(NEW WILMINGTON, Pa.) – The 16th-ranked Thomas More football team defeated Westminster College, 45-35, today (Saturday, October 1, 2016) in a Presidents' Athletic Conference game at Harold Burry Stadium in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania.
With the win, the Saints improve to 4-1 and remain undefeated in the PAC at 3-0. With the loss, the Titans fall to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the PAC.
Thomas More led 7-6 after one quarter, 28-15 at halftime and 31-25 after three quarters.
Westminster took an early 6-0 lead when Paul Columbo scored on a 10-yard run and the two-point try failed with 11:27 to play in the opening quarter. The Saints took a 7-6 lead with 5:16 to play in the first quarter when senior running back C.T. Tarrant (Hamilton, Ohio/Hamilton) scored on a six-yard run and first-year place kicker Cole Mathias (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) added the point after-attempt.
Thomas More extended the lead to 14-6 when junior wide receiver Daylin Garland (Newport, Ky./Newport) scored on a 35-yard touchdown pass from junior quarterback Brenan Kuntz (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) and Mathias added the PAT with 14:17 to play in the second quarter. Columbo connected on a 64-yard touchdown pass to Dom McKinley and the two point attempt failed as Westminster cut the lead to 14-12 with 11:48 to play in the first half.
Kuntz connected on a 21-yard touchdown pass to sophomore running back Hjavier Pitts (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mount Healthy) and Mathias added the PAT with 9:13 to play in the second quarter and the Saints led 21-12. Tarrant found the end zone on a two-yard run and Mathias added the PAT as Thomas More extended the lead to 28-12 with 2:54 to play in the second quarter. The Titans cut the lead to 28-15 at halftime when Justin Dahl made a 46-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
In the third quarter, Westminster cut the lead to 28-22 with 12:20 to play in the quarter when McKinley scored on a 15-yard run ad Dahl added the PAT. Mathias connected on a 25-yard field goal to increase the Saints' lead to 31-22 with 7:44 to play in the third quarter. Westminster answered with a 32-yard field with 3:56 to play in the third quarter to cut the lead to 31-25.
With 14:21 to play in the fourth quarter Kuntz connected on a 34-yard touchdown pass to Garland and Mathias added the PAT as Thomas More extended the lead to 38-25. Westminster cut the lead to 38-28 with 8:01 to play in the game when Dahl made a 27-yard field goal. Thomas More increased the lead to 45-28 when Pitts scored on a 20-yard touchdown run and Mathias added the PAT with 3:49 to play in the game. Westminster's Jametrius Bentley scored on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Columbo and Dahl added the PAT and the Titans cut the lead to 45-35 with 2:03 to play in the game. The Saints' held tight over the final 2:03 and won the game, 45-35.
Thomas More rolled up 506 yards (279 rushing/227 passing) of total offense, while holding Westminster to 358 yards (196 rushing/162 passing).
Kuntz finished the game 16-of-29 passing for 227 yards and three touchdowns and had 10 rushes for 68 yards. Pitts led the team on the ground with 101 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, while also catching two passes for 24 yards and a touchdown and Tarrant had 22 carries for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Garland finished the game with 106 yards and two touchdowns on five catches.
Thomas More's defense was led by sophomore defensive back Steven Everson (Scottdale, Ga./Heritage) with eight tackles (six solo, two assisted), including one tackle for a loss and one interception. Junior linebacker Tre' Tunstill (Indianapolis, Ind./Ben Davis) had six tackles (six solo), while senior linebacker Josh Hunter (Cincinnati, Ohio/Sycamore) had six tackles (four solo, two assisted), including one for a loss.
Thomas More returns to action next Saturday (October 8) when it hosts Grove City College at 12 p.m. at BB&T Field in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.