Slow start dooms Tomcats in loss to Waynesburg

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WAYNESBURG, Pa. - The Thiel Tomcats fell behind 28-0, rallied to score 21 fourth-quarter points but it wasn't enough in a 35-21 Presidents' Athletic Conference loss to the Waynesburg Yellow Jackets.
Thiel won the coin toss, deferring to the second half, as Waynesburg received the opening kick. The Jackets's Willie Leavell caught a 31-yard pass from Carter Hill to open up the scoring at 13:48 of the first quarter, capping a 4-play, 59-yard opening drive.
The Jackets converted on their second possession of the game, making it 14-0 with 11:18 left in the first quarter as Bernie Thompson caught a 15-yard pass from Hill.
Thompson found the end zone again, as Hill's 13-yard pass to him gave the Jackets a touchdown on its third straight drive to open the contest.
The Jackets again struck first to start the second half, as Hill tucked the ball and plunged ahead for a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:10 left in the third quarter to extend the home team's lead to 28-0.
Sophomore quarterback Ryan Radke (Lancaster, N.Y./Lancaster Central) was a bright spot for Thiel, orchestrating three scoring drives in the fourth quarter with his arm and shifty feet. The Lancaster Central product found senior Bill Frizzi (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Catholic) from 12-yards out to get Thiel on the scoreboard, 28-7.
The Jackets converted a failed Tomcat onside kick on the ensuing kickoff into seven more points, as Jake Forsythe made it 35-7 when he took it into the end zone from a yard out with 9:37 left in the game.
Thiel started their comeback with 8:02 left when Radke hit senior Matt Fedzen (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Catholic) for his team-best third touchdown catch of the season on a 5-yard pass play. Junior Jon Fennick (New Castle, Pa./Neshannock ) converted the extra point to trim the lead to 35-14.
The Tomcats made it 35-21 with 25 seconds remaining when Radke dove in from two yards out to cap a 9-play, 66-yard drive.
Radke completed 11 of 19 passes on the day for 91 yards. Fedzen was the leading receiver with five catches for 46 yards and a score while Radke rushed for a game-high 123 yards on 11 carries and a score, averaging a robust 11.2 yards per carry in the process.
The 123-yard rushing output by Radke is the most in a single-game by a Tomcat this season, topping Josh Potter (Chipley, Fla./Chipley)'s 121-yard game against Geneva on Sept. 21.
In all, Thiel outgained Waynesburg on the ground 201-98. The two teams each accumulated 24 first downs, with 12 of Thiel's first downs coming via the ground. In direct contrast of that, 16 of Waynesburg's first downs came through the air.
Junior Martae Hainesworth (Warren, Ohio/Warren JFK) led the defense with 14 tackles, including 1.5 for loss, while juniors Wes Schmidt (Kittanning, Pa./Kittanning) and Tom Thorpe (Charleroi, Pa./Charleroi) each chipped in nine. Sophomore Brandon Wolfe (Greenville, Pa./Reynolds) and junior Cody McClelland (Sarver, Pa./Freeport) each had a tackle for loss.
This Saturday, Oct. 12, is Homecoming at Thiel College with the Tomcats hosting the Saint Vincent Bearcats at Alumni Stadium at 3 p.m.
Dec. 10: All times Eastern
at UW-Oshkosh 10, John Carroll 3
Box Score Recap Photos
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 14, Mount Union 12
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 16: All times Eastern
Mary Hardin-Baylor 10, at UW-Oshkosh 7
@ Salem, Va.
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