(WAYNESBURG, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team opened Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) play at Waynesburg University on Saturday, September 16. The Tartans scored 24 unanswered points to come away with a 30-20 win. The Tartans are now 3-0, 1-0 PAC, while the Yellow Jackets are now 0-3, 0-1.
Senior linebacker Sean Graff's (Oswego, Ill.) interception setup the Tartans on the Waynesburg 30-yard line and led to the first score of the game. Three plays later, junior quarterback Alex Cline (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Jerome) connected with senior Tommy Mansfield (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville Central) on a 21-yard touchdown. The point after attempt sailed wide left and left the score 6-0 three minutes into the game.
Waynesburg answered the Cardinal and Gray's score with a 19-play, 62-yard drive that took 9:44 off the clock. The end result was a 33-yard field goal by Garret Guthrie that made the score 6-3 with just over two minutes to play in the first quarter. Tyler Perone then gave the Yellow Jackets a 10-6 lead with five minutes to play in the half on a quarterback keeper following a pass interference call in the end zone.
The Yellow Jackets opened the second half with a 14-play, 63-yard drive that resulted in Guthrie's second field goal of the game. The placekicker's 36-yard boot pushed the home team's lead to 13-7 at the 9:30 mark of the third quarter.
In the closing seconds of the third quarter, Cline tossed his second touchdown of the game to knot the score at 13-13. This time, the junior found senior wide receiver John Prather (Olney, Md./Our Lady Of Good Counsel) on a 38-yard scoring connection.
After the Tartan defense held the Yellow Jackets to a three-and-out, Cline was fast to strike again. The signal caller needed three plays to give the visitor's a 20-13 lead. Cline found junior Karl-Mark Kumm (Brick, N.J./Brick Township) for a 28-yard touchdown that capped off a 55-yard drive.
Carnegie Mellon's defense came up strong again and held the Yellow Jackets to another three-and-out. The Tartans again took advantage of the play of their defense with another scoring drive. The lead was extended to 23-13 with 8:05 to play on a 33-yard field goal by senior Tyler Kohman (Pataskala, Ohio/Columbus Academy).
On the third straight possession for Waynesburg, Carnegie Mellon's defense held the Yellow Jackets to another three-and-out and the Tartans capitalized for the third consecutive time. Junior Rory Hubbard (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) pushed the lead to 30-13 on a 2-yard run with 5:34 to play. On the three-play scoring drive for the Tartans, Hubbard accounted for all 45 yards including a 40-yard scamper on his second carry.
Waynesburg added a late touchdown when Perone found Jake Dougherty from 20 yards out to make the score 30-20 with 1:15 to play.
Carnegie Mellon had a combined 312 yards of offense while Waynesburg totaled 270 yards. It marked the third straight game that the Tartans defense held their opponent under 300 yards of total offense. Senior safety Drew Fitzmorris (Omaha, Neb./Westside) led the Tartans with eight tackles.
Cline threw for 187 yards and three touchdowns after completing 12-of-20 passes. Mansfield, Prather and senior running back Sam Benger (Hingham, Mass.) each hauled in three receptions with Mansfield leading the way with 49 yards and a score. Prather compiled 47 yards and a score with Benger totaling 38 yards receiving. Hubbard led the Tartan rushing attack with a career-high 94 yards on 11 carries.
Carnegie Mellon will return to the gridiron on Saturday, September 23 when Thomas More College travels to Pittsburgh. Kick is set for 1:00 p.m. on the turf at Gesling Stadium.