W&J Remains Unbeaten with 28-10 Win Over Grove City
Written by: William Albright on Sunday, September 27th, 2009
There was both good and bad news for the Grove City Wolverines Saturday night in their PAC clash with the Washington & Jefferson Presidents at Robert E. Thorn Field.
The good news was that it only took the Wolverines two minutes to take the lead on a 15-yard scamper to paydirt by quarterback Andrew DiDonato.
However, the bad news is that the Presidents responded to the deficit by tallying 21 unanswered points for a 21-7 lead and they never looked back before posting a 28-10 win over the Wolverines.
“I told the team, hey, Grove City is a good team,” said W&J head coach Mike Sirianni. “I really think we have the makings of a great team, but right now, I have to see how they (W&J players) progress. Grove City has a great player (DiDonato), but I reminded our guys that great players don’t beat great teams and we talked about that all week. He might be the best player in the conference and he might be one of the best players in the country, but again, great players don’t beat great teams.”
As Sirianni had a lot of good things to say about the Wolverines, so did GCC coach Chris Smith about the Presidents.
“They were a very good team on both sides of the ball,” Smith said. “I thought that was the best W&J defense that I have seen for a number of years. I knew that we would have to play without error if we were going to be productive throughout the game and win it, but we didn’t. We started off really well, but then we ran into some glitches here and there. They are a very good football team and you can’t do that against them. Hopefully we have learned from that and we’ll step it up from here.”
If there was one “black mark” for the Presidents in their win was the number of penalties as they were flagged 11 times for 122 yards.
“That is three weeks in a row,” grumbled Sirianni about the flags. “We are an aggressive team, especially on the defensive side of the football, but we can’t do that down the road. I don’t want to take that aggressiveness away from them. I’ll take a 15-yard interference penalty once in a while, but the things I am not happy with are the holds that just kill drives and the personal fouls. Aggressive is one thing, but I don’t like the taunting and the holds. Those things have to stop.”
Although the Presidents stung the GCC defense for 21 first-half points, Smith liked what he saw from his defensive unit in the second half.
“I am proud of our defense,” praised Smith. “I thought they came on and got stronger as the game went on and that is important and good to see. I am never happy with a loss, but we are going to look toward the rest of the season and hopefully things will be very good for us.”
Leading that Grove City defense was Jason Ferguson (Mineral Ridge) and Vance Keirsey (Mineral Ridge). Ferguson finished with 13 stops (10 solo), two tackles for loss and a quarterback sack, while Keirsey chipped in with nine tackles, one for loss.
Trailing 21-7, GCC place-kicker Craig Bicehouse drilled a 27-yard field goal with less than two minutes left in the first half before Terrence McAllister completed the game scoring on a 10-yard run five minutes into the third period.
From that point on, the defenses of the two teams took over for 24 minutes of scoreless football.
With the win, the Presidents remain unbeaten at 4-0 overall, 2-0 in the conference, while the Wolverines drop to 1-3 overall, 1-1 in conference play.
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