(GROVE CITY, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team traveled north to play Grove City College in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) contest on Saturday, October 17. Sophomore running back Sam Benger (Hingham, Mass.) ran for 189 yards and becomes the fourth player in Carnegie Mellon history to reach the 1,000-yard plateau and sixth overall in a single-season, as the Tartans defeated the Wolverines 44-0. The shutout for the Tartans was the first since 2007. The win evens the Tartans overall record at 3-3 while they improve to 3-2 in PAC play. Grove City is now 0-6, 0-4.
Following a missed 34-yard field goal by Grove City, the Tartans marched 80 yards on 11 plays resulting in a 7-0 advantage for Carnegie Mellon. On the 11th play of the drive, senior quarterback Andrew Hearon (Tulsa, Okla./Metro Christian Academy) found sophomore wide receiver Alex Froimzon (Hollywood, Fla./Scheck Hillel Community School) in the front portion of the end zone from six yards away with 5:12 to play in the first quarter.
The Tartans added another score before the end of the first quarter, as Hearon tossed his second touchdown of the game. This time, the senior signal-caller connected with junior Zach Cree (Vanderbilt, Pa./Connellsville Area) on a 16-yard throw. The extra point hit off the left upright and bounced out to leave the score 13-0.
An interception by senior corner back Vince Demarchi (Chesterland, Ohio / West Geauga) led to Carnegie Mellon's third score of the game. Three plays following Demarchi's pick, Benger scored on a 1-yard plunge to give the Tartans a 20-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Junior placekicker Gabe Renna (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) made the score 23-0 with 6:50 to play in the half on a 23-yard field goal. The field goal capped off a 15-play drive where the Tartans converted on a fourth-and-17.
Carnegie Mellon struck again before the end of the first half. The Tartans two-minute offense marched 54 yards in 1:07 to claim a 30-0 lead with 50 seconds on the clock. Hearon threw his third score of the half when he found senior Chris Herrera (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus) in the back of the end zone.
Hearon extended the lead to 37-0 on the Tartans' opening possession of the second half. The senior scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper. Backup sophomore quarterback Bryan Jangro (Jessup, Md./Mount Saint Joseph) put the Tartans ahead 44-0 on the Cardinal and Gray's next possession with a 45-yard touchdown scamper.
Carnegie Mellon outgained Grove City 541-284. It marked the second straight game and third time this season that the Tartans totaled more than 500 yards of total offense. The Tartans defense forced three turnovers while the offense had one mishap.
Benger now has 1,174 yards on the season, ranking second for a single-season for a Tartan, following his 189-yard effort on 27 carries and one score. It marked Benger's fifth 175-yard plus game on the season and sixth in his last seven dating back to last season.
Hearon finished the game passing for 201 yards and three touchdowns while adding another score on the ground and rushed for 41 yards. Sophomore wide receiver John Prather (Olney, Md./Our Lady Of Good Counsel) led the Tartan receivers with four catches for 71 yards.
Junior defensive lineman Brian Khoury (Davenport, Iowa/Bettendorf) led the Tartans with seven tackles and 2.0 sacks. It marked Khoury's second straight game with two sacks. Sophomore safety Drew Fitzmorris (Omaha, Neb./Westside) had two of the Tartans' interceptions and finished with four tackles. Demarchi also had four tackles to go with his second quarter interception.
The Tartans return to the gridiron on Saturday, October 24 when they entertain the Bearcats of Saint Vincent College. Kick is set for 1:00 p.m. on the turf of Gesling Stadium.