Tartans Shutout Thiel, 53-0
(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team hosted the Tomcats of Thiel College Saturday afternoon and defeated the Tomcats 53-0. The shutout marked the Tartans third in the last 15 years. The Tartans move to 5-2 overall and 5-1 in Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) play while the Tomcats are now 0-7, 0-6.
Carnegie Mellon outgained Thiel 288-77 and held the Tomcats to 16 yards on the ground. It was the sixth game this season the Tartans have held their opponent under 100 yards on the ground and the fourth straight holding the opposition under 50 yards rushing.
The Tartans defense forced seven turnovers, five fumbles and two interceptions, while the Tomcats forced one. The seven turnovers is the most since the Tartans had six at Saint Vincent in 2019, Prior to that, the Tartans recorded seven takeaways, all interceptions, at Colorado College in 2005.
The defense recorded 18 tackles for a loss of 61 yards which sets a new team single-game record. The old record was 15 set against Grove City on September 11, 2004. It also was the second time this season the Tartans have recorded double-digit tackles for a loss.
Junior Zachary Hamilton (Washington, N.J./Warren Hills Regional) led the Tartans rushing attack with a career-high 105 yards on 19 carries. Senior Kris Hughes (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) recorded his second career 100-yard receiving game, as he ended with two catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns. His to scores gives him 17 for his career and he now is tied for third all-time in receiving touchdowns and needs four more to move into second.
An interception by junior Aryan Hegde (Brambleton, Va./Rock Ridge) on the fifth play of the game led to the Tartans first score of the game. Two plays later, sophomore Ben Mills (The Woodland, Taxes/Woodlands) connected with Hughes on a 48-yard touchdown strike to make the score 7-0 three minutes into the contest.
A punt by junior punter Casey Jaeb (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine Prep) that pinned Thiel at its own 4-yard line led to a Tartan safety when senior Sean Sullivan (Lexington, Mass./Lexington) and sophomore Thor Truelson (Fort Worth, Texas/Trinity Valley) tackled Donny Pattison in the end zone.
The first play for the Tartans following the safety, Mills and Hughes hooked up for their second touchdown. This time, the tandems score was a 56-yard catch-and-run that made the score 16-0 midway through the first quarter.
The Tartans scored three more times before the end of the first quarter. The first coming after a blocked punt by sophomore Kevin Cooke (Glen Ellyn, Ill./IC Catholic Prep) which led to a 3-yard touchdown run by sophomore Tre Vasiliadis (Great Falls, Va./Langley) two plays later. A second Vasiliadis touchdown run was the second score that was setup by an interception from sophomore Thomas Coury (Phillipsburg N.J./Phillipsburg). The third was off another blocked punt by Cooke that was scooped up by Tartan freshman Parker Owens (Lancaster, Pa./Lampeter Strasburg) at the 5-yard line and returned for the score.
Two second quarter field goals, 33 and 37 yards, by sophomore Arjun Zutshi (Austin, Texas/Westlake) pushed the Tartans score to 43-0 at the half. The field goals marked the first for Zutshi's collegiate career.
Carnegie Mellon extend its lead to 50-0 early in the fourth quarter when junior Varun Kalyanapuram (Austin, Texas/Vandegrift) and freshman Brayden Stump (Fairfax, Va./W T Woodson) sacked Alexander Kovalyak and the ball came out and picked up by sophomore Cole Record (Dallas, Texas/John Paul II). Record then sprinted 41 yards for the touchdown.
Zutshi later added his third field goal of the game, 25 yards, to close the scoring.
The Tartans will travel to Latrobe, Pennsylvania on Saturday, October 30 to play Saint Vincent College. Kick is set for 1:00 p.m.