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Westminster Outslugs Thiel for 16-10 Win

Written by: on Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Western PA Writer

NEW WILMINGTON — The good news for the Thiel Tomcats was they scored first and last in Saturday’s President’s Athletic Conference clash with neighboring Westminster.
However, the even better news for the Titans was they scored 16 unanswered points sandwiched between the Thiel field goal and touchdown to post a 16-10 win over the Tomcats.
With the outcome, the Titans move to 3-2 overall, 1-1 in the PAC, while the loss leaves the Tomcats still looking for that evasive first win of the campaign at 0-5 overall, 0-2 in the conference.
“It was very nice for us to get the win today,” said Westminster head coach Jeff Hand. “There are still things that we need to correct and shore up, but the guys kept focused and played their tails off to pick up the win.”
For Thiel head coach Jack Leipheimer, it was more of the same. Too many mistakes and the inability to finish business by capping off drives with points once again kept Leipheimer and his Tomcats from getting into the win column.
“When you turn the ball over inside the 20-yard line it is tough to win,” said Leipheimer. “With the way we have been playing, we just can’t do that and we just keep killing ourselves. Then we have the ball thrown over our head when we had a chance to score in the third quarter, it is frustrating. I feel so bad for the kids because they work their butts off. We soon have to get a break somehow.”
After a scoreless first period, the two teams traded field goals for a 3-3 deadlock, the Titans getting a 30-yarder from Fred Romeo (Poland) after John Madeline gave Thiel the initial lead in the game with a 36-yard effort.
However, in the final minute of the opening half, the Titans took the lead for keeps when quarterback Kevin Franz hit Chad Rosatelli with a 22-yard scoring pass and with Romeo’s PAT, Westminster took a 10-3 lead at halftime. Rosatelli finished with six catches for 94 yards and the one score.
“We had double receivers on one side and it is kind of a post up type of situation,” explained Rosatelli about his TD catch. “We figured the middle was going to be open, and when we lined up, it was. It was something that Kevin (quarterback Franz) and I both saw, and when I made my move, he (Franz) knew where to put the ball and he put it right there.”
Although his Titans never trailed in the second half, his squad gave Hand and his coaching staff a few anxious moments.
Following Franz’s second TD toss, a 32-yard effort to John Baummer in the third period to open up a 16-3 Titan lead, the Titans missed the PAT. Add to that a pair of field goal attempts that were blocked along with costly penalties that nullified several other big plays, and it allowed the Tomcats to hang around.
“That was a concern of mine for sure,” said Hand. “Those kinds of mistakes disrupt any consistency you have to try and put together a long drive to give you somewhat of a comfort zone, but for us, the comfort (zone) never came.”
For the game, Franz finished with 22 completions on 29 attempts for 270 yards and the pair of touchdown tosses. During the game, he put his name into the record books one more time as he became the all-time completions leader in Westminster history.
“The ‘W’ is always more important to me than the individual stuff,” said Franz. “The individual things come because of your teammates. That is the line, the receivers, the running backs and that is everybody who does their thing to allow me to break the record. Without them, this (the record) wouldn’t have happened.”
Trailing by the 16-3 margin, the Tomcats didn’t go quietly as they marched 80 yards on 10 plays, quarterback Willie Bova hitting Cody Sirgey with a 2-yard scoring pass with just less than a minute left in the game.
Madeline’s kick made it Westminster 16, Thiel 10, with the Tomcats having one last-ditch try at turning a day of frustration into a win.
However, when the onside kick went out of bounds before the Tomcats could recover it, the Titans ran out the clock to preserve the win.
“My first thought was that it (the kick) wasn’t going to make it 10 yards,” said Hand. “But then when it did, all I could think was Oh my. But we were confident that we had guys there who were patient who could make the play. Fortunately for us, it went out of bounds.”

Skipping the Sidelines
Secretaries of Defense: The Titan defense sacked Tomcat QB Willie Bova four times while also picking off one of his passes. Senior defensive end Andrew Robison recorded two of the four sacks, while Cory Meeker was credited with 1.5, Meeker sharing one with nose tackle Jeff Bever. Bever also had three pass break-ups. Senior linebacker Jordan Blinn led the Titans with 13 tackles, Blinn followed by Mario Camerota with nine stops, a forced fumble and one PBU. Logan Skjefte led Thiel with nine tackles.
Another Busy Day: Although he didn’t get into the end zone, Titan junior tailback Nick McKolosky had another busy day. McKolosky finished with 92 yards rushing on 26 totes, while he also caught four Franz passes for another 67 yards, giving him a total offense of 159 yards for his day’s work.
Now You Know Who He Is: John Baummer is not exactly a household name in the Westminster Titan football household. However, in Saturday’s big win over Thiel, Baummer let himself be known as the sophomore from DuBois scored his first-ever collegiate touchdown to give the Titans a 16-3 lead at the time. As it turned out, Baummer’s six-pointer proved to be the difference in the game.
A Lot of Laundry on the field: Although the uniforms remained relatively clean due to the beautiful all-weather turd at Harold Burry Stadium, the two teams combined for a lot of laundry on the field as a total of 16 penalties were assessed in the game. Each team was flagged eight times, the Titans assessed 79 yards in walkoffs, while the Tomcats saw 86 yards marched off against them.
Two Big Advantages: In recording the win, the Titans held decisive advantages in two categories. Westminster posted a 348-269 advantage in total offense over the Tomcats, while they also kept the ball away from Thiel with a 36:06-23:54 advantage in time of possession.

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