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BISON DROP FIRST HOME NIGHT GAME TO GROVE CITY
Sept. 19 - BETHANY, W.Va. – Grove City's Andrew DiDonato threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead Grove City to a 35-14 victory over the Bethany football team, which spoiled the Bison's first home night game in school history.
Both teams missed scoring chances in the first quarter. Grove City opened the game by driving to the Bison 23 before stalling out, but a 40-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left. Bethany came back by marching to the GCC 16 and faced a third-and-five, but sophomore QB Chad Smith’s (Washington, Pa.) pass was picked off at the goal line and the Wolverines dodged the threat.
Following the scoreless first quarter, the Wolverines (1-2, 1-0) scored three times in the second period to build a 21-0 halftime lead. The first TD came on a Blaine Miller one-yard run and the other scores came on touchdown passes from DiDonato to Will McCoy covering 18 and 10 yards, the latter coming with 1:17 left in the second quarter. BC tried to get points on the board before the break and reached the Wolverine 20 on their next possession, but four straight incomplete passes turned the ball back over to the visitors.
The Bison (1-2, 0-1) opened the second half with their first score when sophomore RB Eric Walker (New Brighton, Pa.) bulled in from a yard out to complete a 14-play, 80-yard drive. However, GCC answered right back with a scoring drive capped off by DiDonato scampering two yards for the TD. The extra point was missed, leaving Bethany down 27-7.
On their ensuing possession, BC found the end zone again. Smith, who went 8-for-8 on the 10-play drive, connected with senior WR Matt Cruse (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) for a nine-yard scoring pass, Cruse's 22nd career TD reception, and the Green and White trailed 27-14. But the Wolverines put the game away by responding with another scoring march early in the fourth quarter, as Miller finished it off with another one-yard run and the two-point conversion completed the scoring at 35-14.
For the Bison, Walker rushed for 56 yards and a score and also caught five passes for 52 yards, while Cruse was the top wideout with seven catches for 82 yards and TD. Cruse now has 2,090 career receiving yards and is only 52 away from breaking T.J. Parker’s Bethany mark of 2,141 yards. Smith’s numbers included 29 completions, tied for the third-highest in Bethany single-game history, for 279 yards and the one touchdown.
The Bison defense was paced by senior FS Matt Dahle (McKees Rocks, Pa./Sto-Rox), who led the team for the third consecutive contest with 16 tackles, while freshman DB Michael Howcott (Waldorf, Md./Frederick Douglas) made 11 hits.
Bethany is off next week and will return to the field Oct. 3 with a road trip to defending PAC champion Thomas More. Kickoff at The Bank of Kentucky Field is slated for 1:30 p.m.