GROVE CITY, Pa. – The Westminster College football team lost, 36-33, at Grove City College on Saturday in Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) action.
The Titans fell to 3-3 overall and 3-2 in the PAC, while the Wolverines improved to 3-3 overall and 2-3 in conference play.
The Titans scored the first points of the game after taking advantage of a Grove City fumble on a punt return as freshman Bryce Thomas (Saint Marys, GA / Camden County) recovered the loose ball on the Wolverines’ two-yard line. On the very next play, Titan freshman Isiah Canton (Pittsburgh, PA / Carlynton) ran it in for his second touchdown of the season. Grove City cut into Westminster’s lead, 7-6, following two-straight field goals by Nick Morrow. Titan senior Shamon Walker (Pittsburgh, PA / Milton Hershey) ran it in from two yards out, capping off a 13-play, 73-yard drive, in the final seconds of the second quarter. The Titans led 14-6 at halftime.
Grove City scored on its opening drive of the third quarter with a one-yard run by Wesley Schools and cut the Titans’ lead to 14-13. Westminster answered on the ensuing kickoff as freshman Vincent Giles (Lexington Park, MD / Great Mills) returned it 89 yards for a touchdown. Schools scored added another one-yard touchdown run on the Wolverines’ next drive. After a failed two-point conversion attempt, the Titans remained in front, 21-19 with 8:52 remaining in the third.
Grove City capitalized off a Titan interception and Josh Ehst scored from one yard out and the Wolverines took their first lead of the contest, 26-21. The Wolverines’ lead was short-lived, however, as Walker helped lead the Titans down the field and ran it in from 13 yards out for his career-best second touchdown of the game, capping off a 9-play, 66-yard drive. The Titans’ two-point attempt was unsuccessful and led 27-26 with 4:16 left in the third. Grove City answered on its next possession with a 33-yard field goal by Morrow to take a 29-27 lead.
In the fourth, the Titans took advantage of good field position, following a short Grove City punt. Junior Augustus Necastro (Brookfield, OH / Brookfield) found classmate Keano Grice (Delray Beach, FL / West Boca Raton) for a 27-yard touchdown to put the Titans back in front, 33-29, with 11:21 left in the game (Westminster was unable to convert on a two-point play).
After a Titan punt late in the fourth quarter with 2:42 to play, Josh Ehst helped guide Grove City down the field for the game-winning score. Grove City went 12-plays for 78 yards, eating up all but seven seconds off the clock and was capped off with Ehst finding Cody Gustafson for a two-yard touchdown pass with seven seconds remaining in the game.
Walker ran for a career-high 114 yards on 16 carries and added a career-high two rushing touchdowns. Junior Tyler Greene (Carlisle, PA / Carlisle) carried the ball 12 times for 49 yards, while freshman Isiah Canton (Pittsburgh, PA / Carlynton) added a rushing score. Walker went 8-for-21 through the air for 62 yards and one interception. Necastro went one-for-one for 27 yards and a touchdown. Junior Keano Grice (Delray Beach, FL / West Boca Raton) caught two passes for 41 yards and a touchdown, his first receiving touchdown of the season. Junior Connor Cox (Ridge, MD / Leonardtown) tied a team-high with three catches for 38 yards. Senior Byrson Paulinellie (DuBois, PA / Dubois Area) also had three receptions.
On the defensive side, junior Paul Gonzalez (Miami, FL / Florida Christian) led the Titans in tackles with 13. Gonzalez tied a game-high with seven solo tackles, while also adding six assisted tackles and one tackle for loss. Senior Marvin Liberiste (Naples, FL / Lely) also tied a game-high with seven solo tackles and added two assisted. Senior Bill Madeja (Pittsburgh, PA / Brentwood) tallied 11 tackles (four solo, seven assisted) and freshman Ian Barr (State College, PA / State College Area) registered nine (four solo, five assisted). Senior John Fitzgerald (Youngstown, OH / Youngstown East) finished with a team-high 1.5 tackles for loss and finished with five total tackles. Freshman Vincent Giles (Lexington Park, MD / Great Mills) recorded one forced fumble and tallied 115 kick return yards. Freshman Dawson Porter (Kittanning, PA / Armstrong) punted six times for 299 yards for a school-record average of 49.8 yards per kick. Porter also fell just shy of the Westminster school record for longest punt (78 yards – Mark Aiken/1988) with a punt of 70 yards.
The Titans will host Thiel College on Saturday, October 13 for their Homecoming game. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.