(GROVE CITY, Pa.) - Senior defensive back Zach Autenrieb (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) set the NCAA Division III career interception record in Thomas More College's 27-0 win over Grove City College today (Saturday, October 20, 2012) in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) game at Robert E. Thorn Field in Grove City, Pennsylvania.
With the win, the Saints improve to 4-3 overall and 4-2 in the PAC. With the loss, the Wolverines fall to 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the PAC.
The game was tied after one quarter and then the Saints led 7-0 at halftime and 17-0 after three quarters.
Autenrieb set the all-time record of 30 interceptions when he intercepted a Wolverine pass at the 10:33 mark of the second quarter and returned it 100-yards for a touchdown and junior place kicker Tim Gormly, Jr. (Cincinnati, Ohio/McNicholas) added the point-after-attempt to give the Saint a 7-0 lead. The previous Division III interception record of 29 had stood since 1975 when Ralph Gebhardt of Rochester University had set the mark. Autenrieb increase the all-time record to 31 with a second interception later in the game. The 100-yard interception returned for a touchdown tied the longest interception return in Thomas More history as Eric Fette had a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in 2000 against Hanover.
In the third quarter Thomas More increased the lead to 10-0 with 11:23 to play in the quarter when Gormly made a 35-yard field goal.
The Saints extended the lead to 17-0 when freshman tight end Cody Hinkel (Eminence, Ky./Henry County) caught a six-yard pass from freshman quarterback Jensen Gebhardt (Kings Mills, Ohio/Kings) and Gormly added the PAT with 1:51 to play in the third quarter.
Gebhardt connected on a 19-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Goose Cohorn (Independence, Ky./Dixie Heights) and Gormly added the PAT to increase the lead to 24-0 with 12:36 to play in the game.
Thomas More closed out the scoring with 3:44 to play in the game when Gormly made a 23-yard field goal for the final score of 27-0.
Thomas More was led offensively by Gebhardt, who was 20-of-28 passing for 207 yards and two touchdowns and also had nine rushes for 21 yards. Cohorn finished the game with five receptions for 58 yards and a touchdown, while senior wide receiver Mercier Doucette (Florence, Ky./Boone County) and sophomore wide receiver Ryan Winkler (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) each had three catches for 37 yards. Junior running back Adam Rauch (Yorkville, Ind./East Central) led the Saints on the ground with seven carries for 24 yards.
Senior linebacker Nick Gramke (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) led the Saints' defense as he had 12 tackles (five solo, seven assisted). Senior defensive lineman Jay Volker (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) had seven tackles (five solo, two assisted), including two sacks and two tackles for a loss, sophomore linebacker Aaron Lewis (Middletown, Ohio/Middletown) had seven tackles (three solo, four assisted), including one tackle for a loss and junior linebacker Alex Taylor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) had seven tackles (two solo, five assisted). Autenrieb finished the game with four tackles (all solo) and two interceptions.
The Saints return home next Saturday (October 27) when they host Saint Vincent College at 1:30 p.m. at The Bank of Kentucky Field in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.