(CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky.) – The 18th-ranked Thomas More College football team defeated Carnegie Mellon University, 20-16, today (Saturday, September 24, 2016) in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) game at BB&T Field in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.
With the win, the Saints improve to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in the PAC. With the loss, the Tartans fall to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the PAC.
The Saints led 13-7 after one quarter, 13-10 at halftime and 20-10 after three quarters.
Thomas More took a 6-0 lead with 10:09 to play in the first quarter when junior quarterback Brenan Kuntz (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) scored on an 18-yard run and first-year place kicker Cole Mathias' (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynolds) point-after attempt failed. CMU's Sam Benger scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Alex Cline and Gabe Renna added the PAT as the Tartans took a 7-6 lead with 6:23 to play in the opening quarter. The Saints retook the lead at 13-7 when senior running back C.T. Tarrant (Hamilton, Ohio/Hamilton) scored on a nine-yard run and Mathias added the PAT with 49-secsonds to play in the first quarter.
The Tartans cut the lead to 13-10 at halftime as Renna made a 35-yard field goal with 2:47 to play in the second quarter.
Thomas More extended the lead to 20-10 with 11:08 to play in the third quarter when sophomore running back Hjavier Pitts (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mt. Healthy) scored on a 16-yard touchdown run and Mathias added the PAT.
Carnegie Mellon cut the lead to 20-13 when Renna made a 21-yard field goal with 14:14 to play in the fourth quarter. CMU added a Renna 31-yard field goal to cut the lead to 20-16 with 7:50 to play in regulation.
Thomas More out-gained Carnegie Mellon 439 yards (238 rushing/201 passing) to 296 yards (54 rushing/242 passing). The Saints defense intercepted four passes.
Kuntz was 11-of-25 passing for 201 yards and rushed the ball 11 times for 41 yards and a touchdown. Tarrant led the Saints on the ground with 125 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries, while Pitts finished the game with seven carries for 70 yards and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Dalton Conway (Jeffersonville, Ind./Jefferson) led the receiver corps with five catches for 122 yards.
Senior linebacker Austin Copeland (Cincinnati, Ohio/Kings) led the Saints' defense with 11 tackles (three solo/eight assisted), including a half tackle for a loss and pulled in two interceptions. Junior linebacker Tre' Tunstill (Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis) finished with eight tackles (three solo/five assisted), including a half tackle for a loss and had one interception.
Thomas More returns to action next Saturday (October 1) when it travels to New Wilmington, Pennsylvania to play Westminster College at 1 p.m. at Burry Stadium.