Allegheny Rolls Hiram En Route to Program's 500th Victory
HIRAM, Ohio – Allegheny became the 35th team in the history of NCAA Division III to surpass 500 victories after closing the 2012 campaign with a 13-0 win at Hiram on Saturday. The Gators forced a season-high four turnovers while running back Tim Werley manufactured the team's top individual effort in six years, as Allegheny reached the historic milestone with a definitive performance.
The Gators, who have earned top-10 national rankings in eight seasons since winning the NCAA Championship in 1990, have an outstanding tradition of excellence on the gridiron that includes 67 All-Americans and nine North Coast Athletic Conference titles. Since 1986, the Gators have finished the last 27 years at or above .500 in every season but one.
Allegheny delivered an outstanding all-around effort in securing its first shutout since Oct. 9, 2010. Defensively, the team was tremendous. The Gators held the Terriers to just 110 yards of total offense, including 29 yards rushing on 17 carries. The totals marked the team's best statistical performance since the 2009 season. In addition, Allegheny's smothering defensive corps had two interceptions while recovering a pair of fumbles.
From the offensive's perspective, the day belonged to senior Tim Werley. Emerging as the team's primary ball carrier after a rash of injuries decimated the gators' depth chart, Werley was outstanding in the last two games of the season. Against Hiram, Werley totaled a career high 130 yards on 32 carries while adding 58 yards receiving on four grabs. Finishing with 188 all-purpose yards while authoring 14 first downs, Werley's rushing total marked the best single-game performance by an Allegheny player since Mario Tarquinio dashed Ohio Wesleyan for 160 yards during the 2006 campaign.
While Werley's second consecutive 100-yard day fueled the offense, the Gators received a nice boot from rookie quarterback Kyle Smith, who added 53 yards to the team's ground total. Allegheny closed the afternoon with 178 yards rushing, its highest total of the year, while amassing over 40 minutes of possession for the first time in three years.
Kicking field goals of 21 and 37 yards, Ryan Mong accounted for all of the scoring through the first two quarters. The defense forced Hiram to punt on five of its six first-half possessions, while senior defensive end John Douglas was credited with his first career interception to thwart Hiram's second drive of the day.
After a quiet third quarter, Allegheny extended its lead early in the fourth behind a 12-play, 70-yard drive. Werley shouldered the load during the lengthy assault, while rookie fullback Anthony Opet capped the drive with a two-yard touchdown rush.
On Hiram's ensuing possession, Raysean Glenn picked off Hiram's Zach Bailey on the first play of the series. Taking over the ball with just under six minutes left, Allegheny ran 10 plays to run out the clock.
Playing in his final collegiate game, Rudy DeStefano had a team-high six tackles as well as a fumble recovery. Fellow senior Bill Devlin, who has ranked among the NCAC's leaders in tackles all season, also recovered a fumble while adding five tackles.