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Strong Rush Defense Lifts #17 Tartans to a 35-6 Victory Over Thiel

Strong Rush Defense Lifts #17 Tartans to a 35-6 Victory Over Thiel

(GREENVILLE, Pa.) – The 17th-ranked Carnegie Mellon University football team traveled north to play the Thiel College Tomcats on Saturday. The Tartans defeated the Tomcats 35-6 in Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) action.

Game Information
#17 Carnegie Mellon 35, Thiel 6
Records: Carnegie Mellon (4-0, 2-0 PAC), Thiel (0-4, 0-2 PAC)
Location: Greenville, Pa. (Alumni Stadium)

How it Happened

  • With 2:44 to play in the first quarter, junior Thomas Coury blocked a punt while junior Kevin Cooke scooped the ball up and returned it for a touchdown. Graduate student Cole Hanna converted the extra point to make the score 7-0 Tartans.
  • Freshman Joey McGinnis IV scored on a 1-yard run with 7:41 to play in the half to push the score to 14-0.
  • Sophomore Emmanuel Obu returned the opening kickoff of the second half 64 yards to the Tomcats 16-yard line. Four plays later, freshman Cole Franklin scored his first collegiate touchdown on a 1-yard run making the score 21-0 just under two minutes into the second half.
  • At the 7:44 mark in the third quarter, sophomore Will Squibb capped off a 12-play, 53-yard drive with a 9-yard touchdown rush to give the Cardinal and Gray a 28-0 advantage.
  • On the second play of the fourth quarter, Thiel got on the scoreboard with a 1-yard run by Owen Trumbull. The two-point attempt failed which left the score at 28-6.
  • Senior Jack Fierro closed the scoring with a 39-yard touchdown strike to junior Brian Stacy. It marked Stacey's first collegiate touchdown.


  • The Tartans rushed for 108 yards while the Cardinal and Gray defense held Thiel to -13 yards on the ground.
  • Carnegie Mellon totaled 237 yards of offense with Thiel totaling 167 yards.
  • The Cardinal and Gray recorded five sacks on the afternoon.
  • Juniors Thomas Coury and Adrian Williams along with sophomore Evan Roper led the team with six tackles each.
  • Franklin ended the game with a season-high 82 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown.

 Game Notes

  • The -13 rushing yards by Thiel was the second fewest yards allowed on the ground in program history for the Tartans. The school record for rushing yards allowed is -14 against Hiram in 2005.
  • It's the second time this season the Tartans have held their opponent to negative yards rushing. The other one was -3 yards in the win over Whitworth to start the season.
  • The Tartans extend their winning streak to 11 straight games, the longest active in Division III.
  • Carnegie Mellon has won seven straight over Thiel.
  • Carnegie Mellon has won 11 straight games when scoring a special teams or defensive touchdown.

Thoughts From Head Coach Ryan Larsen

  • "Today some adversity hit, and I'm proud of how the guys responded. A lot of credit should go to how hard Thiel played, we definitely had our hands full, particularly in the first half. Regardless I'm happy we got the win, finished the game strong, and found a way for a lot of guys to contribute."

 Up Next

  • Carnegie Mellon returns home to play Westminster College on Saturday, October 1 at Gesling Stadium. Kick is set for 7:00 p.m.