Tartans Second Half Surge Upends #24 Westminster 34-10
(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team won its fourth straight game against a ranked opponent with a 34-10 win over 24th-ranked Westminster College in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) showdown on Saturday night at Gesling Stadium. Carnegie Mellon moves to 4-2 and 4-1 in PAC play while Westminster is now 3-2, 3-1.
Carnegie Mellon outgained Westminster 329-267 while holding the Titans to six yards rushing. It was the fifth game this season the Tartans have held their opponent under 100 yards on the ground and the third straight holding the opposition under 50 yards rushing. The Tartans defense forced four turnovers while the Titans forced one.
Sophomore Robert Coury (Phillipsburg N.J./Phillipsburg) headed the defense with a game-high 12 tackles and a sack. Junior Kevin Arcia (Doral, Fla./Doral Academy Charter) recorded a career-best eight tackles, seven solo, while recording three pass breakups and a forced fumble. Seniors Sean Knight (New Canaan, Conn./New Canaan) and Nick Cizik (Portland, Ore./Sunset) along with sophomore Thomas Coury (Phillipsburg N.J./Phillipsburg) all recorded interceptions in the win. Knight now has 13 picks for his career which is tied with Associate Head Coach Andy Helms for third most in program history.
Sophomore Tre Vasiliadis (Great Falls, Va./Langley), the PAC leading rusher, carried the rock 34 times for 163 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Ben Mills (The Woodland, Taxes/Woodlands) threw for 168 yards and a touchdown. Senior Kris Hughes (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) was the Tartans leading receiver with four catches for 63 yards and a score. Hughes also threw for a score. Sophomore Alex Javier (Reading Pa./Exeter Township) ended the game with 57 yards on three receptions and a touchdown.
After a scoreless first quarter, Westminster got on the scoreboard three minutes into the second quarter when Cole Konieczka connected with Damon Maul on an 8-yard touchdown stroke. The score capped off an eight-play, 47-yard drive.
The Tartans took advantage of a short Titans punt that started their drive on the 30-yard line. Five plays later Vasiliadis scored on an 11-yard run. The point-after was pushed wide left and left the score 7-6 with 4:30 to play in the half.
Before the end of the half, the Tartans took a 14-7 lead when Mills hooked up with Hughes on a 44-yard strike down the sideline with 24 seconds on the clock. The tandem connected once again on the two-point conversion to give the Tartans a seven-point lead at the break.
Just under eight minutes to play in the third quarter, a 32-yard field goal by Joshua Byers made the score 14-10.
Early in the fourth quarter, a snap over Westminster's punters head sailed into the endzone and Tartan freshman Parker Owens (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter Strasburg) scooped the ball up for the touchdown. The score pushed the Tartans lead to 21-10 with 14:03 to play.
The Cardinal and Gray forced the Titans to a three-and-out on the ensuing possession. Four plays later, the home team scored on a reverse pass when Hughes found Javier on a 26-yard catch-and-run to extend the lead to 28-10 with 11:17 to play.
With 2:10 to play, Vasiliadis capped off an 11-play, 89-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. The score on the 7:03 drive made the score 34-10 following the missed PAT.
The Tartans are idle next week before entertaining the Tomcats of Thiel College on Saturday, October 23 at 1:00 p.m.