September 25, 2012

W&J-Bethany Game Notes

More news about: Washington and Jefferson

Bethany Bison (0-3, 0-1 PAC) at Washington & Jefferson College Presidents (3-1, 2-0 PAC)

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012 – Washington, Pa.

Time:  7:00 pm

Site: Cameron Stadium (3,500)

Series:  W&J leads 68-20

Series Streak: +29 W&J

Online Video: http://washjeffsports.tv

Audio: 1450-AM WJPA; http://www.wjpa.com/sports.htm

Live Stats: http://www2.washjeff.edu/Athletics/xlive.htm

Last Meeting:  W&J 31, BC 14 -- 9/17/11

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

Last W&J Win: W&J 31, BC 14 -- 9/17/11

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

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

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

THE SERIES:  Washington & Jefferson and Bethany have met each other more than any other teams in both programs' long histories.  Saturday night will be the 89th game and the Presidents have dominated (68-20), winning 29 consecutive times.  The Bison last defeated W&J in 1982 by a score of 28-9 in Washington. 

THE HEAD COACHES: One of college football's most successful coaches, Mike Sirianni (Mount Union '94) owns an 88-19 (.822) record in his 10th season as the  W&J 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 collected a 24-39 record (.381) in his seventh season as head coach at Bethany. Weaver is also the director of athletics for the Bison. 

W&J vs. THE PAC:  W&J has amassed a 257-84-4 (.748) all-time record against current members of the Presidents' Athletic Conference.  Washington & Jefferson has claimed 22 PAC Championships throughout history.  The Presidents have won 70 of their last 77 conference games.

Bethany (68-20)                 

Geneva (38-19-2)               

Grove City (35-13) 

Saint Vincent (4-1)            

Thiel (42-22-2)        

Thomas More (3-4)

Waynesburg (36-3)

Westminster (31-2)

THE LAST MEETING {W&J 31, BET 14 -- 9/17/11}:  Alex Baroffio made pivotal plays the entire evening and helped the Presidents post their 29th consecutive victory over Bethany following a 31-14 PAC win under the lights at Bison Stadium.  Baroffio finished the game with five receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown.  He also returned three punts for 49 yards.  W&J drove the ball into Bison territory on the first possession of the game, but Matt Bliss' deep pass was intercepted by Jamaan Webb.  Bethany used the momentum from the turnover and drove 75 yards in 10 plays to grab a 7-0 lead after Eric Walker's 2-yard touchdown run at the 8:42 mark.  W&J tied the game five minutes later with a quick 60-yard drive.  DeAndre Simmons bulled in from the 1-yard line to tie the game.  Baroffio set up the touchdown with a 56-yard reception.  The score remained that way for 15 minutes until Mitch Rose gave the Presidents a boost by picking off a Matt Grimard pass and returning it 15 yards to the BC 15.  Two plays later, Bliss rushed six yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 halftime lead.  The Presidents' defense forced a quick punt to start the second half and the offense took advantage as Simmons rushed 32 yards on the first play of the possession.  Bliss then lofted a 13-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Creel, who leapt over a BC defender and made an acrobatic catch for the Presidents' third touchdown.  Bethany answered right back four minutes later to narrow the gap to 21-14 as the Bison used a 49-yard flea flicker touchdown pass from Grimard to Johnathan Foster.  W&J drove 53 yards in 12 plays to up its lead to 24-14 on its next possession.  Eric Eberle made a 27-yard field goal, the first of his career.  Baroffio had a key 17-yard one-handed catch to keep the drive alive.  The Presidents tacked on another touchdown with 45 seconds left in the third quarter as Baroffio sprawled out in the corner of the end zone to grab a 10-yard pass from Bliss.  The Presidents amassed 177 yards of total offense in the third quarter and 253 overall in the second half.  The W&J defense limited the Bison to just 155 yards in the final 30 minutes and Nathan Melhorn sealed the win with a sack and a forced fumble which was recovered by Darrick Dominick late in the fourth quarter.  Both teams finished with 407 total yards.  Simmons rushed 14 times for a career-high 96 yards, while Dion Wiegand totaled 73 yards.  Adam Dominick added 85 receiving yards on five catches from Bliss, who completed 18-of-29 passes for 246 yards and two scores.  The Presidents' defense posted three sacks and limited the Bison to 5-of-15 conversions on third downs.  Melhorn, Matthew Gal and Neil Sorice all had 11 tackles, while Dan Sciortino added 10 stops.  Grimard led the Bison with 204 yards passing and 48 rushing.  Walker ran 17 times for a game-high 112 yards, but was limited to only nine in the second half.  Kyle Arrington collected a game-high 15 tackles.

SCOUTING BETHANY:  The Bison are averaging 31.3 points per game, but rank among the bottom defenses in NCAA Division III as they have allowed 40 or more points in all three losses.  Bethany surrendered 42 points to Centre (Ky.), 49 to Randolph-Macon (Va.) and 44 in a PAC-opening loss at Grove City on Saturday.  BC led the Wolverines 40-24 heading into the fourth quarter, but GCC scored three 1-yard touchdown runs in the final 15 minutes to earn the win.  The Bison outgained the Wolverines 346-318, but were undone by four turnovers, including three Matt Grimard interceptions.  The BC offense centers around Grimard, a 6-foot-4, 245-pound lefty.  He is 33rd in the country in total offense with 285.7 yards per game.  His favorite target is senior wide receiver Johnathan Foster, who averages 6.3 catches per game.  Defensively, only eight teams in NCAA Division III have allowed more points than the Bison.  Senior safety Simeon Young leads the way with 31 tackles.  Teams have primarily done damage on the ground against Bethany, deciding to run the ball nearly 74 percent of the time (159 rushes in 216 plays).  Opponents are scoring touchdowns once every nine plays and BC defenders have only forced a loss of yardage on eight of those 216 plays. 

