(SPOKANE, Wash.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team opened its 2021 season on the road at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington and dropped a hard fought battle, 13-10, to the Pirates.
After being held to 47 yards of total offense in the first half, Carnegie Mellon tallied 241 yards in the second and finished with 288 yards to the Pirates 298. Sophomore quarterback Ben Mills (The Woodland, Taxes/Woodlands) led the Tartans rushing attack with a career-best 83 yards on six carries. Sophomore Tre Vasiliadis (Great Falls, Va./Langley) carried the rock 15 times for a career-high 76 yards and a touchdown. Mills threw for 105 yards on 8-of-27 and had two interceptions.
Sophomore Thomas Coury (Phillipsburg N.J./Phillipsburg) led the Tartans defense that held the Pirates to 16 yards of total offense in the fourth quarter on 12 plays. Thomas Coury ended the game with a career-high 12 tackles, four solo, including 1.5 tackles for a loss. Sophomore Robert Coury (Phillipsburg N.J./Phillipsburg) tabbed seven tackles, four solo. The Tartans defense finished with four quarterback sacks.
Whitworth got on the scoreboard first with a 27-yard field goal by Nate RaPue midway through the first quarter. RaPue then connected on his second field of the quarter with 1:34 to play to push the score to 6-0 on a 33-yard attempt.
The Pirates pushed the score to 13-0 on a 31-yard run up the middle by Isaiah Cole at the 6:40 mark of the second quarter. The score capped off an eight-play 65-yard drive.
A junior Kevin Arcia (Doral, Fla./Doral Academy Charter) interception in the Tartans end zone which then was returned 63 yards setup Carnegie Mellon's first score of the season. Seven plays later, Vasiliadis scored on a 1-yard run. The point-after made he score 13-7 with 8:47 to play in the third quarter.
Junior placekicker Hayden Hairston (Milton, Ga./Milton) cut the lead to 13-10 with 9:27 to play when he split the uprights from 24 yards out. Hairston's kick came four plays after Mills scampered 53 yards on a quarterback keep on a third-and-two from the Tartans 38-yard line.
Carnegie Mellon had a chance to take the lead or tie the contest, but with 17 seconds left in the game, Mills was intercepted in the end zone by Jacob Hogger.
Carnegie Mellon will open Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) play on Saturday, September 11 at Geneva College. Kick is set for 7:30 p.m.