Westminster College and Slippery Rock University football teams rolled to season-opening wins on Thursday night. The Titans routed Capital (Ohio) 66-7 while The Rock hammered Wayne State, 62-37.
• Westminster 66, Capital (Ohio) 7 – At Harold Burry Stadium in New Wilmington, Coach Scott Benzel’s Titans picked off four passes and returned them for touchdowns as Westminster routed the Crusaders from Columbus.
Westminster led 14-0 at the end of the first quarter on a 6-yard touchdown run by Tyler Greene and a 23-yard TD pass from Cole Konieczka to Keano Grice. Tanner Dudek booted the extra-point kicks.
In the 2nd quarter, the Titans went up 28-0 on a pair of Aaron Pierce interceptions. He had a pick-six of 97 yards and then returned an interception 50 yards for a score. Dudek added both PATs.
The Titans then went up 42-0 on a 15-yard TD pass from Konieczka to Greene, a 31-yard TD run by Grice and Dudek’s extra-point kicks.
Westminster increased its lead to 49-0 when Vincent Giles picked off a pass and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown early in the 3rd quarter. Dudek added the PAT.
Capital scored its first TD with 3:09 left in the 3rd quarter. Dudek kicked a 36-yard field goal to give the Titans a 52-7 lead after three quarters of play.
In the fourth quarter, Westminster’s Denny Dennison returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown and Jarred Kohl picked off a pass and returned it 54 yards for a score. Dudek converted both extra-point kicks.
Konieczka was 8-of-14 for 119 yards with the 2 TD passes for the Titans. Augustus Necastro (Brookfield High) was 2-of-6 for 54 yards with one interception. Bryce Hill was the team’s leading rusher (11-63) while Connor Cox caught 5 passes for 68 yards.
• Slippery Rock 62, Wayne State 37 – At Detroit, Coach Shawn Lutz’s SRU squad scored on all 7 of its first-half possessions and rolled past Wayne State in the season-opener. SRU has won 11 straight openers.
Slippery Rock quarterback Roland Rivers III was 23-of-30 for 405 yards with 6 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also led the team in rushing with 62 yards and one TD (1-yard run).
Rivers threw TD tosses to Cinque Sweeting (24 and 31 yards), Henry Litwin (33 yards) and Jermaine Wynn Jr. (78 and 22 yards).
Charles Snorweah had a pair of TD runs for The Rock (6- and 1-yard runs).
Jake Chapla kicked 8 extra-points and broke the school record for career extra points made. The previous record was held by Morgan Anderson (161).
Wynn had 8 catches for 152 yards while Litwin, who played high school ball for Conneaut Area, hauled in 7 catches for 122 yards.