September 14, 2011

W&J-Bethany Game Notes

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

Washington & Jefferson College (1-1) at Bethany College (1-0)

Saturday, September 17, 2011 -- Bison Stadium (1,000)

NCAA Division III Football – Presidents' Athletic Conference opener

Series:  W&J leads 67-20

Series Streak: +28 W&J

Last Meeting:  W&J 59, BC 21 -- 9/18/10

First Meeting:  W&J 36, BC 0 -- 9/26/1896

Last W&J Win: W&J 59, BC 21 -- 9/18/10

Last BC Win: BC 28, W&J 9 -- 9/25/82

Last W&J Win at BC: W&J 49, BC 0 -- 11/7/09

Last BC Win at BC: BC 29, W&J 7 -- 10/31/81 

Video/Live Stats: http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/bethanywv.portal#

Audio: http://www.wjpa.com/sports.htm (Bob Gregg and Mark Uriah)

THE SERIES:  Washington & Jefferson and Bethany kick off Presidents' Athletic Conference play with the teams' 88th all-time meeting, the longest on-going series in both schools' histories.  The Presidents have won 28 consecutive games in the series, including a 59-21 triumph in 2010.  Bethany has not defeated W&J since a 28-9 triumph in 1982.

THE HEAD COACHES: Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) owns an 80-15 (.842) record at W&J in his ninth season as the head coach.  The three-time PAC Coach of the Year and 2004 South Region Coach of the Year is fifth among all active NCAA head coaches in winning percentage (minimum five years of experience).  Tim Weaver (Davidson '90) has posted a 20-31 record (.392) and is coaching the Bison for a sixth season in 2011.  Bethany had its best season under Weaver last year when the Bison went 5-5, their first .500 record since 2001. 

W&J vs. THE PAC: W&J boasts a 250-81-4 (.755) all-time record against current members of the Presidents' Athletic Conference.  The Presidents have won 63 of their last 68 conference contests.  Washington & Jefferson is hoping to win its first conference title since 2007. 

Bethany (67-20)              

Geneva (37-19-2)                 

Grove City (34-12) 

Saint Vincent (4-0)       

Thiel (40-22-2)                    

Thomas More (3-3)

Waynesburg (35-3)                                   

Westminster (30-2)

THE LAST MEETING {W&J 59, BC 21; 9/18/2010, Washington, Pa.}:  Gino Rometo passed for 305 yards and three touchdowns to help Washington & Jefferson cruise to a 59-21 Presidents' Athletic Conference football victory over Bethany at Cameron Stadium.  The Presidents had a 45-0 lead at halftime and did not allow BC to garner a first down until 30 seconds remained in the first half.  Rometo completed 15-of-22 passes, while Ben Hoffer led the receiving corps with three catches for 75 yards.  Running backs Tim McNerney and Brian Baldrige combined for 94 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.  Defensively, Neil Sorice had a game-high 12 tackles, while Mitch Rose and Nathan Melhorn both made six stops.  Washington & Jefferson outgained Bethany by a 497-335 margin, including 346 yards through the air. W&J also had 24 first downs.

SCOUTING BETHANY:  The Bison will be itching to return to action after last week's game with King's was cancelled due to the severe flooding in Wilkes Barre, Pa.  Bethany opened the season with an impressive 28-7 victory at Allegheny.  Sophomore quarterback Matt Grimard threw for 232 yards and two scores and ran for 69 yards and two touchdowns to pace an offense that gained 456 total yards.  On defense, Bethany limited the Gators to seven points and 189 total yards, while also forcing three turnovers and picking up a pair of sacks.  Junior cornerback Jeff Joyce grabbed two interceptions and earned PAC Defensive Player of the Week laurels.  The Bison, who are looking for their first 2-0 start since 2007, will rely on senior running back Eric Walker.  He rushed for 80 yards against Allegheny and owns school records for career rushing (33) and total (39) touchdowns.  Senior defensive end Kasib Taalib-Din had four tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery in the opener. 

400 CLUB:  Since Mike Sirianni took over as head coach in 2003, W&J owns a perfect 52-0 record when amassing 400 or more yards of total offense, including week one's 588-yard performance.  The last time W&J had more than 400 yards and lost was at Hanover (Ind.) on Nov. 2, 2002. 

HISTORY LESSON:  Washington & Jefferson has won 676 games in 120 varsity seasons (676-374-40) which is third behind Wittenberg (701) and Mount Union (686) among NCAA Division III schools.  Widener (643) and Williams (623) round out the top five.  When factoring in all NCAA divisions, only six football programs have won more games than W&J throughout history: Yale (864), Harvard (812), Pennsylvania (808), Princeton (786), Wittenberg and Mount Union. 

