NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - The game notes for the Westminster College football team's Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) home game vs. No. 8 Thomas More on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2:30 p.m. are now online. The notes are best viewed in .pdf format by clicking here.
#8 THOMAS MORE COLLEGE SAINTS
WESTMINSTER COLLEGE TITANS
Saturday, Oct. 29 - 2:30 p.m.
Harold Burry Stadium - New Wilmington, Pa.
Radio: WWNW-FM 88.9 (www.titanradio.net)
TV: WCN, Replay on Monday at 7 p.m. (wcnlive.com)
Live stats: click here
Westminster's 5-2 overall record and 4-1 PAC record are its best since 2002 when it finished 6-4 and 4-1 for its last winning record and most PAC wins since joining the league. The Titan defense ranks third in the PAC (308.0). The Titans are tied with Thomas More for 15th in the nation and first in the PAC with a +10 turnover margin. Westminster's has 13 returning starters from last year's team that went 2-8 (1-6 PAC) including senior quarterback Shawn Lehocky, who averages 133.8 passing yards per game (803 yards, 8 TDs, 2 INTs) including 325 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs and a 76.2 completion percentage (32-42) in his last two games. Junior WR Geno Pasquinelli ranks second in the PAC with 5.4 catches per game (38 for 438 yards) and a league-high eight touchdowns.
SCOUTING THOMAS MORE
Thomas More (7-0, 6-0 PAC) is ranked No. 6 in the AFCA coaches' poll and No. 8 in the D3Football.com poll. The three-time defending PAC champion, the Saints haven't lost a regular season game since 2008 (28 straight) and a PAC game since 2007 (25 straight). They returned 16 starters (8 offense, 6 defense, 2 specialists) from last year's team that advanced the second round of the NCAA playoffs. Thomas More is tops in the PAC in scoring offense (38.3) and defense (14.7). Sophomore RB Dominique Hayden is third in the PAC in rushing (63.1 per game) including a league-high 11 TDs. Junior QB Robert Kues is fourth in the PAC in passing (195 per game) with a PAC-best 16 TDs.
TITANS' LAST GAME
Westminster dispatched Thiel, 48-21, on the road last Saturday.Westminster mounted a 48-0 lead in the third quarter for its largest lead in a game since 1997 before Thiel scored three times. Senior QB Shawn Lehocky completed his first 11 passes before completing a career-high 22 passes on 25 attempts for 202 yards and a career high-tying three touchdowns. Junior WR Geno Pasquinelli caught seven passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns which gave the Titans leads of 14-0 and 28-0. Westminster scored on two fumble returns for touchdowns by freshman DB Korrtezz Martin and junior DB Kyle Allen that were sandwiched around three straight possessions that ended with touchdowns. Those five touchdowns helped the Titans' lead grow from 21-0 to 48-0 from the 3:13 mark of the second quarter to the 7:10 mark of the third quarter. The Titans outgained the Tomcats 315-282 in total yardage including 173-77 in the first half.
Westminster seventh-year head coach Jeff Hand is 27-40 (.403) as the Titans' coach and 64-64 (.500) for his 13-year career, which includes two other head-coaching jobs (Benedictine (Ill.), Waynesburg). A 1992 Clarion graduate, Hand's best season was in 2003 when he guided Waynesburg to the PAC championship and an NCAA playoff appearance with a 9-2 record. Fifth-year Thomas More coach Jim Hilvert is 41-11 (.788) in his fifth year with the Saints. The three-time PAC Coach of the Year, Hilvert was previously the defensive coordinator at Mount St. Joseph where he coach for seven years. Hilvert is a 1993 graduate of St. Joseph's (Ind.).
Westminster is 1-8 all-time vs. Thomas More dating back to 2002.The lone win was a 23-13 decision in Crestview Hills, Ky., in 2004 before Thomas More joined the PAC. Thomas More has outscored the Titans by an average of 31.2-18.4 in five games in Kentucky and 29.3-8.3 in four games in New Wilmington.
