(BETHANY, W.Va.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team traveled to Bethany, West Virginia, on Saturday to play the Bison and came away with a 45-14 victory in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) contest. Carnegie Mellon improves to 5-0 over and 3-0 in the PAC while Bethany is now 0-5, 0-3. The Tartans 5-0 start to the season marks its best since 2006 and is just the 12th time in program history a team has started the season with five straight wins.
Senior wide receiver John Prather (Olney, Md./Our Lady Of Good Counsel) tied the school record for most receptions in a game, as he finished the game with 10 catches for 122 yards and added a career-best four touchdowns, all in the first half. It marked Prather's eighth 100-yard career game and third this season. Junior quarterback Alex Cline (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Jerome) threw for a career-best five touchdowns and passed for 127 yards on 11-of-21.
Senior Stanley Bikulege (Greer, S.C./Saint Joseph's Catholic) moved into third on the school's all-time tackle list after totaling five tackles. He now has 240 tackles for his career. The defense was led by junior cornerback Ethan Anderson (McMurray, Pa./Peters Township) with nine tackles, five solo. Senior linebacker Quentin Wolfe (Round Rock, Texas/Stony Point) recorded eight tackles including five solo, and freshman Chandler Stacy (Huntington, W.Va./Spring Valley) ended with seven tackles, four solo. The freshman also added a 40-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Bethany outgained the Tartans 296-237, but Carnegie Mellon capitalized on the Bison mishaps, three turnover and 20 penalties for 216 yards. The Tartans also were perfect from inside the red zone, converting all five opportunities.
Cline tossed five first half touchdowns with four of them going to Prather. The tandem started the games scoring with a 28-yard strike at the nine minute mark of the first quarter. Four minutes later, the Tartans made the score 10-0 on a 33-yard field goal by senior Tyler Kohman (Pataskala, Ohio/Columbus Academy).
On the first play of the second quarter, Cline hooked up with senior Tommy Mansfield (Westerville, Ohio/Westerville Central) on a five yard touchdown reception which made the score 17-0. The seven-play, 37-yard scoring drive started following a fumble recovery by senior defensive lineman Neal Baranosky (Wrightstown, N.J./Northern Burlington Regional) which was forced on a sack by Anderson and sophomore Michael Lohmeier (Clarendon Hills, Ill./Hinsdale Central).
Carnegie Mellon senior linebacker Sean Graff (Oswego, Ill.) intercepted Chase Kinemond on the first play of the ensuing possession which led to Cline and Prather's second scoring connection of the game. Three plays later, the tandem made the score 24-0 on a 9-yard strike. The two again struck for scores from 14-yards and 5-yards out before the end of the half, as the Tartans went into the half with a 38-0 lead.
Bethany held the Tartans to a three-and-out on the opening possession of the second half and then marched 80 yards on six plays for its first score of the game. Kinemond found Shaq Ellis on a 24-yard touchdown to make the score 38-7.
Two minutes into the fourth quarter Stacey's interception return made the score 45-7 before Bethany's backup quarterback Carlin Bason connected with Hunter Klein for a 20-yard touchdown for the final score of the game.
Carnegie Mellon will return to Gesling Stadium on Saturday, October 7, as they entertain 17th-ranked Washington & Jefferson College. Kick is set for 1:00 p.m. in Pittsburgh.