October 5, 2011

W&J-Saint Vincent Game Notes

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

Washington & Jefferson College (3-2, 2-1 PAC) at Saint Vincent College (2-2, 1-1 PAC)

NCAA Division III Football – Presidents' Athletic Conference

 

Time:  1:00 pm

Site: Chuck Noll Field (1,100)

Series:  W&J leads 4-0

Series Streak: +4 W&J

 

Video: http://www.meridix.com/everywhere.php?liveid=SaintVincentCollege

Audio: http://beta.msasports.net/broadcasts/washington-and-jefferson-football-st-vincent-football; WJPA (1450-AM)

 

Last Meeting: W&J 31, SVC 20 -- 10/9/2010

First Meeting: W&J 64, SVC 6 -- 9/29/2007

Last W&J Win: W&J 31, SVC 20 -- 10/9/2010

Last SVC Win: N/A

Last W&J Win at SVC: W&J 21, SVC 7 -- 10/17/2009

THE SERIES:  Washington & Jefferson has won all four meetings with Saint Vincent, including both in Latrobe since the Bearcats revived football in 2007.  W&J has outscored the Bearcats by a combined 188-53.  Last season, W&J jumped out to an early 21-0 lead and hung on for a 31-20 victory in Washington.

THE HEAD COACHES: Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) owns an 82-16 (.854) 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).  Bob Colbert (Maryland '71) has 6-38 record in five seasons as Bearcats' head coach.  Saint Vincent has shown improvement each season during Colbert's tenure, as it won three Presidents' Athletic Conference games last season for the first time.  Colbert's brother, Kevin, is the general manager of the Pittsburgh Steelers.    

W&J vs. THE PAC:  W&J has amassed a 252-82-4 (.749) all-time record against current members of the Presidents' Athletic Conference.  The Presidents have won 65 of their last 71 conference contests.

Bethany (68-20)                   

Geneva (37-19-2)                         

Grove City (34-12)     

Saint Vincent (4-0)           

Thiel (40-22-2)                            

Thomas More (3-4)   

Waynesburg (35-3)               

Westminster (31-2)

THE LAST MEETING {W&J 31, SVC 20; 10/9/2010, Washington, Pa.}:  Tim McNerney rushed for a then career-high 131 yards and Matthew Gal recorded a career-high 14 tackles to help Washington & Jefferson defeat Saint Vincent 31-20 on Homecoming Saturday at Cameron Stadium.  The Presidents used a long opening kickoff return, Ben Hoffer's 51-yarder, to score in the opening minutes.  Gino Rometo fired an eight-yards scoring strike to Alex Baroffio 73 seconds in for a 7-0 advantage.  W&J forced a Saint Vincent punt after five plays and upped its lead to 10-0 on Colin Kracinovsky's 21-yard field goal at the 5:50 mark of the first quarter.  Brian Baldrige opened the 76-yard drive with a 21-yard run and later added a 15-yard reception.  The Presidents took advantage of a short SVC punt on the first play of the second quarter to claim a 17-0 lead.  McNerney had four rushing attempts on the 39-yard drive, including a five-yard touchdown jaunt.  Saint Vincent got on the scoreboard midway through the second quarter on a 32-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Smetanka to Tom Quirin, but the Presidents answered quickly with a 20-yard scoring strike from Rometo to Jordan Roycroft.  The Bearcats tried to narrow the deficit to 14 points at halftime, but Aaron Jones' 40-yard field goal attempt missed wide left and W&J took a 24-7 edge into the locker rooms.  Quillian Reid intercepted a Rometo pass at the W&J 40 on the second drive of the third quarter and Smetanka capitalized with an eight-yard touchdown pass to Sheldon Loughner; however, the Presidents had an answer once again.  Craig Sedunov returned the ensuing kickoff 61 yards and Rometo's seven-yard scoring pass to Adam Dominick made it a 31-14 game.  Saint Vincent scored on a late Smetanka touchdown pass, but W&J ran the ball 17 times in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.  W&J held a 402-371 total yardage advantage and a 24-19 edge in first downs.  McNerney rushed a career-high 29 times, while Rometo completed 18-of-25 passes for 211 yards and three scores.   Roycroft grabbed seven passes for 80 yards, while Dominick had four receptions for 48 yards.  Eight different receivers caught a pass from Rometo.  Two of Gal's 14 tackles went for a loss.  Ian Hennessy recorded two sacks, while Pat Fening forced and recovered a fumble.  Smetanka passed for 282 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing 13 times for 43 yards.  Quirin and Ricky Douglas both had seven catches, while Anthony Johnson led the defense with a game-high 17 tackles.

SCOUTING SAINT VINCENT:  Saint Vincent has sandwiched blowout victories over FDU-Florham (55-3) and Thiel (36-14) between overtime road losses to Bridgewater (20-17) and Geneva (23-20).  The Bearcats, who own the PAC's second-ranked scoring offense at 32.0 points per game, trailed Geneva 20-13 with 42 seconds left last Saturday, but drove 59 yards and tied the game as regulation ended on a 24-yard touchdown pass from senior Aaron Smetanka to sophomore Dan Wirkowski.   SVC missed a 37-yard field goal on its overtime possession and despite allowing only two yards to Geneva, the Golden Tornadoes booted a 41-yard field goal for the win.  Saint Vincent was outgained by a 403-328 margin.  Smetanka completed 13-of-29 passes for 139 yards, while sophomore Huey Ehredt rushed 19 times for 155 yards and one score.  Senior linebacker Armando Fortunato had 11 solo tackles and one interception to lead the defense.  The SVC defense allows a league-low 92.2 rushing yards per game. 

