September 29, 2010

W&J-Westminster Game Notes

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

Washington & Jefferson (1-2, 1-1 PAC) vs.  Westminster (1-2, 0-1 PAC)

NCAA Division III Football, Presidents' Athletic Conference

Washington, Pa. – Cameron Stadium (3,500)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Time:  7:00 pm

Series:  W&J leads 29-2

Series Streak: +9 W&J

Radio: WJPA (1450-AM)

Broadcasters: Bob Gregg and Mark Uriah

Internet Audio: http://www.wjpa.com/sports.htm

Last Meeting:  W&J 49, WES 7 -- 10/24/09

First Meeting:  W&J 16, WES 0 — 11/10/1894

Last W&J Win:  W&J 49, WES 7 -- 10/24/09

Last WES Win:  WES 19, W&J 17 -- 9/30/2000

Last W&J Win at W&J:  W&J 34, WES 7 -- 10/25/08

Last WES Win at W&J:  WES 19, W&J 17 -- 9/30/2000

THE SERIES:  W&J has dominated the series with Westminster throughout history, winning 29 of the 31 meetings.  The Presidents have defeated the Titans nine consecutive times and have averaged 48.3 points in the last six games against WC.  Westminster's lone victories in history came in 2000 (19-17) and 1910 (W&J forfeit), both played in Washington.  

THE HEAD COACHES: Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) is in his eighth season as the head coach at Washington & Jefferson with a 71-14 (.835) overall record.  The three-time PAC Coach of the Year and 2004 South Region Coach of the Year is second among all active NCAA head coaches in winning percentage (minimum five years of experience).  Head Coach Jeff Hand (Clarion '92) holds a 58-56 (.509) career record in 11 seasons, including a 21-32 mark in six years at Westminster.  Hand was Waynesburg's head coach from 2001-2004. 

W&J vs. THE PAC: W&J boasts a 244-81-4 (.748) all-time record against current members of the Presidents' Athletic Conference.  The Presidents have won 58 of their last 63 conference contests.  Below is a breakdown of the all-time records versus current PAC teams:

 Bethany (67-20)                                               

Geneva (36-19-2)            

Grove City (33-12)          

Saint Vincent (3-0)                         

Thiel (39-22-2)                  

Thomas More (3-3)        

Waynesburg (34-3)

Westminster (29-2)


THE LAST MEETING {W&J 49, WES 7, 10/24/09, New Wilmington, Pa.}:  Washington & Jefferson used three defensive touchdowns to record a 49-7 PAC victory at Westminster's Harold Burry Stadium.  The Presidents scored on two interception returns and added a fumble return for a touchdown during their ninth-straight win over the Titans.  W&J got on the scoreboard first at the 7:47 mark of the first quarter as Gino Rometo tossed an 18-yard touchdown pass to Joe Mucho.  The Presidents upped the lead to 14-0 after the defense forced Westminster's third punt after a three-play series.  Steven Shumaker capped the five-play, 49-yard drive with an 18-yard touchdown run.  Josh Buckley made it a 21-0 game two plays after the kickoff as he picked off a Kevin Franz pass and raced 36 yards for a touchdown.  The defense forced another punt after just three plays and Buckley returned the kick 25 yards to set up W&J's fourth touchdown.  Rometo fired a 21-yard scoring pass to Adam Dominick for a 28-0 lead with 14:29 remaining in the second quarter.  Craig Sedunov punctuated the Presidents' fifth touchdown during a 12-minute span after intercepting a Franz pass and returning it 56 yards down the sidelines for a 35-0 halftime lead.  The defensive scoring outburst continued in the third quarter as Nathan Harmotto forced a Shaun Lehocky fumble and Matthew Gal scooped it up before racing 16 yards for a 42-0 advantage.  Westminster strung together a 62-yard drive for its first touchdown at the 2:20 mark of the third quarter as Nick McKolosky scored from three yards out.  The W&J defense limited the Titans to 224 yards and 13 first downs.  The Presidents also had six sacks.  Jacob Bloomhuff and Chad Boskat both had 2.5 sacks, while Sedunov added a team-high nine tackles.  Shumaker rushed for a game-high 80 yards and threw for 65, while Rometo completed 14-of-20 passes for 120 yards and two scores.  Brett Axner hauled in six receptions for 55 yards.  Lehocky and Franz combined to complete only 13-of-37 passes for 158 yards.  McKolosky was limited to 75 rushing yards on 18 attempts.

SCOUTING WESTMINSTER:  The Titans are looking for the first winning season since 2002 when they posted a 6-4 record.  Westminster opened the year with a 23-6 win at Hiram behind 123 rushing yards and a touchdown from sophomore running back John Proano.  Senior linebackers Cory Meeker and Jake Brown each posted career highs for tackles with 15 stops apiece against the Terriers.  A week later, the Titans surrendered 466 total yards and 23 unanswered second-half points in a 40-10 loss at Lycoming.  Westminster opened PAC play two weeks ago at home and junior quarterback Shaun Lehocky set a career high with 238 passing yards, but four turnovers proved to be the difference as Grove City collected a 31-16 win despite only amassing 239 yards of total offense.  The Titans have turned the ball over nine times this season and have been outscored 24-3 in the first quarter.  Lehocky has completed 47-of-88 passes for 470 yards and two touchdowns, but has thrown five interceptions.  Proano has been limited to 22 total rushing yards in the two losses.  Sophomore safety Kyle Allen is the team's leading scorer with two touchdowns.  He returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown at Hiram and has also posted 247 yards and a touchdown (90 yards versus Grove City) on kickoff returns. 

