(WASHINGTON, Pa.) – The Thomas More College football team fell, 37-29, to 18th-ranked Washington & Jefferson College tonight (Saturday, September 16, 2017) in its Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) opener at Cameron Stadium in Washington, Pennsylvania.
With the loss, the Saints fall to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in the PAC. With the win, the Presidents improve to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the PAC.
Thomas More led 10-0 after one quarter and 13-12 at halftime and W&J led 31-13 after three quarters.
Thomas More took a 3-0 lead with 6:29 to play in the first quarter when sophomore kicker Cole Mathias (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg) connected on a 27-yard field goal. The Saints extended the lead to 10-0 when junior running back Hjavier Pitts (Cincinnati, Ohio/Mt. Healthy) scored on a two-yard run and Mathias added the pointer-after-attempt with 1:53 to play in the opening quarter.
W&J cut the lead to 10-6 with 13:21 to play in the second quarter when Alex Rowse connected on a 29-yard touchdown pass to Jesse Zubik and Lia Casey's PAT failed. The Presidents took a 12-10 lead when Rowse connected on a 77-yard touchdown pass to Zubik and Mauricio Garibay's PAT failed with 7:44 to play in the second quarter. Thomas More took a 13-10 halftime lead when Mathias connected on a 25-yard field goal with 1:42 to play in the opening half.
The Presidents took an 18-13 lead when Rowse and Zubik connect on a 16-yard touchdown and the two-point attempt failed with 10:08 to play in the third quarter. Rowse and Zubik connected again on a 57-yard touchdown pass and the two-attempt was good and W&J increased the lead to 24-13 with 5:21 remaining in the third quarter. W&J extended the lead to 31-13 with 2:13 to play in the third quarter when Rowse and Zubik connected on a 69-yard touchdown and Garibay added the PAT.
Thomas More cut the lead to 31-20 when senior quarterback Brenan Kuntz (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) connected on a 38-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Logan Winkler (Independence, Ky./Simon Kenton) and Mathias added the PAT with 14:48 to play in the fourth quarter. Pitts scored on a five-yard touchdown run and the two-point attempt failed and the Saints cut the lead to 31-26 with 10:01 to play in the regulation. Rowse and Zubik connected on a 37-yard touchdown pass and the PAT failed and W&J increased the lead to 31-26 with 5:26 to play in the game. Mathias cut the lead to 37-29 with 2:06 to play in the game when he made a 21-yard field goal. That would be the last time the Saints had the ball as W&J ran out the clock.
Thomas More had 469 yards of total offense (287 rushing/182 passing) and the Presidents had 526 yards (44 rushing/482 passing).
Pitts finished the game with 27 carries for 145 yards and two touchdowns and had two catches for 41 yards. Junior running back Luke Zajac (Edgewood, Ky./Dixie Heights) had 15 carries for 72 yards. Kuntz finished the game 10-of-31 passing for 182 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions. Sophomore wide receivers Da'marco Canty (Bogart, Ga./North Oconee) had three catches for 65 yards.
The defense was led by sophomore defensive back Thomas Williams (Oregonia, Ohio/Clinton Massie), who had nine tackles (six solo/three assisted) with two interceptions. Senior defensive back Nick Taylor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) had seven tackles (four solo/three assisted), sophomore linebacker Adam Guard (Lawrenceburg, Ind./Pinecrest Academy (Ga.)) had seven tackles (three solo/four assisted) and junior defensive back Steven Everson (Scottdale, Ga./Heritage) had six tackles (three solo/three assisted) and one interception.
The Saints return to action next Saturday (September 23) when they travel to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to play Carnegie Mellon University. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.