Courtesy of Westminster Athletics
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.
- Despite having a quarterback throw for a career high in passing yards, a running back rush for over 100 yards, and a 14-0 first-quarter lead, the Westminster College football team lost to visiting Saint Vincent, 21-14, Saturday at Harold Burry Stadium.
The Titans fall to 2-7 on the season and 1-6 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC), while Saint Vincent improves to 3-6 overall and 3-3 in league play.
Westminster junior quarterback Shawn Lehocky (Conway, Pa./Freedom) completed 18 of 38 passes for a career-high 256 yards. Lehocky also threw two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Westminster sophomore running back John Proano (Titusville, Pa./Titusville) rushed 19 times for 110 yards for only his second 100-yard rushing game of his career.
The Titans led 14-0 in the first quarter after senior wide receiver Nick Sorice (New Alexandria, Pa./Greater Latrobe) caught two touchdown passes from 30 and 10 yards, respectively. The receptions were Sorice's only two grabs of the game.
Sophomore wide receiver Geno Pasquinelli (Salem, Ohio/Salem) led the Titans with six catches for 84 yards. He continued his streak of six straight games with at least six catches, but his school-record, five-game touchdown reception streak came to an end.
Saint Vincent tied the game, 14-14, with 14 points in the second quarter. On the Bearcats' first drive of the second quarter, running back Mike Kale threw a halfback pass to Sheldon Loughner for a 29-yard touchdown to cap off a 6-play, 66-yard drive. The extra point was missed.
The Titans turned the ball over four times in the game and the Bearcats' next two touchdowns were set up by Westminster turnovers.
Lehocky fumbled on his own 9-yard line, which was forced by Alex Rowan and recovered by Quillian Reid on the Titan 17-yard line. Four plays later, Saint Vincent quarterback Jake Smith snuck in from 1 yard out for a touchdown with 2:35 remaining in the half. Smith threw to Tom Quirin for the two-point conversion.
Westminster was driving late in the third quarter, but Josh Diamond intercepted a Lehocky pass on the Saint Vincent 22-yard line and returned it 66 yards to the Titan 12. Loughner caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Smith two plays to cap off the scoring for the game.
Kale led the Bearcats with 157 yards on 33 carries. Smith completed 6 of 16 passes for 51 yards with two interceptions and one touchdown. Loughner's two receptions were touchdowns as he finished with 39 receiving yards.
Westminster outgained Saint Vincent, 405-272, in total yards including a 256-80 advantage in passing. The four turnovers to Saint Vincent's two hurt the Titans.
The Titans' best opportunity to tie the game came at the end of the third quarter. The Titans lined up for a 35-yard field goal on fourth-down-and-5 from the Bearcat 18-yard line, but a 4-yard penalty on a substitution infraction by Saint Vincent gave Westminster the ball fourth-and-1 from the 14-yard line and the Titans went for the first down. Saint Vincent linebacker Armando Fortunato stuffed Proano for a 1-yard loss for a turnover on downs.
The Titans' final two drives in the fourth quarter started on their own 19 and 4 yard lines, respectively, but Lehocky was 0 for 3 passing on the first possession and 3 for 6 on the final possession, including three straight incompletions from the Titan 33-yard line.
Fortunato led the Bearcats with 14 tackles. Senior linebacker Tom Geraghty (Austinburg, Ohio/Jefferson) led the Titans with 10 stops, followed by sophomore defensive end Aaron Nauer (Pittsburgh, Pa./Shaler) with nine tackles including one sack, a forced fumble, and four tackles for a loss of 10 yards.
The Titans posted four sacks in the game, led by junior Ryan Brucker (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) with 1.5. Junior cornerback Jordon Rooney (New Castle, Pa./Union) and sophomore J.J. Nalesnik (Darlington, Pa./Blackhawk) each posted interceptions.
Saint Vincent wins only its second road game since the school brought back its football program in 2007 after not fielding a team from 1963-2006. This was also Saint Vincent's first road win over Westminster and the first win overall since 1949.
Westminster concludes its season at Geneva on Saturday, Nov. 13, at 1 p.m.