/seasons/2016/contrib/201610220c7g0d

Nationally ranked Thomas More defeats SVC

More news about: St. Vincent

Thomas More College, ranked #13 in the nation, defeated the Bearcat football team by a score of 45-14 at Chuck Noll Field.

The Saints utilized a strong running game to open a 24-0 halftime lead, eventually finishing the day with 329 yards rushing en route to the win.

SVC got off to a rough start, as the team was forced to punt in the rain on its opening possession.   The wet ball went through the hands of punter Christian Witchey, who was tackled at the Bearcat 22, giving the Saints a short field for their initial drive.  Five plays later, CT Tarrant carried the ball into the end zone from two yards out for the game's first score.

Later in the first, SVC quarterback Derek Stewart had a pass intercepted by Brandon Neal at the Thomas More one-yard-line, and the Saints offense this time converted a long field into points.  Quarterback Brenan Kuntz had the big play of the drive, a 64-yard keeper that moved the ball to the SVC 10.  However, the Bearcat defense held, and Cole Mathias had to come on and kick a 25-yard field goal that made it a 10-0 game with 22 seconds left in the first quarter.

After SVC turned the ball over on downs at the Saints' 39 on the next drive, Hjavier Pitts broke free for a 41-yard run inside the red zone, to the 14 yard line.  Two plays later, Kuntz completed a touchdown pass to Daylin Garland, and the point after made it 17-0 in favor of the visitors.

Jhanard Dorsett then returned the kickoff 42 yards into Thomas More territory, but Stewart was intercepted on the first play of the drive, and the Saints put together a 13-play, 84-yard drive for another score, increasing the lead to 24-0 with 4:30 left in the second quarter, and that remained the score into the halftime break.

SVC attempted an onside kickoff to start the second half, but the Saints recovered at the Bearcat 44, and scored 7 plays later, making it a 31-0 game.

The Bearcats then got on track, as Shavonta Craft started the rally with a 27 yard screen pass from Stewart, moving the ball near midfield.  On a fourth down play, Stewart ran up the middle and avoided tacklers en route to a 40-yard run to the Saints' 3 yard line.  On a third-and-goal from the six, Stewart dropped back and tossed a backward pass - which is therefore credited as a rush - to lineman Cullen Higgins.  Higgins was hit at the one-yard-line and lost the ball, but recovered his own fumble in the end zone for a Saint Vincent touchdown.

After forcing a Thomas More punt, the Bearcat offense was driving once again thanks in part to a fake punt that was taken 22 yards by Ryan Crawford into Saint territory.  However, Stewart's third-down pass was intercepted by Tre' Tunstill, ending the SVC drive.

Up 31-7 at the start of the fourth quarter, the Saints tacked on another score, this time on a short pass from Kuntz to Pitts.  Pitts did the rest, breaking tackles and taking it all the way to the end zone for an 86-yard scoring play to make the score 38-7.

Down 45-7 later in the fourth, the Bearcats started a drive on their own 25.  Three completions by Stewart moved the ball to the Saints' 37, and Dorsett did the rest, scampering 37 yards down the right sideline for what would prove to be the game's final score.  

Thomas More tallied 501 yards of total offense on the day, led by Pitts' 99 on the ground, gained in 13 carries.  Tarrant and Luke Zajac posted identical numbers on the day, 15 carries each for 86 yards.  Kuntz ran the ball 8 times for 56 yards.  Through the air, Kuntz was 8-19 for 172 yards.

Stewart was SVC's leading rusher on the day, with 14 carries for 88 yards.  Dorsett ran 5 times for 48 yards, while Craft was held to 11 carries for just 21 yards.  

Stewart was 19-35 through the air for 180 yards.  Craft was the leading receiver with 5 catches for 89 yards.  Damon Black Jr also had 5 receptions, while Ryan Crawford had 3.  Dalton Dietrich had two acrobatic catches for a toal of 41 yards.

Defensively, Devin Anderson had 11 tackles for the Bearcats, while Matt Jenkins had 8.  Cameron Mack andCody Henry recorded 7 each.  Jenkins, Kim Ornis and Garrett Virostek each tallied a sack.

For the Saints, Tunstill had 11 tackles.

Thomas More is now 7-1 overall, 6-0 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference.  With the loss, Saint Vincent is 4-3 overall, 2-3 in the PAC and will travel to Washington next Saturday (October 29) to face Washington & Jefferson at 2PM.


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