(BEAVER FALLS, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team traveled to Beaver Falls on Saturday night to open Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) play against Geneva College. Sophomore Tre Vasiliadis (Great Falls, Va./Langley) turned in a career night to lead the Tartans to a 31-17 victory. Carnegie Mellon moves to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in PAC play while the Golden Tornadoes are now 0-2, 0-1.
The Tartans outgained the Golden Tornadoes 476-318 with 345 yards coming on the ground for the Cardinal and Gray. Vasiliadis ran for 263 yards on 39 carries and two touchdowns. The sophomore running back also added a receiving touchdown. His 263 yards rushing is the second highest single-game total by a Tartan and also the most since Chris Haas rushed for 218 yards against Case Western Reserve in 2018.
Junior Zachary Hamilton (Washington, N.J./Warren Hills Regional) also turned in a career-high with 53 yards rushing on eight carries. Sophomore Ben Mills (The Woodland, Taxes/Woodlands) passed for 131 yards and a touchdown on 8-of-15. Mills ran for 12 yards and a touchdown. Sophomores Kavah Wojtowich (Irvine Calif./Portola) and Ethan Reifer (Ijamsville, Md./Oakdale) each recorded a career-high with 69 and 45 yards receiving, respectively, to lead the Tartans.
Sophomore Robert Coury (Phillipsburg N.J./Phillipsburg) led Carnegie Mellon with 11 tackles, five solo, and recorded his first career sack while also adding a pass breakup. Sophomore Thomas Coury (Phillipsburg N.J./Phillipsburg) ended with seven tackles, five solo.
Hilton McClain Jr. ended the game with 104 yards rushing and 36 yards receiving to lead the Golden Tornadoes offense.
On Geneva's second possession of the game, McClain Jr. gave the Golden Tornadoes a 7-0 lead when he took the handoff on a wide receiver sweep and ran 59 yards for the touchdown. The score capped of an 85-yard, eight-play drive.
Carnegie Mellon answered with a 15-play drive that took 5:33 off the clock and spanned 81 yards that ended in a 6-yard touchdown scramble by Mills. The extra-point knotted the score at 7-7 with 2:08 on the clock in the first quarter.
After the Tartans defense held Geneva to a three-and-out, it took the Cardinal and Gray two plays to take a 14-7 lead. On the first play of the second quarter, Vasiliadis sprinted 67 yards for the touchdown.
Ethan Nordaas connected on a 42-yard field goal to cut the Tartans lead to 14-10 with 13 minutes to play in the half.
Carnegie Mellon again answered Geneva's score and this time put together a 12-play, 75-yard drive that resulted in a 5-yard touchdown pass from Mills to Vasiliadis. The score extended the lead to 21-10 with 6:27 on the clock in the second quarter.
Vasiliadis scored his third touchdown of the night, second rushing, on the opening drive of the second half to make the score 28-10. The sophomore punched it in from 1-yard out to cap a 13-play drive that took 6:37 off the clock.
Geneva made the score 28-17 when Amos Luptak connected with McClain Jr. on a 36-yard touchdown strike with six minutes to play in the third quarter.
Junior placekicker Hayden Hairston (Milton, Ga./Milton) made it a 14-point lead for the Tartans at 31-17, as he connected on a 36-yard field goal with 11:25 to play in the contest.
Carnegie Mellon will continue its three-game road trip to start the season on Saturday, September 18 with a 1:00 p.m. kick at Grove City College.