Strong Second Half Propels Tartans Past Waynesburg

Strong Second Half Propels Tartans Past Waynesburg

(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team's strong second half lifted the home team to a 35-23 victory over Waynesburg University on Saturday, September 17. The contest was the first for both teams in Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) play with the Tartans moving to 1-1 overall while the Yellow Jackets are now 0-3.

Waynesburg took a 17-14 lead on the second play of the fourth quarter when Jake Dougherty found Tim Cooper on a 20-yard touchdown strike, but the Tartans were fast to respond.

On the ensuing possession, Carnegie Mellon marched 64 yards on six plays resulting in a touchdown toss of its own to grab the lead and never looked back. Sophomore quarterback Alex Cline (Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Jerome) hooked up with junior wide receiver John Prather (Olney, Md./Our Lady Of Good Counsel) in the back corner of the end zone for a 4-yard score to make the score 21-17 with 11:31 to play. The drive started when Cline and Prather connected on a 50-yard catch-and-run.

Cline tossed his second touchdown of the afternoon seven minutes later when he found junior wide receiver Alex Froimzon (Hollywood, Fla./Scheck Hillel Community School) from 10 yards out to push the score to 28-17.

The Yellow Jackets answered on their next possession, as they needed four plays to eclipse 47 yards for Dougherty's second touchdown toss of the game. The sophomore spotted Kevin Barnes in the end zone for a 16-yard score. The visitor's attempted the two-point conversion and were stopped leaving the score 28-23 with 3:23 to play in the contest.

Carnegie Mellon put a stop to any comeback when junior running back Sam Benger (Hingham, Mass.) broke free around the left side for a 64-yard gain. Two plays later, sophomore counterpart Rory Hubbard (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif./Palos Verdes Peninsula) ran it in for a 4-yard touchdown to seal the Tartan victory.

The Tartans scoring started when junior quarterback Bryan Jangro (Jessup, Md./Mount Saint Joseph) plunged into the end zone on a 1-yard keeper. The score was setup by a forced fumble by senior Jack Fagan (Milford, Pa./Delaware Valley) and a recovery by junior linebacker Quentin Wolfe (Round Rock, Texas/Stony Point) at the 1-yard line.

Waynesburg's first score was on a Whitney White 3-yard run in the closing minutes of the first half. Each team put points on the scoreboard in the third quarter as Benger scored on a 20-yard scamper for the Tartans and placekicker Garret Guthrie converted a 33-yard field goal for the Yellow Jackets.  

Carnegie Mellon outgained Waynesburg 407-315 with 212 yards coming by way of the Tartans' rushing attack. The Cardinal and Gray defense held the Yellow Jackets to 35 yards rushing. It marked the first time the Tartans' defense has held an opponent to under 50 yards rushing since 2012 when they held Ohio Wesleyan to 33 yards on the day.

Senior defensive lineman Brian Khoury (Davenport, Iowa/Bettendorf) recorded 2.5 sacks for a loss of 13 yards while registering seven tackles. His 2.5 sacks now gives him 21.5 for his career and ties him for second all-time in school history with Chris Balouris (1987-90). The Tartans had three others tally seven tackles in seniors Samer Abdelmoty (McLean, Va.) and Malcolm Guya (Whitehall Pa.) along with junior Stanley Bikulege (Greer, S.C./Saint Joseph's Catholic). Bikulege also recorded a sack. Wolfe finished the day with five tackles, 1.5 sacks for a loss of 16 yards and a fumble recovery.

Benger recorded his 15th career game rushing for at least 100 yards, as he finished with 193 yards and a touchdown, averaging 6.9 yards per touch on 28 carries. Hubbard ended with 49 yards and a score. Cline, who entered for the injured Jangro, completed 7-of-11 for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Prather led the Carnegie Mellon receivers with four catches for 77 yards and a touchdown.
Dougherty completed 22-of-39 for 259 yards and two touchdowns. Barnes finished with seven catches for 113 yards and a score while Mitch Kendra hauled in seven of Dougherty's passes for 94 yards.

The Tartans will travel to Crestview Hills, Kentucky, to play #20 Thomas More College. Kick is set for 12:00 p.m.