Series Started: 2002 (TMC won 24-0)
Series Record: TMC leads 8-1
Current Win Streak: Thomas More 6
Longest WC Win Streak: 1 (2004)
Longest TMC Win Streak: 6 (2005-present)
Largest Margin WC win: 23-13 in 2004
Largest Margin TMC win: 42-14 in 2006
Last Five Meetings: Thomas More 5-0
2010: at Thomas More 37, Westminster 13
2009: Thomas More 34, at Westminster 16
2008: at Thomas More 31, Westminster 10
2007: at Thomas More 34, Westminster 7
2006: Thomas More 42, at Westminster 14
CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. (Oct. 30, 2010) -- Trailing by only seven points late in the third quarter, Westminster provided a mild scare for No. 9-ranked Thomas More. However, Thomas More's field goal and a 96-yard punt return for a touchdown by Kendall Owens on the last play of the third quarter helped clinched a 37-13 win. Junior QB Shawn Lehocky scored one touchdown and threw for another as he led the Titans with 180 yards on 20-of-38 passing with two interceptions, along with 38 rushing yards on 11 attempts. Lehocky put the Titans on the board with a 1-yard touchdown run with 12:34 remaining in the first half that cut Thomas More's deficit to 14-6. Westminster closed another gap to 20-13 when Lehocky connected with sophomore WR Geno Pasquinelli for a 6-yard touchdown pass with 5:13 left in the third quarter. Pasquinelli finished the game with six catches for 51 yards, while classmate Connor Kobis hauled in six passes for 62 yards. Owens finished the day with 253 all-purpose yards as he had eight rushes for 20 yards, five catches for 67 yards, three kick returns for 64 yards and two punt returns for 102 yards and a touchdown.
Westminster has 13 returning starters, not including senior WR John Baummer who started two years ago. Of those 14 players, one is a fourth-year starter in senior P Andrew Clark and two are third-year starters in junior S Kyle Allen and senior CB Jordon Rooney. The other 11 are second-year starters but there are also five additional players who have started at least one game entering the 2011 season. Rooney, Allen, senior QB Shawn Lehocky and senior RT Adam Fueller are the only returners who started all 10 games last year. Allen holds the team's longest start streak at 19 games after Rooney's streak of 26 was snapped when he sat out the Thiel game. Rooney's 26 career starts leads the team.
PASSING TO PASQUINELLI
Junior WR Geno Pasquinelli, a second team all-PAC pick last year, ranks second in the PAC with 5.4 receptions per game (38 for 438 yards). He leads the PAC with eight receiving touchdowns and he's third with 62.6 receiving yards per game. Pasquinelli is tied for seventh at Westminster with 15 career touchdowns with Tim McNeil (1992-95) and Lamont Boykins (1980-83) and his eight touchdown catches this year is five away for the school single-season record and three away from the school record for a 10-game season. Pasquinelli tied a career high with eight receptions (for 65 yards) vs. Lycoming and three times this year he tied a career high with two touchdown receptions (Grove City, Bethany, Thiel). Last year, he ranked second in the PAC with 5.3 receptions per game and fifth with 57.1 receiving yards per game despite not starting until the fifth game of the season because of an injury. His career high for receiving yards is 129 (on 6 catches) vs. Bethany last year. Pasquinelli's current five-game touchdown reception streak ties his longest streak from 2010 and Chad Rosatelli (2008) and Roger Price (1971) for the longest such streak in school history.
ALEXANDER THE GREAT
Junior ILB Alex Kernicky is tied for fifth in the PAC with a team-high 8.1 tackles per game (57 total). His career-high 15 tackles vs. W&J and 14 at Bethany gave him 29 stops for the most tackles by a Titan in consecutive games since All-American LB Craig Mills posted 32 tackles in consecutive games in 1996, which was before Westminster joined the NCAA with a more restrictive definition of the tackle statistic. Kernicky's 15 tackles vs. W&J were the most by a Titan since Tom Geraghty had 17 against Bethany last year. Kernicky is a first-year starter who was named the PAC Defensive Player of the Week after the W&J game.
LEHOCKY THE LEADER
Senior QB Shawn Lehocky ranks sixth in team history with 3,569 career passing yards. He is 431 yards from 4,000 and 505 from tying Todd Huda (1994-97) for fifth place. In six games this year (he missed one with an injury), Lehocky has thrown for 803 yards on 79-126 passing (62.7%, 8 TDs, 2 INTs) and his 133.8 passing yards per game ranks seventh in the PAC. Lehocky ranked fifth in the PAC last year with 172.6 passing yards per game (155-293 for 1,726, 14 TDs, 16 INTs). He's also a rushing threat. As a platoon quarterback in 2009, he rushed for 446 yards and seven TDs including a career-high 112 yards and a career-high two rushing scores vs. Waynesburg to become the team's first-ever quarterback to rush for 100 yards in a game. Lehocky's other career highs are 256 passing yards (Saint Vincent, 2010), 22 completions (at Thiel, 2011), 40 pass attempts (Grove City, 2010), 3 passing touchdowns (3 occasions), 3 interceptions (Grove City, 2010) and 19 rushing attempts (Waynesburg, 2010). Lehocky also excels in the classroom. He is the PAC SAAC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Month for October 2011 and he is a semifinalist for the National Football Foundation's National Scholar-Athlete Award.
