The Grove City and Thiel College football teams closed out their seasons on Saturday with a thrilling game at Alumni Stadium in Green-ville as Grove City posted a 50-44 overtime win in the 30th annual Mercer County Cup Game.
Quarterback Brian Pell scored on a 13-yard run for the Wolverines (3-5, 5-5) to give GCC the win in OT.
The game was tied 7-all after the 1st quarter, GCC led 27-24 at halftime, it was tied at 30-all after 3 quarters and tied 44-all at the end of regulation. The 2 teams combined for 969 yards in total offense.
Thiel went up 7-0 with 11:52 left in the 1st quarter on a 1-yard run by quarterback Andrew Smith. Jon Fennick tacked on the PAT.
GCC answered 2 minutes later on a 5-yard run by Steve Maskrey and Ryan Stewart’s extra-point kick.
The Wolverines jumped out to a 21-7 lead with a pair of scores less than a minute apart. Pat Donoughe caught a 16-yard TD pass from Anthony Ritchie and then Ritchie hauled in a 42-yard scoring strike from Pell. Stewart booted both PATs.
Thiel cut the lead to 21-14 on a 46-yard TD pass from Smith to Matt Fedzen and Jon Fennick’s PAT.
GCC made it 27-14 with 7:59 left before the break on a 22-yard TD pass from Pell to Ritchie. Stewart’s kick was no good.
Thiel then cut the lead to 27-24 before halftime on a 15-yard TD run by Smith (Fennick kick) with 4:22 left and a 21-yard field goal by Fennick as time expired.
The Wolverines extended their lead to 30-24 with 9:19 left in the 3rd quarter on a 24-yard field goal by Stewart, but the Tomcats (3-5, 3-7) tied it at 30-all with 5:22 left in the 3rd on a 1-yard run by Rich Kolesar. The 2-point conversion run by Fennick failed.
Thiel took its 1st lead of the game (37-30) with 12:24 left in the 4th quarter on a 1-yard run by Smith and Fennick’s kick, but GCC tied it at 37-all with 8:04 remaining in regulation on a 30-yard TD pass from Zach Gazdacko to Khalil Ervin and Stewart’s PAT.
Grove City College took a 44-37 lead with 3:17 left on a 22-yard run by Ritchie and Stewart’s kick, but Thiel answered with only 29 ticks left on the clock on a 4-yard TD pass from Smith to Bill Frizzi and Fennick’s kick.
Pell then had the only TD in overtime to lift the Wolverines to victory.
Pell was 13-of-23 for 192 yards with 2 touchdowns and no picks. Maskrey collected 117 rushing yards on 25 carries and Ritchie hauled in 6 passes for 117 yards and Ervin grabbed 6 passes for 91 yards.
Smith was 19-of-24 for 299 yards for Thiel with 2 TDs and 1 pick and also led the Tomcats in rushing with 94 yards on 12 carries. Fedzen (4-91) and Tim Walker (6-80) led the Thiel receiving corps.
Saturday’s game was the 2nd time the Mercer County Cup Game has gone to overtime and is the highest scoring Cup game in history. It was also the 100th meeting between the 2 schools.
Westminster 30, Geneva 27
NEW WILMINGTON — On Senior Day at Harold Burry Stadium, Geneva tied the game at 27-all with 5:59 left and the Titans’ Justin Dahl booted a 42-yard field goal as time expired to lift Westminster (3-5, 4-6) to the win.
Geneva had tied the game on a 32-yard TD pass from Zack Hayward to Josh Guiser and Mike Gardner’s PAT before Dahl lifted the Titans to victory.
Dahl also booted 19- and 21-yard field goals. QB Dak Britt had an 8-yard TD run and threw a 54-yard TD pass to Collin Wallace and Taran Sifontes-Lavine returned a kickoff 94 yards for a score.
Britt was 18-of-37 for 271 yards with 1 TD and 1 pick and led his team in rushing with 93 yards on 26 carries. Wallace led the receiving corps with 5 catches for 92 yards.
For Geneva (4-4, 5-5), Zack Hayward went 25-of-39 for 208 yards with 1 TD and 2 interceptions. Hayward rushed for 70 yards on 13 totes and Guiser grabbed 8 catches for 108 yards.
Geneva quarterback Rocco Colavecchia, who played high school football at Shenango High School in Lawrence County, fired a 38-yard TD pass to Guiser and scored on runs of 1 and 2 yards.
Bloomsburg 42, Slippery Rock 38
BLOOMSBURG — At Redman Stadium Saturday, Bloomsburg University scored a touchdown with 27 seconds to play to beat Slippery Rock University, 42-38, and win the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference football championship.
Franklyn Quiteh’s 10-yard touchdown run capped an 8-play, 70-yard drive by the 12th-ranked Huskies (10-1) that began with 2:11 on the game clock.
The game-winning drive came immediately after Rock junior kicking specialist Mike Wainauskis booted a 24-yard field goal to put SRU on top by a 38-35 score.
SRU, which had an 8-game win streak snapped and saw its record fall to 9-2, had one last chance to score, but those hopes evaporated when senior quarterback Nigel Barksdale’s pass over the middle was picked off at the Bloomsburg 19-yard line on the final play of the game.
Quiteh’s game-winning run gave him 3 touchdowns on the day. The shifty senior running back finished the game with 231 yards on 27 carries.
Barksdale completed 24 of 41 passes for 343 yards and 2 TDs with 1 interception and rushed for 78 yards on 27 carries to lead The Rock attack. Senior wide receiver John Schademan caught 10 passes for a career-high 169 yards and one TD for The Rock.
Junior free safety Austin Miele and senior linebacker Bob Westerlund each recorded 11 tackles and junior cornerback Admire Carter picked off two passes to lead The Rock’s defensive effort.
N. Dakota St. 35, YSU 17
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Brock Jensen threw for four touchdowns and ran for another Saturday to lead North Dakota State to its 3rd-straight Missouri Valley Conference title with a 35-17 victory over Youngstown State.
All of Jensen’s touchdown passes were for less than 15 yards and he picked up his final touchdown on a 1-yard rush. Jensen’s career 62 touchdown passes broke the record of career TD passes at NDSU, previously held by Steve Walker with 60. Sam Ojuri ran for 146 yards on 17 carries — one for a game-high 55 yards— and John Crockett ran 120 yards on 15 carries for the Bison (10-0, 7-0).
Kurt Hess threw for 53 yards and one touchdown and Tanner threw for 48 yards and one touchdown for Youngstown State (8-3, 5-2), ranked second in the MVC.
The Bison have not lost on the road since 2010.