 2012

W&J-Saint Vincent Game Notes

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

Saint Vincent College Bearcats (0-6, 0-4 PAC) at Washington & Jefferson College Presidents (5-2, 4-1 PAC)

Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 – Washington, Pa.

Time:  2:00 pm

Site: Cameron Stadium (3,500)

Series:  W&J leads 4-1

Series Streak: +1 SVC

 

Online Video: http://washjeffsports.tv

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

Audio: 1450-AM WJPA; 1480-AM WCNS; http://www.msasports.net/broadcasts/st-vincent-mens-football-at-washington-and-jefferson-mens-football

 

Last Meeting:  SVC 35, W&J 27 -- 10/8/2011

First Meeting:  W&J 16, WES 0 -- 9/29/2007

Last W&J Win: W&J 31, SVC 20 -- 10/9/2010

Last SVC Win: SVC 35, W&J 27 -- 10/8/2011

Last W&J Win at W&J: W&J 31, SVC 20 -- 10/9/2010

Last SVC Win at W&J:  N/A

THE SERIES:  Washington & Jefferson had won all four meetings with Saint Vincent since the Bearcats revived football in 2007; however, last year SVC upset the Presidents 35-27 in Latrobe.  W&J has taken the two games versus Saint Vincent at Cameron Stadium by scores of 72-20 and 31-20.

THE HEAD COACHES: One of college football's most successful coaches, Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) owns a 90-20 (.818) 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).  Bob Colbert (Maryland '71) has 10-47 record in five seasons as the Bearcats' head coach.  Saint Vincent posted a 6-5 record last year and earned a postseason bid, falling to Lebanon Valley 23-15 in the ECAC Southwest Bowl.  Colbert's brother, Kevin, is the general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers.   

W&J vs. THE PAC:  W&J has amassed a 259-85-4 (.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 72 of their last 80 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 (32-2)

THE LAST MEETING {SVC 35, W&J 27 -- 10/8/11}:  Saint Vincent took advantage of four W&J turnovers and earned a 35-27 victory at Chuck Noll Field.  The loss overshadowed a career-best performance by Alex Baroffio.  His 13 receptions marked the second-best, single-game total in school history, while he also produced a career-high 187 yards receiving.  He also added a 10-yard rush to amass 197 all-purpose yards.  The Presidents opened the scoring five minutes into the game as Matt Bliss drilled a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brett Axner.  W&J appeared to be in position to up its lead to double digits late in the first quarter, but the SVC defense held the Presidents on four plays from the 3-yard line.  On the very next play, Bearcat quarterback Aaron Smetanka launched a deep pass from the end zone which was picked off by B.J. Monacelli.  W&J was unable to convert any points off the turnover and Saint Vincent capitalized with a nine-play, 85-yard drive to begin the second quarter.  Mike Kale dove into the end zone from five yards out, but Saint Vincent missed the extra point.  Following another W&J punt, SVC drove 67 yards to grab its first lead 14-7 with 6:14 remaining in the first half.  Huey Ehredt rushed six yards for the score and Smetanka hit Jairus Marlow for the two-point conversion pass.  The Presidents tied the game on the opening possession of the second half.  The scoring drive covered 55 yards and Dion Wiegand rushed five yards for the tying touchdown.  The W&J defense forced a turnover on the next possession as Neil Sorice stripped the ball loose and Monacelli recovered.  The Presidents were held off the scoreboard on the possession, but then found the end zone again at the 4:38 mark as Bliss lofted a 37-yard touchdown pass to Baroffio for a 21-14 advantage.  Saint Vincent took control from that point; however, as the next three W&J drives ended in interceptions.  Dan Wirkowski's 61-yard interception return set up Joe Yezovich's 1-yard score that tied the game.  Two plays later, a Bliss pass went in and out of the hands of a W&J receiver and was intercepted by Drew Owusu.  Just over a minute later, Smetanka connected with Jake Smith for a 19-yard touchdown pass that put SVC ahead 28-21.  Bliss was picked off by Darius Brown three plays later on the final play of the third quarter.  Saint Vincent once again capitalized with a seven-play, 40-yard drive to claim a 35-21 lead.  Smetanka used a quarterback sneak from a yard out for the insurance touchdown.  Midway through the fourth quarter, W&J drove inside the SVC 10, but was forced to turn the ball over on downs.  The Presidents got the ball back and Bliss completed five consecutive passes, including a five-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Creel.  However, the extra-point attempt was blocked and SVC held an eight-point lead.  The Presidents' defense allowed one Bearcat first down before SVC punted and W&J took over with 16 seconds left on its own 23-yard line.  Bliss' desperation heave towards the end zone with 1.8 seconds left was knocked down and SVC came away with its signature win.  The two-headed rushing duo of Kale (16-92) and Ehredt (16-83) helped the Bearcats gain 395 total yards, including 195 on the ground.  Smetanka completed 13-of-20 passes for 200 yards, while Anthony Johnson paced the Bearcat defense with 11 tackles.  Bliss completed 30-of-48 passes for 305 yards and three touchdowns and Tim McNerney added 95 yards on 19 carries.  Bliss also rushed for 43 yards for the Presidents, who produced 458 yards and 24 first downs.