ALL IN WITH ALLEN
Junior S Kyle Allen ranks second in the PAC with four interceptions (for 72 yards) and his 0.57 per game average is tied for the 27th most in NCAA Division III. Allen also ranks eighth in the PAC in kick return average (14.1), fifth on the team with 35 tackles and he's third on the team with three pass break-ups. Allen, a second-team all-PAC pick as a return specialist last year, led the PAC and ranked 42nd in the nation with a 24.7 kickoff return average last year. He has nine career interceptions. He has scored three career touchdowns: 33-yard interception return vs. Hiram (2010), a 90-yard kickoff return vs. Grove City (2010) and a 36-yard fumble return while covering a kickoff at Thiel this year to earn him a spot on D3Football.com's National Team of the Week as a specialist.
LIKE A PRO
Junior RB John Proano ranks ninth in the PAC with a team-high 46.4 rushing yards per game (106 rushes for 325 yards and 4 TDs) including a career-high 144 yards on 24 carries with a touchdown at Bethany. Proano owns four career 100-yard rushing games and he is one of only six Titans since 1992 with at least four 100-yard rushing games. The others are Scott Froelich (24; 2001-04), Andy Blatt (23; 1993-94, '96), Denny Flora (16; 1995-98), Nick McKolosky (12; 2006-09) and John Ciavarra (4; 2000). Proano's 144 rushing yards vs. Bethany were also the most by a Titan since McKolosky rushed for 146 vs. Saint Vincent in 2008. Proano's other career highs are 32 attempts (for 125 yards) at Geneva in 2010 and two rushing touchdowns vs. Hiram this year.
Sophomore K Zac Henry leads the PAC and ranks 24th nationally with 1.0 field goal per game. He is a perfect 7-for-7 including two at Grove City and a season-long 38-yarder at Bethany. A first-year starter, Henry is 8-for-12 for his career including a 44-yarder at Geneva last year. His 35 points this year, including 14 of 18 PAT kicks, are the second most in the PAC by a kicker and he's tied for seventh for overall players.
Junior OLB Aaron Nauer, a second-team all-PAC selection last year, leads the PAC with eight pass break ups, mostly on batted down passes near the line of scrimmage. He's also tied for third in the league with eight passes defended (break-ups plus interceptons). Nauer is tied for sixth in the PAC with senior teammate Ryan Brucker with nine tackles for loss. Overall, Nauer is tied for fifth on the team with 35 tackles (17 solo) and he's second on the team with 2.5 sacks. Nauer was named to D3Football.com's Team of the Week after tying a career high with three pass break-ups vs. Waynesburg to go with six tackles (2 for a loss including 1 sack). Last year, Nauer led the Titans with 18 tackles for loss (71 yards), 7 sacks (42 yards), 2 forced fumbles, and 6 pass break-ups. Nauer ranked second in the PAC and 12th in the nation in tackles for loss. The team's top returning tackler from the 2010 season, Nauer ranked fourth on the team with 61 stops.
TURNING THE TIDE
The biggest difference between the 2010 Titans and the 2011 Titans: turnover margin. Westminster's +10 turnover margin (+1.43 per game) ranks 15th in the nation and it is tied for the best in the PAC with Thomas More. The Titans' 12 fumble recoveries lead the PAC and their nine interceptions are second to Thomas More (10). Last year, the Titans absorbed a minus-16 turnover margin which ranked last in the PAC and 226th out of 236 Division III teams. In this year's season opener vs. Hiram, Westminster tied a school record with five fumble recoveries. The other two five-fumble recovery games were Nov. 18, 1989 in a 29-9 home playoff win over Georgetown (Ky.) and Nov. 15, 1986 in a 14-7 loss at Clarion.
THIEL GAME AWARD-WINNERS
Senior QB Shawn Lehocky was named PAC Offensive Player of the Week for the Thiel game and junior DB Kyle Allen was named to D3Football.com's National Team of the Week as a specialist. The Westminster coaching staff also released its weekly awards: Scout Team Players of the Week went to sophomore OL C.J. Moon (offense) and freshman LB Blake Otterson (defense). The "Mental Attitude" Award went to sophomore DB Dylan Heitmeier. Freshman DB Korrtezz Martin got the "Big Hit" and the "Big Play" as well as defensive MVP honors. Lehocky (offense) and sophomore Josh Beistel (special teams) were the other MVPs.
- Westminster is 5-2 for the first time since 2002 when it went 5-2 in its first seven games before finishing with a 6-4 record for the team's last season with a winning record.
- The Titans haven't won six of their first eight games starting 7-1 in 2000 and finishing with an 8-2 record.
