WASHINGTON, Pa. – In a game of two undefeated teams in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC), the Westminster College football team lost, 34-33, in overtime at the No. 15/10 Washington & Jefferson College Presidents Saturday afternoon.
The Titans dropped to 5-2 overall and 4-1in the PAC, while the Presidents improved to 7-0 overall and 5-0 conference play.
The Presidents, who had the first possession of overtime, took their first lead of the game when Jacob Adams completed a 12-yard touchdown pass to Cody Hearst. Westminster converted on two fourth downs on its overtime drive and senior Kimu Kim (Canfield, OH / Canfield) scored from one yard out. The Titans elected to go for two points for the win, however, senior Paul Columbo (Boca Raton, FL / West Boca Raton) had his pass in the end zone broken up.
Columbo went 15 of 24 for 241 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Jametrius Bentley (Lake Worth, FL / Park Vista Community) had two grabs for 103 yards and a score. Sophomore Connor Cox added three receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown. Kim led the Titans on the ground with 59 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Travis Lauster (Prospect, PA / Slippery Rock) and senior CJ Armstrong (Lake Worth, FL / Park Vista) led the Titan defense with nine tackles each. Armstrong registered a team-high five tackles for a loss, including a game-best three sacks. Senior Bobby Noble (Murrysville, PA / Greensburg Central Catholic) added two sacks, while junior John Fitzgerald (Youngstown, OH / Youngstown East) had one. Sophomore Aaron Pierce (Fort Lauderdale, FL / Hollywood) had an interception. Freshman John Cybak (Massillon, OH / Tuslaw) made two field goals, including one from 47 yards out, which tied a school record.
Titan sophomore Bryce Hill (Boynton Beach, FL / Boca Raton Community) set up the Titans’ first score of the game with a blocked punt at Washington & Jefferson’s 33-yard line. Columbo found Cox for an 8-yard touchdown, capping off a 6-play, 33-yard drive. An extra point by Cybak put the Titans in front 7-0 with 9:14 remaining in the first quarter.
The Titan defense held W&J to back-to-back three-and-outs courtesy of sacks by Armstrong and Fitzgerald.
Westminster added to its lead after starting its drive on its own 10-yard line. On 3rd-and-8, Columbo tossed a short pass to Bentley who then ran past the President defense 88 yards for a touchdown. Cybak’s extra point extended the Titans’ lead to 14-0 with 4:27 left in the first, W&J’s largest deficit of the season.
Early in the second quarter, the Presidents scored their first score of the game off a 72-yard interception return for a touchdown. Cox, who was lined up as the receiver, took a pass behind the line of scrimmage from Columbo. Cox looked to pass down field, but was unable to find anyone and threw the ball in Columbo’s direction, however, O’Shea Anderson snagged it and returned it for a score. The Titans led 14-7 with 11:31 remaining in the half.
The Titans answered with a 7-play, 57-yard drive, capped with a 1-yard touchdown run by Kim. Columbo got Westminster inside the W&J’s 10-yard line as he connected with sophomore D’Aundre Johnson (New Kensington, PA / Valley) for a 39-yard pass. Westminster led 21-7 with 08:11 remaining in the half. The Presidents followed with a score of their own, after Alex Rowse connected with Jake Cullen for a 4-yard score. The extra point failed and the Titans led 21-13 with 4:36 on the clock. The score remained the same at halftime.
In the third quarter, W&J conducted a 14-play, 78-yard drive to cut Westminster’s lead to 21-19 after EJ Thompson scored from two yards out. The Presidents failed on the two-point conversion. Cybak extended Westminster’s lead to 27-19 after back-to-back field goals. The first one from 27 yards out, followed by a 47-yarder, which tied Chris Castillo for the longest in school history.
In the fourth, the Presidents orchestrated another long scoring drive of 12 plays and 83 yards, capped off with Rowse finding Justin Vickless for a 3-yard score. EJ Thompson ran it in for the two-point conversion and the game was tied at 27 with 8:44 remaining.
W&J had a chance to take a late lead in fourth, but Josh Hnat’s 32-yard field goal attempt went wide right with 19 seconds left.
As time expired in regulation, Titan junior Shamon Walker (Pittsburgh, PA / Milton Hershey) attempted a hail marry pass, but it was broken up near the end zone.
Westminster is back on the field Saturday, Oct. 28 at home against Carnegie Mellon University at 7 p.m.