(BEAVER FALLS, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team traveled to Beaver Falls on Saturday night for the Seventh Annual Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) Kickoff Classic against Geneva College. The Tartans walked out of Reeves Field with a 31-6 victory to start the season 2-0, 1-0, while the Golden Tornadoes are now 0-2, 0-1.
The Tartans outgained the Golden Tornadoes 314-179. It marked the 15th straight win for the Tartans when holding their opponents to under 300 yards of total offense.
Junior quarterback JD Dayhuff (Westerville, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) threw for a career-best 253 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-20. Junior Alec Oshita (Torrance, Calif./Mira Costa) turned in a career night with seven receptions for 148 yards and two scores. Senior Willie Richter (Leander, Texas/Cedar Park) caught four passes for 69 yards and classmate Chris Haas (Coronado, Calif./Coronado) led the Tartan rushing attack with 28 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns.
Geneva's quarterback Amos Luptak led the triple option offense with 46 yards rushing on 27 carries while Nick Monteleone totaled 36 yards on the ground.
Defensively, senior Thomas Polutchko (Southborough, Mass./Algonquin Regional) along with juniors Sam Brod (Austin, Texas/Vandegrift) and Mason Tolliver (Sylmar, Calif./Crespi) all tabbed eight tackles with five of Polutchko's going down as solo stops. Brod and senior Long Tran (Harrisburg, Pa./Susquehanna Township) both recorded 1.5 sacks while junior Danny Zahniser (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East) had 1.0 sacks for a loss of 14 yards. Tran now has 13.5 sacks for his career and ranks seventh all-time.
Sophomore placekicker Brandon Nguyen (Maitland, Fla./Lake Highland Preparatory) started the scoring for the Tartans matching a career-best 45-yard field goal six minutes into the contest. The score was setup when senior Michael Lohmeier (Clarendon Hills, Ill./Hinsdale Central) forced a fumble which was recovered by sophomore Sean Knight (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) on the Geneva's 43-yard line.
The Golden Tornadoes answered with a 16-play, 69-yard drive that eclipsed 10:22, but had to settle for a 31-yard field goal by Daniel Nordaas that tied the score at 3-3.
On the Tartans ensuing possession, Haas scampered for s 5-yard touchdown run which made the score 10-3 at the 9:53 mark of the second quarter. The score came one play following a 48-yard reception by Richter.
With 1:50 remaining in the half, Haas' second 5-yard touchdown run pushed the score to 17-3. Once again, the score was setup by a play from Richter. This time, the senior returned a punt 32 yards to the Geneva 23-yard and three plays later Haas took it in for the score.
Carnegie Mellon took the opening possession of the second half and marched 57 yards on 10 plays to push the score to 24-7 following a 6-yard touchdown strike by Dayhuff to Oshita.
Nordaas added a 39-yard field for Geneva with 1:45 to play in the third quarter to make the score 24-6. The Cardinal and Gray wasted little time responding, as Dayhuff found Oshita for their second touchdown connection three plays into the ensuing drive. The tandem connected on a 70-yard catch-and-run to extend the visitor's lead to 31-6 as the third quarter came to a close.
Carnegie Mellon will open its home season on Saturday, September 21 with a 1:00 p.m. kick against 15th-ranked Washington and Jefferson College.