Tartans Late Rally Not Enough at Washington & Jefferson

Tartans Late Rally Not Enough at Washington & Jefferson

(WASHINGTON, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team traveled to Washington, Pa. on Saturday, September 20 to play the Presidents of Washington & Jefferson College.  The Tartans dropped a 48-30 decision as they move to 0-2 overall as well as in Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) play while the Presidents remain unbeaten at 3-0 and 1-0 in the PAC.

Washington & Jefferson took the opening kickoff and marched 75 yards on 15 plays to take an early 7-0 lead.  On fourth-and-goal, Pete Coughlin found Max Creighan on a 3-yard touchdown strike.  On the Presidents next possession the duo struck again, this time on a 70-yard catch and run to extend the lead to 14-0 with 8:20 to play in the first quarter.

On Carnegie Mellon's ensuing possession, they cut the deficit in half.  Junior quarterback Andrew Hearon (Tulsa, Okla./Metro Christian Academy) hooked up with junior Chris Herrera (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus) on an 18-yard touchdown pass that capped off a 13-play, 58-yard drive.  

Coughlin tossed his third touchdown of the afternoon following a Tartan fumble, as the single caller found Jesse Zubik on from eight yards out to make the score 21-7. The Tartans answered with an 8-play, 39-yard scoring drive thanks to a 57-yard kickoff return by freshman Sam Benger (Hingham, Mass.) to setup a 1-yard touchdown run by Hearon on fourth down.  Freshman placekicker Tyler Kohman's (Pataskala, Ohio/Columbus Academy) point after attempt was good making the score 21-14 at the 11:15 mark of the second quarter.

The Presidents added another touchdown before the end of the half, as the tandem of Coughlin and Creighan struck for a third time in the half making the score 28-14 Washington & Jefferson heading into the break.

Ryan Ruffing added two third quarter touchdown runs of 32 and four yards to put the home team on top 42-14.

Hearon tossed his second touchdown of the game to open the fourth quarter making the score 42-12 with 12:46 to play. The 12-play, 79-yard drive ended when Hearon found junior Max Reinertsen (Esko, Minn.) in the end zone from four yards out.

Coughlin threw his fifth touchdown on the Presidents next possession when he found Daniel Lis for a 24 yard score on the second play of the drive.  The extra point attempt was blocked by sophomore defensive lineman Brian Khoury (Davenport, Iowa/Bettendorf) and picked up by senior Tim Swanson (Millburn, N.J.) who returned it 88 yards for two points for the Tartans making the score 48-23.

The Tartans didn't go down without a fight, as Hearon found Swanson for a 28-yard touchdown with nine minutes to play cutting the Presidents lead to 48-30.  

Washington & Jefferson outgained Carnegie Mellon 566-376 while the Tartans held the slight edge in time of possession 31:33 to 28:27.  Hearon finished the afternoon passing for a career-high 227 yards on 16-of-31 passing.  He threw three touchdowns which also marked a career-best and ran for another. Herrera led all Tartan receivers with five catches for a career-high 57 yards. Freshman wide receiver John Prather (Olney, Md./Our Lady Of Good Counsel) hauled in a team-high six catches for 46 yards. Sophomore running back Zach Cree (Vanderbilt, Pa./Connellsville Area) led the Tartan rushing attack with a career-high 57 yards.

Defensively, junior linebacker Nico Comsa (Connellsville, Pa.) led the Tartans with a career-high 12 tackles, five solo.  Sophomore Samer Abdelmoty (McLean, Va.) and Khoury also recorded career-highs in tackles with 11 and eight, respectively.

Coughlin finished with a career-best 333 yards and five touchdowns.  Zubik led the Presidents receiving corps with a career day of 12 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown.  Lis ended with seven catches for 105 yards and a score while Creighan had 79 yards receiving and three touchdowns on three targets.  Ruffing finished the day with 193 yards on 25 carries and two scores.

Jared Pratt led Washington & Jefferson with 14 tackles while Ryan Torrance added 11.

The Tartans will open their home slate, Saturday, September 27, as they entertain Geneva College at 1:00 p.m.