SCOUTING SAINT VINCENT:  The Bearcats played in the ECAC Southwest Bowl last year in its fifth year since the football program was resurrected on the Latrobe campus in 2007.  The 2012 season was expected to be a year in which SVC competed for a conference title; however, the Bearcats are still searching for their first win.  Running back Huey Ehredt, a PAC Player of the Year candidate in the preseason, has only played two games because of an injury.  Four of SVC's six losses have been by 11 points or less, including a 30-22 home setback to Geneva last week.  SVC fell behind 17-0 early, but rallied to only trail by five (27-22) with five minutes left after Andy Borgen's 59-yard touchdown run.  Geneva outgained Saint Vincent 422-240, but the Bearcat defense forced four turnovers to stay in the game.    The Bearcats average 249.3 yards of total offense and 12.8 points, both of which rank last in the league.  One of SVC's bright spots this fall has been its pass defense which leads the PAC, allowing only 146.8 yards per game. 

OCTOBER FEST: Under Head Coach Mike Sirianni, W&J has compiled a record of 34-6 during the month of October, including an 18-2 mark in Washington. The Presidents have not lost an October home game since Oct. 31, 2009, a 14-7 setback to Thomas More.

HISTORY LESSON:  Washington & Jefferson is 14 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 (713) and Mount Union (705) among NCAA Division III schools.  Widener (658) and Williams (631) 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). 

CATCHING ON: Senior wide receiver Hunter Creel established a new career high for the second consecutive week with his 128 receiving yards against Westminster.  He is one of only two PAC receivers (Geneva's Corey O'Patchen) with three 100-yard receiving games this season and ranks third among conference receivers in yards per game (66.4). 

MELHORN SECTION:  Senior linebacker Nathan Melhorn enters Saturday's game with a streak of 25 consecutive games with at least one tackle.  Melhorn has 153 career stops (83 solo) and is third on the team this year with 49. 

JUST FOR KICKS:  Junior placekicker Eric Eberle's six 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. 

NATIONAL LEADERS:  Junior wide receiver Alex Baroffio, who is doubtful for Saturday's game for a second-straight week due to an ankle injury, is tied for 29th in NCAA Division III with 7.0 receptions per game.  He is also 10th nationally with an average of 14.8 yards per punt return.  Sophomore defensive end Jon Lowery, who had the game-clinching tackle last week versus Westminster, is tied for 31st in the country with 0.93 sacks per game.  Eberle's six field goals are also tied for 37th in the nation. 

JUST WIN BABY: With a victory on Saturday, W&J would guarantee its 29th consecutive winning season. The Presidents' streak currently ranks fifth among NCAA schools of all divisions behind Linfield (57), Florida State (35), Mount Union (34) and Florida (32). Mount Union has already posted enough victories for a winning season in 2012, while Linfield needs one and Florida and Florida State both need two more victories to be assured of a winning season.

EVEN OR ODD: W&J has outscored its opponents 45-20 during the first quarter and 68-13 during the third quarter of games so far this fall; however, the Presidents have been outscored by opponents 58-20 in the second quarter and 61-25 during the final 15 minutes.  In Mike Sirianni's previous nine years as head coach, W&J has only been outscored in a quarter for an entire year only twice, the fourth quarters of the 2003 (54-52) and the 2010 (64-29) seasons.  The first quarter has been the Presidents' most successful 15 minutes under Sirianni's guidance as W&J has outscored opponents by nearly a touchdown (10.1-3.6) during the first quarter since 2003. 

RARE AIR: Junior QB Matt Bliss has attempted over 40 passes in consecutive games.  Bliss (2011) and Chris Edwards (2004) are the only quarterbacks to attempt at least 40 passes in three-straight games under Mike Sirianni.  After a 312-yard performance vs. Westminster, Bliss could also become the first President quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards in consecutive games since Bobby Swallow did so against Geneva and Saint Vincent in 2008.

20TH ANNIVERSARY:  W&J will honor members of the 1992 Presidents returning to campus for Homecoming Weekend prior to Saturday's kickoff.  The 1992 PAC Champions finished as the national runner-up and were awarded the ECAC Lambert Trophy.  The team had three All-Americans (RB Chris Babirad, OL Kevin Pintar, OL Todd Pivnick) and three Academic All-Americans (DB Mike Crawford, DE Ray Cross, PK Scott Lautner). 
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