(PITTSBURGH, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team hosted the Thiel Tomcats in a Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) contest on Homecoming Saturday and downed the Tomcats 40-7. The Tartans are now 6-2 overall and 5-2 in PAC play while the Tomcats are 0-8, 0-7.
The Tartans defense held Thiel to 182 yards of total offense, with only 33 coming by way of the ground. It marked third time this season the Tartans have held their opponents under 200 yards of total offense, as they have won all three contests. The defense totaled 12.0 tackles for a loss and 4.0 sacks with senior Michael Lohmeier (Clarendon Hills, Ill./Hinsdale Central) leading the way. Lohmeier finished with 10 tackles, four solo, 3.0 sacks and 4.0 tackles for a loss. Lohmeier's 3.0 sacks moves the senior into fifth on the school's all-time list with18.0 for his career.
Offensively, Carnegie Mellon totaled 513 yards, the most since September 9, 2017 against Rochester when the Tartans totaled 511. Junior quarterback JD Dayhuff (Westerville, Ohio/Olentangy Orange) threw for 225 yards on 13-of-18 and two touchdowns. Junior Alec Oshita (Torrance, Calif./Mira Costa) caught both touchdown passes from Dayhuff while he finished with four catches for 88 yards. Sophomore Kris Hughes (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) ended with five catches for 57 yards. The Tartans totaled 230 yards on the ground with 15 different players recording a rush.
Sophomore placekicker Brandon Nguyen (Maitland, Fla./Lake Highland Preparatory) started the scoring for the Tartans with a 31-yard field goal. The sophomore's kick capped off a nine-play, 65-yard drive which gave the Tartans a 3-0 lead with 7:47 to play in the first quarter.
The Tartans defense held the Tomcats to two straight three-and-outs, as the Tartans capitalized on each of their ensuing possessions with a pair of rushing touchdowns to extend the lead to 17-0 with 13 minutes to play in the first half. The first score came on a 2-yard run by senior Chris Haas (Coronado, Calif./Coronado), which capped off an 11-play, 51-yard drive and then the second on a 1-yard keeper by Dayhuff to closeout a six-play, 49-yard drive.
Carnegie Mellon's lead was pushed to 23-0 with 5:21 to play in the half when Dayhuff connected with Oshita on a 25-yard strike. The tandem struck again before the close of the half on a 25-yard score which made the score 30-0 at the break.
Junior Sean Cooke (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard South) took the opening kickoff of the second half and returned it 53 yards to the Thiel 43-yard line. Two plays later, following a 39-yard reception by sophomore Ben Armbrester (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Eastern), junior Luke Bikulege (Greer, S.C./St. Joseph's Catholic) ran it in for a 4-yard touchdown to push the score to 37-0 less than a minute into the third quarter.
Junior placekicker Zach Shirk (New Albany, Ohio/New Albany) made the score 40-0 with his first career field goal, which was from 38 yards away, with 4:29 left in the third quarter.
Thiel got on the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter when Marko Bakovic found Damian Southwick on a 10-yard touchdown pass to make the score 40-7.
The Tartans are idle next week before entertaining the Titans of Westminster College on Saturday, November 9 at 1:00 p.m.