Nov. 3 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Behind two 100-yard rushers, Carnegie Mellon (Pa.) University (5-4) ran for 355 yards and four touchdowns to pull away for a 42-19 victory over the Bethany College football team (4-5) Saturday afternoon, which snapped the Bison’s two-game winning streak.
A good kickoff return set the Bison up around midfield to open the game and they reached the Tartan 34 before turning the ball over on downs. Carnegie Mellon took advantage, as they used nine plays to drive 66 yards for the first score of the game. They used eight running plays to cover half the distance, then went the final 33 on a scoring pass from Phil Pantalone to Jeremy Doo for a 7-0 Tartan advantage.
Bethany answered right back. They converted a pair of third downs during a nine-play, 59-yard march, including a 15-yard scramble by senior QB Milton Joyner (Pittsburgh, Pa./Westinghouse) on third-and-11 and a 19-yard pass from Joyner to sophomore Matt Cruse (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) on a third-and-eight. The drive ended when Joyner hit junior WR Brad Zink (Washington Court House, Ohio/Miami Trace) with a 16-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was wide, leaving the Bison down 7-6.
Carnegie Mellon’s second possession would also result in a touchdown, putting the visitors out to a 14-6 lead. FB Travis Sivek ran seven times for 29 yards during a 12-play, 62-yard drive, including a three-yard scoring run two plays into the second quarter. Bethany would dodge a bullet on their next drive, as Joyner was picked off at the BC 31, but the Tartans could not manage a first down and turned the ball back over to Bethany on downs.
The Bison would not be as lucky on their next possession. Carnegie Mellon LB Jon Bodnar stepped in front of a Joyner aerial and returned it 40 yards for a touchdown to extend the Tartan cushion to 21-6. That lead grew to 28-6 on CMU’s next possession, when a 59-yard drive was capped by a 20-yard touchdown burst from Sivek for his second score of the afternoon.
Bethany would mount one more challenge prior to the half. Starting at their own eight, BC moved 92 yards in 10 plays to score with just 25 seconds left in the first half. Joyner fired passes of 37 yards to sophomore WR Matthew Dahle (McKees Rocks, Pa./Sto-Rox) and 22 yards to McNeil during the march, which culminated in an 11-yard scoring strike from Joyner to Cruse. The extra point was good and Bethany had sliced the Tartan lead to 28-13 going into halftime.
The Bison momentum could not be carried over to the second half however, as Carnegie Mellon put the game out of reach with touchdowns on their first two drives of the third quarter. Their first possession resulted in a 30-yard scoring run by Sivek and the second was completed by a Robert Gimson 15-yard run to paydirt.
The Green and White would put the final points on the board in the fourth quarter on a record-tying score. Joyner tossed a one-yard touchdown pass to Cruse, which was the ninth TD reception of the season for the sophomore wideout. That ties the Bethany single-season record set by T.J. Parker in 2005 and gives Cruse 16 for his career, leaving him two away from tying Parker’s career-record of 18.
Bethany’s offense had a productive day, amassing 354 total yards. Freshman Nick Czapor (Liberty Boro, Pa./South Allegheny) gained 73 yards on 13 carries to pace a ground attack that gained 148 yards. Through the air, Joyner was 19-for-35 for 206 yards and three scores, which gives him 16 for the season and ties him with Jeff Beer (1980) and Jeremy Lacaria (2002) for the third-most in one season at Bethany.
Cruse finished the day as the top receiver with 10 receptions for 81 yards and the two scores. He now has 52 catches this year for 763 yards, the third-most in a year by a Bison behind only Denny Williams’ 1,036 in 1980 and Dan Reilly’s 905 in 1989.
Leading the Bison defense was senior LB Chance Kildow (Sistersville, W.Va./Tyler Consolidated) with 12 stops and sophomore FS Nelson Mitzen (Waynesburg, Pa./Waynesburg Central) and junior LB Michael Wells (Friendly, W.Va./Tyler Consolidated) with eight hits each.
The Tartans were led by their potent ground attack, as Gimson totaled 140 yards and one TD on 15 carries and Sivek rumbled for 131 yards and a trio of touchdowns. The defense was paced by CB Jon Scholl with 10 tackles and one of three Tartan interceptions.
Bethany will conclude the 2007 season next Saturday when they travel to Washington & Jefferson (Pa.) College for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff. The Presidents (9-0, 5-0) clinched the PAC title Saturday with a 42-0 blanking of Thomas More (Ky.) College and will be trying to complete an undefeated regular season.