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NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – The Westminster College football team defeated nationally ranked #7 Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) opponent Washington & Jefferson College, 27-20, at home on Saturday afternoon.
The win broke the Presidents 11 game regular season winning streak. Westminster improved to 5-3 overall on the year and 5-2 in conference play. W&J fell to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in PAC action.
After a quick three and out by the Presidents on their opening drive of the game, Westminster took advantage of an errant snap on fourth down, recovering the ball at the W&J four-yard line. Freshman Isiah Canton (Pittsburgh, PA / Carlynton) scored the first points of the game two plays later, giving the Titans an early 7-0 lead. With 5:08 left in the first, W&J defensive back Zac Quattrone intercepted Titan quarterback Augustus Necastro (Brookfield, OH / Brookfield) and returned it 71 yards for a score (7-7). Westminster answered on their next possession, which lasted 15 plays for 75-yards and ran eight minutes and two seconds off the clock. Canton converted his second touchdown of the game from two-yards out as Westminster led, 13-7 (missed PAT). With just under six minutes left in the first half, Titan safety Miguel Luis (Hollywood, FL / Mater Academy) picked off W&J quarterback Jacob Adams at the Presidents 30-yard line. The Titans took advantage of the turnover, as Necastro found senior tight end Anthony Livoti (Altoona, PA / Bishop Guilfoyle) for a 23-yard touchdown, increasing the Titan lead 20-7. The score would stay the same at halftime.
W&J scored the first points of the second half midway through the third quarter as running back EJ Thompson scored from 13-yards out, capping off a seven play, 66-yard drive. The Presidents missed the point after attempt, and trailed Westminster, 20-13. With just under four minutes left in the third, W&J led a nine play, 50-yard drive that ended with a touchdown pass from Adams to wide receiver Andrew Wolf. The PAT was successful, tying the game, 20-20. Westminster started the fourth quarter at their own 46-yard line. After a penalty pushed the Titans back ten yards, Westminster earned a first-down after a W&J pass interference call, setting the Titans up at the Presidents 41-yard line.  After another penalty by the Presidents that gave Westminster a first and ten at the W&J 27-yard line, Necastro found junior Connor Cox (Ridge, MD / Leonardtown) for 18-yards to move the chains. Two plays later, junior Keano Grice (Delray Beach, FL / West Boca Raton) rushed into the end zone from three-yards out to give Westminster a 26-20 lead. Sophomore John Cybak (Massillon, OH / Tuslaw) converted the extra point, making it a 27-20 game. On W&J’s next drive, junior Paul Gonzalez (Miami, FL / Florida Christian) picked off quarterback Jacob Adams at the Titan 40-yard line and returned it for seven yards.
Both teams traded punts, and with 2:41 left in the game, Westminster gained possession. After three running plays, the Titans faced a fourth and one at the W&J 47-yard line with 2:17 left to play. Senior quarterback Shamon Walker (Pittsburgh, PA / Milton Hershey) and the Titan offense stayed on the field, however, the Presidents jumped offside before the play was snapped, giving Westminster an automatic first down. Westminster held on to the lead and won, 27-20.
Necastro went 11-for-18 with 112 yards in the air and a score. Junior Tyler Greene (Carlisle, PA / Carlisle) led all players with a career-high 85 rushing yards on 19 carries. Grice totaled 12 carries, 49 yards and a touchdown. Canton ran the ball twice for two scores. Cox led all receivers with 64 yards and tallied six catches. Livoti had one catch for 23-yards and a score. On the defensive side, Gonzalez tied a game-high with 10 tackles, including eight solo tackles, which also tied a game-high. Senior Marvin Liberiste (Naples, FL / Lely) registered nine tackles (eight solo) and two tackles for loss. Senior Bill Madeja (Pittsburgh, PA / Brentwood) finished with five tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack. Luis recorded six tackles (three solo) and one interception.
Westminster is back in action Saturday, November 3rd for its final home game of the regular season. The Titans face PAC opponent Carnegie Mellon with a start time of 1 p.m.

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