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Dickinson Outslugs Grove City, 52-47

Written by: on Sunday, September 6th, 2009

GROVE CITY — If Saturday’s Grove City College football game with Dickinson College is any indication of what is to come for the remainder of the season, you had  better take a calculator with you to Robert E. Thorn the next time the Wolverines play.

In an offensive explosion that saw the two teams combine for 99 points, the Red Devils
prevailed 52-47 in the season opener for both teams.

“Ninety-nine points. You don’t see too many games like that,” said GCC coach Chris Smith. “We had a good effort with some kids making great plays and we never gave up and played right to the end. I told the players this is a tough loss, but at the same time if we use what we learned today, it will make us a better football team.”

Leading the Wolverine assault as he has done so many times in the
past four years was quarterback Andrew DiDonato, the senior signal-caller passing for 291 yards while rushing for another 109 to give him an even 400 yards for the day.

As for his running success, DiDonato said it was just something that opened up.

“It was basically the same passing plays we were running,” explained the QB. “With the coverage they were giving us, I just saw everyone bail (out) so I just took off. It wasn’t a designed run. I just took what was there.”

When he tossed a TD pass to Luke O’Hara inside three minutes left in the opening period, DiDonato became the all-time leader in career TD passes. He later tossed another touchdown strike to Zach Summy that pushed his career mark to 34.

“It (the record) means nothing to me now,” said the modest DiDonato. “I would trade it for a win because I don’t care if we win 3-0 or 54-52, whatever it takes. The record means nothing to me now because we lost the game. Records mean nothing when you lose.”

DiDonato had a multitude of receivers to go to led by Summy with six catches for 96 yards and one score, while Will McCoy hauled in six balls for 55 yards and O’Hara caught five DiDonato passes for 41 yards and his one TD.

In addition to his touchdown catch, one of Summy’s receptions was for 52 yards in Grove City’s last minute comeback effort that just fell short.
“We had four wides to the one side and one to the other side so we felt we could hit the fade (pattern),” explained Summy. “We had one-on-one back side, it was open and we hit it. They did a good job adjusting and picking up the receivers on shallow routes. I am real happy with the way the whole offense played. We have nine more games and we just want to keep the ball rolling and get back on the winning side of things. As long as we keep our heads up and keep focused on what we do best, we should be OK.”

Like Summy, DiDonato also has a lot of confidence in the Wolverine offensive unit.

“We are very confident because we know the talent we have,” DiDonato said. “When you put up 47 points behind a great offensive line and a lot of talented receivers. We have a great defense, we really do. This is week one and the loss is tough now, but we’ll bounce back and get ready for the rest of the season.”

While DiDonato was the offensive story for the Wolverines, his counterpart, quarterback
Ian Mitchell along with All-American wideout Pat O’Connor paced the Red Devils. Mitchell threw for 288 yards and pair of touchdowns, while O’Connor hauled in nine
Mitchell aerials good for 164 yards and one score.

“He (O’Connor) is an All-American,” praised Smith. “He is a good football player and we were aware of that. Both he and the quarterback (Mitchell) were people that we knew would be factors in the game. The only way you can control people like that is keep them on the bench because when they are on the field, they will make plays. We tried, we kept the ball as much as we could, but I guess we didn’t have it as much as we needed to.”

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