- Westminster's current 4-1 PAC record ties the 2002 team's second-place 4-1 PAC finish for the most conference wins since the Titans became eligible for the PAC title in 2002.
- The Titans' current three-game win streak is its longest since 2003 when it won four straight before losing to Thomas More.
- Westminster has clinched its 53rd non-losing season in the past 61 years and with its next win the Titans would have 48 winning seasons in the last 61 years.
- Westminster is 12-8 in its last 20 home games and 6-14 in its last 20 road games.
- Westminster ranks third in the PAC in total defense with 308 yards per game, but if you take away the Lycoming game (463 yards) the Titans would have the best defense in the PAC with 282.2 yards per game.
- Senior punter Andrew Clark is ranked second in the PAC with 38 yards per punt.
- Senior DE Ryan Brucker's 4.5 sacks are tied for second in the PAC.
- Westminster's 296 rushing yards vs. Bethany were the most by the Titans since they had 306 in a 41-22 win over Hiram in 2004 and the Titans' 54 passing yards vs. Bethany were the fewest since the Titans threw for 34 in a 12-7 win at Geneva in 2001.
- Westminster is 12-4 since 2007 when it has a player rush for 100 yards or more in a game.
- Since 2004, the Titans are 11-1 when they rush for 200 yards (only loss was last year's season finale at Geneva).
- Westminster's 20-16 loss to W&J was the first time since 2003 that the Titans lost to W&J by fewer than 25 points and it was the closest Westminster-W&J game since the Titans last beat the Presidents, 19-17, in 2000.
- Westminster's four captains as voted by the players for the 2011 season are senior DL Ryan Budziszewski, senior OL Adam Fueller, senior QB Shawn Lehocky, a second year captain, and senior CB Jordon Rooney.
- Since Westminster beat Geneva, 12-7, in 2001 with 53 total yards, two of the Titans' three lowest offensive games have occurred this season (176 vs. Hiram 9/3/11; 153 vs. Thiel 10/22/05; 89 vs. Lycoming 9/10/11).
- The Titans held Hiram to just 188 total yards, the fewest against any team since they held Hiram to 107 yards in a 38-7 win in 2005.
- Westminster was picked eighth in the 2011 PAC preseason poll and three-time defending champion Thomas More is once again the favorite.
- Westminster's returning all-PAC players from 2010 are junior WR Geno Pasquinelli, junior S Kyle Allen (as a returner specialist) and junior OLB Aaron Nauer, all of which earned second-team honors.
Westminster has a 71% winning percentage since 1952 (403-159-10), including 47 winning seasons, 11 undefeated regular seasons, and six national championships (NAIA Division II 1970, '76, '77, '88, '89, and '94). Westminster has an all-time record of 577-403-54 (.584) and its 577 wins rank ninth with amongst current NCAA Division III programs. Westminster also has four representatives enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind. They include QB Harold Davis (1953-56) in the Class of 2004, coach Joe Fusco (1972-90) in the Class of 2001, OG/LB Larry Pugh (1961-64) in the Class of 1998, and coach Harold Burry (1952-71) in the inaugural non-NCAA Division I Class of 1996.
TITANS ON THE RADIO
All Westminster football games, home and away, are carried live on WWNW 88.9 FM throughout Lawrence County at 4,000 watts and live and archived on the Internet at titanradio.net and westminster.edu/athletics. Calling the action will be Dr. Dave Barner on play-by-play, along with Westminster senior Marshall Cupelli as color analyst. New for the 2011 season, fans can listen to broadcasts on their smart phones or mobile devices by downloading a free application online at tunein.com/mobile. Once linked, listeners can access Titan Radio by typing "WWNW" or "Titan Radio" in the application search box and those who live locally can already see the station under the local radio tab.
TITANS ON TV
The Westminster Cable Network (WCN) will telecast all home games live on television and on an online video stream at wcnlive.com with archived games available online. All games, home and away, will be televised on a tape-delay basis on Mondays at 7 p.m. Games can be seen on Armstrong Cable (Channel 72 (basic) in New Wilmington; Channel 204 in Grove City, Mercer and Slippery Rock -- basic-only users in that area tune to 92-12), and on Comcast Cable (Channel 183 in Lawrence County). Westminster senior Bradford Arick will call the play-by-play with former Titan football coach Scott Renninger for home games. Head coach Jeff Hand also appears on the WCN show "Coaches Corner" that airs Thursday and Friday evenings at 7 p.m.
TITANS ON THE BLOG
Senior QB Shawn Lehocky writes a weekly diary that can be found on the Titan Sports Blog at westminster.edu/athletics/blog.cfm.