(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team hosted Geneva College Saturday, September 28 on the Second Annual Cindy Lackner Memorial Football Day and needed two extra frames to defeat the Golden Tornadoes, 41-34. The double overtime victory evens the Tartans' record at 2-2 while Geneva drops its first contest of the season and is now 3-1.
Geneva jumped out to an early 7-0 lead. With 10:36 to play in the first quarter, Zach Hayward found Josh Guiser for a 4-yard touchdown strike, capping off a six-play, 69-yard drive.
Carnegie Mellon was fast to respond, driving 63 yards on nine plays to knot the score at 7-7 on its next possession. On fourth-and-goal from the two-yard line, senior quarterback Rob Kalkstein (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) hit senior wide receiver Tim Kikta (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) in the middle of the end zone for the score.
The Tartans extended their lead to 14-7 early in the second quarter. Kalkstein found junior wide out Tim Swanson (Millburn, N.J.) for a 56-yard gain down the sideline and three plays later Kalkstein scored on a 5-yard scamper around the right side.
Before the end of the half, Geneva's place kicker Mike Gardner connected on a pair of field goals from 30 and 34 yards away sandwiched with a second Kalkstein touchdown toss. This time the senior found sophomore running back Max Reinertsen (Esko, Minn.) for a 15-yard score, as the teams went into the locker room with the Tartans ahead 21-13.
The Golden Tornadoes started the second half with a 10-play, 79-yard drive that ended with a 15-yard touchdown toss from Hayward to Rocco Colavecchia. Geneva elected to go for the two-point conversion, but the run attempt failed, leaving the score 21-19 Carnegie Mellon.
To close out the third quarter, Kalkstein threw his third touchdown of the game. He found senior tight end Bryce Pardoe (Muncy, Pa./East Lycoming) on a 1-yard strike, and after a blocked extra point, the score was 27-19 heading into the fourth quarter.
With 2:59 to play in the fourth quarter, Hayward chipped in with his third touchdown strike with a 4-yard shovel pass to Lemuel Fuller. The Golden Tornadoes lined up for the two-point try and a rush outside by Colavecchia was successful knotting the score at 27-27.
Following a Geneva interception, Gardener attempted a 35-yard game winning field goal with six seconds showing on the clock. The kick sailed left of the upright sending the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, it took Geneva three plays to find the end zone. Colavecchia scored on a 3-year run making the score 34-27. Carnegie Mellon answered with a seven-play overtime drive that ended when Kalkstein found Reinertsen on 3-yard pass on third down for the equalizer.
In the second overtime, Carnegie Mellon was on offense first. The Tartans needed five plays to take a 41-34 edge. Reinersten scored his third touchdown of the game. This time the sophomore rushed it in the end zone from six yards out. Geneva then went on offense and four straight incomplete passes led the Tartans to victory. On third and fourth down, senior defensive backs Jack Butler (Kennesaw, Ga./North Cobb) and Liam McGrath (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) were each credited with a pass breakup.
Carnegie Mellon finished the game with 343 to the Golden Tornadoes 557. The Tartans held the edge in time of possession 31:35 to 28:25. Kalkstein finished the game passing for 156 yards on 14-of-22 and a career-high four touchdowns while rushing for another score. Reinersten led the Tartans ground attack with a career-high 85 yards and a score while also catching five passes for 27 yards in two scores. Swanson recorded his third 100-yard receiving game for his career finishing with four catches for 113 yards.
Sophomore corner back Vince Demarchi (Chesterland, Ohio / West Geauga) led the Tartans defense with a career-high 12 tackles, nine solo. Senior linebacker Akwasi Brefo (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinette) added nine tackle while junior linebacker Alexander D'Angelo (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/St. Edward), sophomore safety Malcolm Guya (Whitehall Pa.) and freshman Aaryn Watson (Centennial, Colo./Grandview) all had a career-high nine tackles as well.
Hayward completed 45-of-71 passes for 404 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite target was Fuller who pulled down 13 receptions for 99 yards and a score.
The Tartans will start a three game road trip next Saturday with their first stop in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to play the Bearcats of Saint Vincent College. Kick is set for 1:00 p.m. on the turf of Chuck Knoll Field.