/seasons/2015/contrib/201509191p767b

Ruffing posts career numbers in No. 14 W&J's 38-14 win at Carnegie Mellon

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Running back Ryan Ruffing had a career day with 38 carries and 231 yards as the No. 14 Presidents rolled up a season-high 594 yards of offense in a 38-14 win at Carnegie Mellon.
 
Ruffing eclipsed his previous career highs of 37 carries and 196 yards with his performance to move Washington & Jefferson to 3-0 on the season and open Presidents' Athletic Conference 1-0 before a bye week next week leads into a showdown with fellow Top 25 member Thomas More in Crestview Hills, Ky., on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 1 p.m.
 
Pete Coughlin eclipsed 300 yards in the air for the sixth time in his career, completing 27-of-40 passes for 309 yards and four touchdowns, two of which went to wide receiver Eric Scott who hauled in a game-high nine passes (three less than CMU's team) for 97 yards and two acrobatic scoring grabs in the end zone. Jesse Zubik led all players with 122 receiving yards on six catches, including a season-long 75-yarder for the W&J offense.
 
The scoring opened with Carnegie Mellon taking a 7-0 lead just 4:03 into the game on a 51-yard TD run by Sam Benger after the Tartans stopped W&J on a 4th-and-1 in CMU territory. W&J was forced to punt on its next possession and CMU was driving again thanks to a 46-yard run by Benger, but two plays later Ryan Torrance intercepted CMU quarterback Andrew Hearon and gave W&J the ball back near midfield.

The ensuing drive covered 58 yards in 12 plays and 3:23 of game clock as Coughlin hit Daniel Lisin the end zone for a five-yard score to knot the game, 7-7. On the final play of the first quarter, as it looked like W&J may not get the snap off before the horn sounded, Coughlin hit Jesse Zubikfor a 75-yard catch-and-run, Zubik's fifth-career TD catch over 60 yards, 14-7.

In the second quarter the Tartans were unable to capitalize on a W&J interception as the Presidents' defense forced a three-and-out before needing 11 plays and 2:01 to go 56 yards to extend the lead to 21-7. Scott capped the drive with the first of his two acrobatic TD catches in the front corner of the end zone as Coughlin hit him from 15 yards out.

The first play from scrimmage on the next drive by CMU saw Benger take the ball 85 yards for his second touchdown and bring the hosts back within a score at 21-14. W&J was able to get points back on its next possession, as Ted Ford knocked down his first career field goal, this one from 34 yards out as the Presidents extended the lead to 10, 24-14, which they took into halftime.

It took until W&J's second drive of the second half to score, but on his fourth consecutive carry, Ruffing broke off a 37-yard scoring run to push the lead to 31-14. The final score came with 6:33 to play as Coughlin once again found Scott in the corner of the end zone, this time from 12 yards out to push the margin to the eventual final of 38-14.

The red & black broke the program record by running 101 plays against the Tartans, topping the previous best that was set last season when W&J ran 98 plays at Westminster and Waynesburg. 

Ruffing's 231 yards were the first time that a W&J running back eclipsed 200 yards on the ground since Curt Jones rushed for 208 on 31 carries at Millsaps on Nov. 29, 2008 in the second round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs, a 35-20 Presidents' win.

For the Tartans, Benger was able to outshine Ruffing's standout performance by turning in 303 yards on 21 carries, the eighth-highest total in PAC history. Benger accounted for nearly 76 percent of CMU's offensive output, as W&J held the Tartans to just 399 yards of total offense, including just 58 through the air as CMU completed just 12-of-36 passes.

Lucas Parrish paced the defense with 10 total tackles, including 1.5 sacks, while O'Shea Andersonand Dan Graziano each added six stops. Jon Turner and Ryan Snedeker each posted sacks in the victory.

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D3football.com Top 25, preseason

The D3football.com Top 25, entering the 2019 season. This is the 17th season of the D3football.com Top 25.

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1 Mary Hardin-Baylor (24) 15-0 624
2 Mount Union (1) 14-1 599
3 St. John's 12-1 566
4 UW-Whitewater 12-1 555
5 North Central (Ill.) 10-2 482
6 Johns Hopkins 12-2 457
7 St. Thomas 8-2 414
8 Muhlenberg 11-2 405
9 Hardin-Simmons 9-2 397
10 Bethel 11-2 396  
11 Whitworth 10-1 336  
12 Linfield 7-2 291  
13 Brockport 11-1 230  
14 Delaware Valley 9-2 223  
15 Illinois Wesleyan 8-2 197  
16 Berry 10-2 190  
17 John Carroll 9-2 168  
18 Wittenberg 9-1 162  
19 RPI 10-2 152  
20 Centre 10-2 137  
21 Washington and Jefferson 9-2 132  
22 Wheaton (Ill.) 8-2 109  
23 Wabash 9-1 105  
24 Randolph-Macon 9-3 91  
25 St. Norbert 10-2 83

Others receiving votes: Trine 73; UW-La Crosse 71; Wartburg 61; Wesley 59; Washington U. 58; Montclair State 49; Alfred 48; Ithaca 42; UW-Oshkosh 40; Central 29; Case Western Reserve 25; Baldwin Wallace 20; Salisbury 15; Trinity (Texas) 10; Hope 10; Redlands 6; Marietta 3; Trinity (Conn.) 3, MIT 2.

The D3football.com Top 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, Sports Information Directors and media members from across the country, and is published weekly. Points are awarded on a 25-24-23-22-etc. basis.