EARLY RISERS:  The Presidents have not allowed a point during the first quarter in 10 consecutive games.  Thomas More's 14 points in week four of last season marks the last time W&J allowed an opponent to score during the first 15 minutes.  In the 107 games with Mike Sirianni as head coach, W&J has outscored opponents on average by a 10.5-3.4 margin during the first quarter and has been held scoreless during the first 15 minutes only 14 times.  Thiel (week nine of 2011) is the last team to hold the Presidents without a point in the first quarter.

CHECK THE SCOREBOARD LIGHTS:  The Presidents have amassed 481 points (53.4 ppg) versus Bethany during the last nine meetings.  In 2007, the two squads combined for 1,241 yards, 59 first downs and 116 points (77-39) at Cameron Stadium.  In the eight other meetings since 2002, BC has only scored six touchdowns against Washington & Jefferson.

GOOD WILL HUNTERS:  Seniors Hunter Creel and John Hunter are saving their best play for their final collegiate years.  Creel has caught a team-high four touchdown passes and has 17 receptions for 181 yards.  His 30-yard touchdown catch last week gave W&J a 14-0 halftime lead.  Hunter, named the PAC Defensive Player of the Week on Monday, is tied for 93rd in NCAA Division III with an average of 1.63 tackles per loss per game.  The linebacker posted eight stops and two sacks at Thiel, including a key sack which cemented W&J's goal line stand early in the fourth quarter.  Hunter leads the defense with 29 tackles, three sacks and 6.5 stops for a loss. 

MR. EVERYTHING: Junior wide receiver Alex Baroffio added a new chapter to his football career on Saturday after taking over as quarterback following an injury to classmate Matt Bliss.  Baroffio guided the W&J offense to a pair of scoring drives, including the 30-yard touchdown pass to Creel.  He passed for 72 yards, rushed for 62 and still managed to grab three receptions for 34 yards.  His 54-yard punt return also set up the Presidents' first touchdown.  Despite playing a majority of the game as the signal caller, Baroffio is tied for fourth in the nation in receptions per game (9.0).  He is also tied for 21st in the country in yards per punt return (13.0).  

MAKING A STAND:  The W&J defense ranks second in the PAC and 25th in nation in total defense under the guidance of second-year defensive coordinator Shawn Rohrer. The Presidents have held opponents 244.3 yards of total offense.  W&J has not allowed under 270 yards per game since 1998 (262.6).  Washington & Jefferson also is 22nd in the country in scoring defense (12.8 ppg) and its 12 sacks are 33rd nationally.

CONTROLLING THE BALL:  The Presidents have won the time of possession battle in all three games this season by an average of nine minutes per contest. Since 2005, W&J has led its opponents in average time of possession every year except 2010. 
KEY TO VICTORY:  W&J has won 12 consecutive games when committing one turnover or less.  The last time that the Presidents lost when turning the ball over only once was the 2010 season opener at Delaware Valley (27-0).  Since 2009, Washington & Jefferson has turned the ball over three or more times in a game on 12 occasions and holds a 4-8 record in those contests.  
ON TARGET:  Junior Eric Eberle drilled a career long 44-yard field goal at Thiel on Saturday.  Eberle, who ranks 20th in NCAA Division III in field goal makes, has made 4-of-5 field goals and 10-of-11 extra points this season.  His 44-yarder was the longest by a W&J kicker since Mike Evan '97 nailed a 48-yard attempt in 1995.  Eberle's make was also the first converted field goal of over 40 yards by a President since 2006. NIGHT FEVER:  Since the Presidents started playing regular home night games in 2003, W&J is 14-0 in games starting at 6:00 pm or later on its home turf.  The Presidents have also played four road night games since 2003 and have won all four contests.

GOING BACKWARDS:  W&J tackled Thiel players behind the line of scrimmage 11 times on Saturday for a loss of 45 total yards.  By comparison, Bethany defenders have only forced their opponents to be stopped behind the line eight times all season.  With an average of 7.8 tackles for loss per game, the Presidents are on pace for the most in a season since posting 83 TFL's in 2008. 

SHUT IT DOWN:  The W&J defense pitched a shutout for the 12th time since Mike Sirianni took over as head coach in 2003.  During W&J's streak of 28 consecutive winning seasons, the Presidents have notched 45 shutouts.
HISTORY LESSON:  Washington & Jefferson is 16 victories shy of becoming the third program in NCAA Division III history to win 700 games.  W&J is competing in its 121st varsity season (684-378-40) and is third behind Wittenberg (710) and Mount Union (702) among NCAA Division III schools.  Widener (655) and Williams (629) round out the top five.  Once W&J reaches 700 victories, it will join an elite group among all college football divisions which currently has 20 members of 700-plus wins (Wittenberg, Mt. Union, Yale, Harvard, Penn, Princeton, Michigan, Texas, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Alabama, Tennessee, Southern Cal, Georgia, LSU, Penn State, Auburn and West Virginia). 
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