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WALKER TIES TD RECORD BUT BETHANY LOSES AT W&J
Sept. 18 - WASHINGTON, Pa. – Junior RB Eric Walker (New Brighton, Pa.) tied the Bethany College football all-time touchdown record, but Washington & Jefferson scored on their first four offensive possessions and never looked back in posting a 59-21 victory over the visiting Bison Saturday night in the PAC opener for both teams.
The Presidents took the opening kickoff and drove 58 yards in eight plays for the first touchdown of the night, which came on a 15-yard run by Tim McNerney. Freshman QB Matt Grimard (Lowell, Mass./Dracut) was picked on the Bison’s first possession and the INT was returned to the BC four. On the next play, McNerney burst into the end zone for a 14-0 lead.
The Presidents would continue to put points on the scoreboard throughout the first half, as QB Gino Rometo threw a pair of scoring passes and Josh Buckley returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown as well during the opening two periods.
Bethany’s best possession of the first half came after W&J scored to make it 45-0 with less than a minute left in the second quarter. Grimard hit freshman WR Chris Collins (Youngstown, Ohio/Ursuline) for a 14-yard pass play and then he connected with sophomore WR C.J. Thomas (Jacksonville, Fla./University Christian) with a 38-yard completion to get deep into President territory. The Bison reached the W&J four-yard line, but a pass into the end zone on the final play of the half was intercepted and the score stood at 45-0 at intermission.
A long scoring pass by W&J on their first possession of the third quarter was answered by the Bison’s first scoring drive. A six-play, 75-yard drive was highlighted by a 34-yard run by Grimard. Bethany found paydirt when Walker scored on a two-yard run, his fourth of the year and 30th career touchdown to tie the Bethany all-time record, originally set by Will Anderson during his career from 1999-2002.
The Presidents answered with another touchdown, but the Bison came right back to reach the end zone for a second time. Grimard again highlighted a nine-play, 75-yard march with another long run, this one covering 39 yards. Freshman Nico Irizarry (Youngstown, Ohio/Ursuline) also had a big play with an eight-yard run on third down and seven on the drive, which was capped by a six-yard keeper to the end zone by Grimard.
Bethany’s defense forced a fumble on W&J’s next drive, which was recovered by junior DB Jeff Joyce (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin). The Bison went down the field for the final score of the game, needing nine plays to go 71 yards, with the big play being a 12-yard completion from Grimard to Thomas on fourth down and nine. The final play of the drive was a 27-yard touchdown pass from Grimard to sophomore WR Marcus D’Aguiar-Alexander (Waldorf, Md./Frederick Douglas) and freshman Robert Headden (Union Port, N.J./Keyport) knocked his third extra point of the game through the uprights to make it 59-21 for the final margin.
The Bison offense was keyed by Grimard, who rushed for 129 yards on 19 carries for his second consecutive 100-yard rushing effort. He also completed 10-of-18 through the air for 140 yards and the one score. His top receiver was Thomas with three catches with 61 yards.
In addition to recovering the fumble, Joyce had seven tackles to lead the Bison defense, while senior DT John Gyure (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brentwood) had five hits, including one sack.
Bethany will return home next Saturday to host Geneva under the lights at Bison Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.