NATIONAL REPORT:  Senior safety Craig Sedunov is W&J's primary kickoff returner this season and he currently ranks 18th in the nation with an average of 29.0 yards per return.  Saturday's game could feature big plays in the return game as Titans' sophomore Kyle Allen owns the 12th-best return average in the country.  Washington & Jefferson senior wideout Jordan Roycroft average of 7.7 receptions per game is tied for 21st in NCAA Division III, while Presidents' senior quarterback Gino Rometo is 24th in pass efficiency with a 160.36 rating.  Senior punter Joe Kelly holds the nation's 38th-best yard average (38.6 ypp).  

ONE-SIDED BATTLE:  Since Westminster upset Washington & Jefferson during its NCAA Division III provisional stage in 2000, the Presidents have dominated the series.  In the nine victories, W&J has racked up 373 points (41.4 ppg), including three 50-point efforts.  The Titans have been limited to 13.1 points in the nine meetings, including four games in which Westminster was limited to one touchdown.  Since 2004, the average margin of victory has been 36.2 points. 

TAKEAWAY TIME:  Washington & Jefferson has forced at least one turnover 32 times in the regular season since 2006 and has won 31 of those games.  The only game during that time that W&J forced a turnover and lost was three weeks ago at Delaware Valley (Matthew Gal interception).  Saturday's third-straight loss to Thomas More also was the third-straight season the Presidents were unable to force a Saints' turnover.

CLEANUP SPOT:  W&J has won nine consecutive week four contests.  Ironically, the last loss came in a 2000 defensive battle to Westminster at Cameron Stadium by a 19-17 margin.  The Titans had eight sacks in the victory. 

MOVIN' ON UP:  Senior free safety Craig Sedunov has been the Presidents' leading tackler in each of the last two seasons.  With 247 career stops, he is on pace to become only the fourth player in school history to reach 300.  He is 28 tackles shy Mark Kern '89 for fifth place on the career tackle list.  Sedunov has started and recorded at least one tackle in all 38 career games, including five last week at Thomas More. 

ROAD BLOCK:  With last season's NCAA loss at Mount Union and a week one setback at Delaware Valley, W&J has dropped back-to-back road games for the first time since 2001-2002.  Washington & Jefferson was defeated by Widener 46-30 2001 NCAA second round and then suffered a 28-25 loss at Allegheny in its first road game of 2002.  The last time the Presidents lost three consecutive road games came during a nine-game road winless streak from 1980-82. 

CAREER DAY:  Senior wide receiver Jordan Roycroft had the best game of his career in Kentucky Saturday after recording a school-record 14 receptions for 145 yards and three touchdowns (32, 6, 9).  For his efforts, he was selected as the PAC and ECAC Division III South Offensive Player of the Week.  He also scored W&J's lone touchdown versus Thomas More in 2009.  His first touchdown catch was an acrobatic leap over the top of a TMC defender, while his second scoring grab was a one-handed diving effort on the left side of the end zone.  Roycroft's third score came on a wide receiver screen in which he ran across the field before diving to the pylon for a 21-17 halftime lead.  Roycroft upped his career numbers to 57 catches for 672 yards and nine touchdowns in 23 appearances for the Red & Black. 

WELCOME BACK:  Washington & Jefferson celebrates Homecoming Day next Saturday at Cameron Stadium versus Saint Vincent.  The school will honor the 1970 Presidents who won the first PAC Football Championship in school history.  The 1970 squad posted a 7-1 record with wins over Bethany (20-0), CMU (28-21), Allegheny (20-19), John Carroll (14-12), Case Western Reserve (20-13), Thiel (41-28) and Wilmington (44-28).  

STREAK ALIVE:  Despite last week's loss to Thomas More, The Presidents are still in position to earn their 27th-straight winning season.  Since 1999, only twice has W&J had more losses than wins at any point of a season (2006, 2010).  The 2006 team rebounded from a season-opening loss to win nine games and advance to the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. 

WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT:  Westminster's first win in the series with W&J came in 1910 with plenty of controversy.  The Titans lined up for a field goal with a minute left, but the kick fell short, rolled over the goal line and was downed by a Westminster player.  The referee awarded a touchdown to Westminster, stating that a W&J player touched the ball after it had crossed the goal line before the Titan recovery.  W&J Head Coach D.C. Morrow, who had three different stints with the football program, withdrew the Presidents from the field in protest, resulting in a 1-0 Westminster win.  Thus, in the 10th game between W&J and Westminster, the Titans earned their first point against the Presidents after being outscored by a combined 180-0 in the first nine meetings.

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