WAYNESBURG, Pa. (Titan Athletics)– The Westminster College football team won, 27-12, at Waynesburg University in both teams’ Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) opener Saturday afternoon.
Waynesburg (0-2, 0-1 PAC) put the first points on the scoreboard with a 21-yard field goal by Garrett Horne, capping off an 18-play, 76-yard drive with 8:36 left in the first half. Westminster (1-1, 1-0 PAC) answered quickly on its ensuing possession as junior Augustus Necastro (Brookfield, OH / Brookfield) found senior Bryson Paulinellie (DuBois, PA / Dubois Area) for a 50-yard touchdown pass. A successful extra point by sophomore John Cybak (Massillon, OH / Tuslaw) gave the Titans a 7-3 lead with 7:05 remaining. The Titans were unable to capitalize with points off a Waynesburg special teams turnover late in the second quarter and the score remained 7-3 at halftime.
The Titans scored on their first two possessions of the second half. Necastro drove the Titans on their first drive completing passes of 14 (to sophomore Nick Henderson (Conway, PA / Freedom Area), 34 (to senior Jaevon Hardy (Waldorf, MD / North Point), and 18 yards (to junior Connor Cox (Ridge. MD / Leonardtown) to Waynesburg’s nine-yard line. Necastro connected with Cox again, this time for a nine-yard touchdown. On Westminster’s second possession of the third quarter, junior Bryce Hill (Boynton Beach, FL / Boca Raton Community) ran it in from eight yards out, concluding a 6-play, 58-yard drive. Cybak’s extra point attempt was blocked and returned by Waynesburg for a safety. The Titans led 20-5 with 7:40 left in the third.
Waynesburg followed with another long drive, eating up over seven minutes, however was stopped on 4th-and-two at Westminster’s three-yard line after senior Miguel Luis (Hollywood, FL / Mater Academy) made the tackle in the back field. Later in the fourth quarter, Waynesburg got within eight points of the Titans’ lead after Jake Dougherty rushed it in from one yard out and Horne followed with an extra point. Westminster led 20-12 with 5:19 to play. On their ensuing possession, the Titans added insurance after senior Shamon Walker (Pittsburgh, PA / Milton Hershey) scored on a seven-yard run. Highlighting the drive was Necastro finding Cox for 21 yards and Hill with a 25-yard run. Senior Marvin Liberiste (Naples, FL / Lely) sealed the Titan victory after intercepting Dougherty’s pass in the end zone in the Yellow Jacket’s final drive of the game.
Necastro went 15-of-20 for 234 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Bryson Paulinellie (DuBois, PA / Dubois Area) registered a team-high five receptions for a game- and career-high 100 yards and a score. Cox caught four balls for 64 yards and a touchdown. Hill led the Titans on the ground, with five carries for 32 yards and a touchdown. Junior Paul Gonzalez (Miami, FL / Florida Christian) led the Titan defense with game- and career-highs in tackles (13) and sacks (2). Titan freshman Bryce Thomas (Saint Marys, GA / Camden County) added 10 tackles. Luis and Liberiste each had an interception.
The Titans will next travel to Saint Vincent College Saturday, September 15 for a 1 p.m. matchup.