Tartans Offense, Defense Shine in 35-7 Victory at Geneva

Tartans Offense, Defense Shine in 35-7 Victory at Geneva

(BEAVER FALLS, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team traveled to Beaver Falls, Pa. to play a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) contest against Geneva College and came away with a 35-7 victory over the Golden Tornadoes.  The win is the first for the Tartans on the season as they are now 1-2, 1-1 PAC while Geneva evens its mark at 2-2, 1-1.

Sophomore running back Sam Benger (Hingham, Mass.), who led all of college football in rushing yards per game heading into the contest, continued his record setting season.  The sophomore finished the game with 194 yards rushing on 28 carries and two touchdowns.  It marked Benger's fourth straight game rushing for 175 yards or more dating back to last season.

On the Tartans second possession of the game, the Cardinal and Gray put together a 10-play drive resulting in a 4-yard touchdown run for senior quarterback Andrew Hearon (Tulsa, Okla./Metro Christian Academy).  Junior placekicker Gabe Renna's (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) extra point made the score 7-0 with 5:55 to play in the first quarter.

Geneva threatened to respond to the Carnegie Mellon score, but on the second to last play of the first quarter, sophomore Drew Fitzmorris (Omaha, Neb./Westside) jumped in front of the Golden Tornadoes wide out and intercepted Aaron Channing's pass in the end zone.  Fitzmorris' interception led to Carnegie Mellon's second score of the game.  Eight plays later, Hearon scampered 15 yards for his second rushing score of the game to give the Tartans a 14-0 lead at the 12-minute mark of the second quarter.

The Golden Tornadoes wasted little time following Hearon's score.  They marched 75 yards on seven plays and cut the deficit in half on a 3-yard run by Dylan Jones with 8:33 left in the half.

The Tartans opened the second half holding Geneva to a three-and-out which setup the visitor's third score of the game.  Benger made the score 21-7 three minutes into the half on a 1-yard run.

Junior Zach Cree (Vanderbilt, Pa./Connellsville Area) pushed the Tartans lead to 28-7 on a 2-yard plunge with two minutes to play in the third quarter.  The score capped off an 11-play, 51-yard drive that took 5:01 off the clock.

Benger made the score 35-7 less than a minute later. After the Tartans held the Golden Tornadoes to another three-and-out, Benger took the handoff from Hearon on the first play of the ensuing possession and sprinted 47 yards for the score.  

Carnegie Mellon totaled 379 yards of offense, while the defense held Geneva to 274 yards, including 122 rushing yards.  Junior linebacker Sam Rylowicz (Winfield, Ill./West Chicago Community) led the Tartans with a career-best nine tackles while senior corner back Ryan Aitken (Alexandria, Va./West Potomac) tabbed eight. Junior defensive lineman Brian Khoury (Davenport, Iowa/Bettendorf) totaled six tackles with 2.5 for a loss including 1.5 sacks.

Sophomore punter Tyler Kohman (Pataskala, Ohio/Columbus Academy) totaled six punts for the Tartans, placing three inside the Golden Tornadoes 20-yard line.  Kohman had a long of 52 yards while averaging 46.0 yards per punt for the afternoon.

The Tartans will remain on the road next week, as they head to New Wilmington, Pennsylvania to play the Titans of Westminster College.  Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.