BOUNCING BACK: W&J is looking to avenge its 20-19 home loss to Delaware Valley.  The Presidents have not lost consecutive regular season games since losing three straight to open the 1997 season.  That three-game skid is the only streak of its kind in the last 27 years for the Presidents.

BLISSFUL START:  Sophomore quarterback Matt Bliss, W&J's sixth opening-day starter since 1999, has performed admirably in his first two college games, completing 39-of-59 passes for 546 yards and five touchdowns.  For his efforts, he was selected as the PAC Offensive Player of the Week for the week of September 6th after leading W&J to a 40-0 win against Juniata.

ADAM DOMINANT:  Senior wide receiver Adam Dominick opened the season with a bang at Juniata with the first  two-touchdown game of his career.  He caught six passes for 73 yards and upped his career total to five touchdowns.  Last week, Dominick eclipsed the 100-yard receiving mark for the first time in his career, as he piled up 105 yards on seven catches.

RACK 'EM:  W&J amassed 588 yards of total offense in its season opener, the most by a Presidents' squad in 26 games.  Washington & Jefferson had 667 yards in a 54-7 rout of Bethany on Nov. 8, 2008.  That year, W&J averaged 470.6 yards and 40.9 points per game.

TIM TIME:  Junior starting running back Tim McNerney, who has scored a touchdown in nine consecutive games, missed last week's game due to illness.  He is questionable to suit up against Bethany Saturday night.

SACK STREAK:  The Washington & Jefferson defense has recorded at least one sack in each of the last 11 games dating back to week three of last season.  W&J posted six sacks against Delaware Valley, with seven players recording at least a half sack.  In addition, W&J had eight players record at least one sack in 2010, a number which has already been equaled to in two games this year.  Last year, 17 different Presidents posted at least one tackle for a loss.  Through two games this season, 14 different players have already accomplished the feat. 

EARLY AND OFTEN:  The Presidents have amassed 450 points (56.3 ppg) versus Bethany during the last eight meetings.  In the 2007 meeting, the two squads combined for 1,241 yards, 59 first downs and 116 points (77-39) at Cameron Stadium.  In the seven other meetings since 2002, BC has only scored four touchdowns against Washington & Jefferson.

COVER TWO:  Every Washington & Jefferson football game can be heard live on WJPA (1450-AM) and online at http://www.wjpa.com/sportsBob Gregg and Mark Uriah are in their 28th season calling the action every Saturday.  Ironically, the Presidents' streak of 27-straight winning seasons started in 1984, the first year the WJPA duo began broadcasting Presidents' football.  In addition, W&J debuted live video webcasts of all home games this year.  The remaining four home games can be viewed through the W&J athletics website.  Simply click on "Live Video Broadcast Schedule". 

WACKY HOME OPENER:  W&J suffered its first loss of the season last week by only one point despite the following amazing statistics:  going 0-for-12 on third-down opportunities, being outgained by nearly 100 yards (375-279), averaging 0.7 yards per rush (19-of-27), being out-possessed 38:18-21:42 and missing two field goals and two extra point conversions (one missed kick, one failed run).  Despite all of those issues, W&J had the ball on its own 45 on first down with 4:10 remaining.  The W&J defense kept the Presidents in the game with six sacks and three turnovers.  Delaware Valley was 4-of-17 on third down. 

CAREER DAY:  Senior linebacker Neil Sorice and junior cornerback Nathan Melhorn both had career days versus Delaware Valley.  Sorice produced 17 tackles (2.0 for a loss) and a sack, while also forcing a fumble.  The 17 stops were the most by a W&J defender since Frank Pilato '05 totaled 18 in the 2003 season opener versus Allegheny.  Melhorn finished with 13 tackles, including eight solo stops.  Entering Saturday, he had 38 career stops. 

ON THE ROAD:  Since 2004, W&J has won 20 of its 22 road conference games.  With Mike Sirianni as head coach, the Presidents have notched a 39-8 overall record in road games. 

THE SAINTS ARE COMING:  The series which has decided the last three PAC champions returns to Cameron Stadium next Saturday as W&J hosts ninth-ranked Thomas More.  TMC owns a three-game win streak on the Presidents, winning the games by a combined 21 points.  W&J has not lost to the same opponent four consecutive years since Buffalo State won four-straight from 1996-1999.

BY THE NUMBERS:  W&J's loss to Delaware Valley marked just the third time under Head Coach Mike Sirianni that the Presidents could not hold onto a halftime lead.  Washington & Jefferson holds a 66-3 record when leading at halftime since 2003.  Washington & Jefferson has also won 24 consecutive games when scoring 30 or more points. 

 

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