(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team finished with 563 yards of total offense, 302 by way of the ground, in a 52-7 victory over visiting University of Chicago on Saturday, November 7 in a University Athletic Association (UAA) contest. The 563 yards marked the fifth time this season the Tartans eclipsed the 500-yard mark while they improve to 6-3 overall and 1-1 in UAA play, maintaining a mark of 5-2 in the Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC). Chicago is now 6-3 and 1-1 in the UAA.
Senior quarterback Andrew Hearon (Tulsa, Okla./Metro Christian Academy) completed 13-of-16 of his passes for 261 yards and four touchdowns. His four touchdown passes match a career-best and now has tossed multiple scores in five straight games. The senior signal caller has 19 touchdown passes this season, second best in a single season, and needs two more to tie the school record of 21 held by Thomas Hubka in 1967.
The Tartan rushing attack was once again headed by sophomore running back Sam Benger (Hingham, Mass.), as he rushed for 207 yards, averaging 9.0 yards per carry, and two scores. The nation's leading rusher also recorded two receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown, finishing with 270 yards of total offense and three scores. His 207 yards marked the fourth time this season he has rushed for 200 yards in a game.
After Chicago drove the field and missed a 30-yard field-goal attempt on the opening drive, the Tartans marched 80 yards on 10 plays to score first when Benger ran the ball in from 12 yards out.
On Carnegie Mellon's next possession, Benger struck again, this time with a reception touchdown on fourth-and-six. Hearon found Benger after a scramble and watched as Benger made the catch, juked the defender, and ran free for the score. Junior placekicker Gabe Renna (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon) connected on his second extra point to make it 14-0 with 38 seconds to play in the first quarter.
Chicago answered the Tartans' touchdown with a score of its own when Burke Moser found Jamie Rieger on a 17-yard pass.
Three offensive plays later for the Tartans and the score was 21-7, as Hearon completed a 55-yard pass to senior Max Reinertsen (Esko, Minn.). After the Maroons turned the ball over on downs, the Tartans added to the lead with a 40-yard field goal by Renna with 3:55 to play in the half.
The second half was a mirror of the first, as the Tartans scored on their first four possessions and stopped the Maroons four times to leap out to a 52-7 advantage. Scoring plays for the Tartans included a 15-yard reception for senior wide out Graham Schilling (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) from Hearon, a Benger three-yard rush, another Hearon touchdown pass, this time to senior Chris Herrera (Miami, Fla./Christopher Columbus) for seven yards, and a Rory Hubbard (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) rush for 21 yards.
Schilling led the Carnegie Mellon receivers with five catches for 74 yards as he moved into ninth all the school's single-season receiving chart with 587 yards.
The Tartan defense held the Maroons to 61 yards rushing on 25 attempts and to 275 yards of total offense. Junior linebacker Johnny Mascaro (Bethel Park, Pa.) totaled a career-best eight tackles in the win, including three solo. Sophomores Kyle Brittain (Largo, Fla./Clearwater Central Catholic) and Drew Fitzmorris (Omaha, Neb./Westside) each tabbed seven tackles with Brittain recording his first career sack.
The Tartans will conclude the regular season as they play host to Case Western Reserve University on Saturday, November 14 on the turf of Gesling Stadium. Kick for the 30th Annual Academic Bowl is slated for 1:30 p.m.