FAMILIAR FOE:  First-year Defensive Coordinator Shawn Rohrer has provided a spark at W&J as the Presidents lead the PAC in sacks (18) and opponent third-down percentage (24.3%), while ranking second in total defense (296.2 ypg) and rushing defense (103.4 ypg).  If one team knows Rohrer's defense better than anyone else it probably is Saint Vincent.  Rohrer returns to Latrobe for the first time Saturday after three years coaching the Bearcat defense.

OCTOBER SKY: W&J has compiled a 45-3 record during the month of October during Head Coach Mike Sirianni's tenure.  The Presidents have lost just once during the month since the 2005 season, a 14-7 setback to Thomas More in 2009.

FAVORITE TARGET:  Sophomore Alex Baroffio has quickly become sophomore quarterback Matt Bliss' top target.  Baroffio and Bliss were high school teammates at Bethel Park.  Baroffio has turned in three 100-yard performances and has found the end zone in all five games.  Dating back to last season, the PAC's leading receiver has caught a touchdown pass in six consecutive games.  This fall, he has hauled in 31 passes for 520 yards (19th nationally) and sits atop the PAC with an average of 104.0 receiving yards per game.  Baroffio has also added 190 punt return and 34 rushing yards to collect an average of 148.8 all-purpose yards per game, a number which ranks him 52nd in NCAA Division III. 

RECORD BREAKERS: Saint Vincent has been on the receiving end of a few record-breaking efforts by the Presidents' offense and defense.  In 2007, W&J amassed 863 yards of total offense, a NCAA Division III record, during a 64-6 victory in Latrobe.  The Presidents ran for 424 yards and had 439 yards through the air, both school records.  During the 2008 contest, the W&J defense held the Bearcats to a school-record low -90 yards rushing.  The longest rush of the day for Saint Vincent was two yards, while the Presidents produced 72 points, the seventh-highest in team history.

OFFENSIVE ONSLAUGHT:  W&J has enjoyed considerable success against Saint Vincent since the Bearcats brought football to its campus.  W&J has outscored Saint Vincent 155-38 in the four meetings, including a combined 85-13 in Latrobe, while averaging 599 yards of total offense.

AWARD SEMIFINALIST:  Senior left tackle Gary Flavion is a candidate for the National Football Foundation National Scholar-Athlete Awards as well as a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy.  Nominees for the NFF Scholar-Athlete Awards must be a senior with at least a 3.2 GPA, be a significant contributor to his football team and have demonstrated strong leadership on and off the field.  A history major and a three-year starter on the Presidents' offensive line, Flavion is a two-time All-PAC award winner with a 3.50 grade-point average.

NATIONAL RECOGNITION: Senior defensive end Frank Gigler was named to the D3football.com National Team of the Week following his six tackle (four for loss), two-sack performance at Westminster last week.  For the season, Gigler has 22 tackles (6 TFL), which is second on the team.  He is also second with 2.5 sacks.

LEADER OF THE PAC:  W&J sophomore quarterback Matt Bliss leads the PAC with an average of 273.8 passing yards per game.  He has completed 62.4 percent of his passes and has tossed a league-high 10 touchdowns.  Bliss is 16th in the nation with 1,369 passing yards and 23rd in NCAA Division III with an average of 301.4 yards of total offense per game.  Chris Edwards owns the single-season total offense record (304.4 ypg) during the 2005 season.  Bliss has also thrown an average of 22.2 completions per game, which is just 0.5 behind Bobby Swallow's record set in 2008.  As a team, W&J leads the conference in total offense (444.6), pass offense (287.2), kickoff coverage (43.2 net average), sacks (18), first downs (121) and opponent third-down percentage (24.3%). 

SACK STREAK:  The Washington & Jefferson defense has recorded at least one sack in each of the last 14 games dating back to week three of last season. W&J had eight players record at least one sack in 2010, a number which has already been surpassed this year as 11 Presidents have sacked an opposing quarterback.   Last year, 17 different Presidents posted at least one tackle for a loss.  Through five games, 17 different players have already accomplished the feat, including senior Neil Sorice's team-high 8.5.  With 18 already this season, W&J is on pace to produce its third season of 30 or more sacks since 2005. 

MILESTONES APPROACHING:  Senior linebacker Neil Sorice, the PAC's leading tackler with 51 stops, is 17 tackles away from the 200th of his career.  Junior running back Tim McNerney is 14 touchdowns shy of tying R.J. Zitzelsberger '06 and Joey Nichols '03 for fifth place on the all-time list. 

TOUGH BREAKS:  Senior wide receiver Adam Dominick will be forced to the sidelines for the rest of the year after suffering a broken forearm last week at Westminster.  Dominick finishes his career with 67 receptions for 821 yards and five touchdowns.  In addition, senior starting safety Matthew Gal, who set a career high last year versus Saint Vincent with 14 tackles, will sit out the remainder of the year with a knee injury. 

TOUGH LOSSES:  The four combined losses by W&J and Saint Vincent have been by a total of 10 points.  The Presidents' losses to top 10 teams Thomas More and Delaware Valley were by four total points, while Saint Vincent is only two three-point overtime losses from being a perfect 4-0. 

STREAK INTACT:  Junior running back Tim McNerney carried the ball 30 times for a season-best 141 yards a touchdown against Westminster last week.  McNerney has scored at least one touchdown in 11 consecutive games and has seven multi-touchdown games during that span.  He now has six career 100-yard games. 

 

 
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