Grove City Rolls Past Thiel in Season Finale

| November 12, 2017

GREENVILLE, Pa. – The Grove City College football team closed the 2017 season Saturday afternoon by rolling to a 51-21 victory over Thiel in the 34rd Mercer County Cup Game at Alumni Stadium.

Grove City charged out to a 31-0 lead early in the second quarter and finished the game with 524 total yards. Sophomore running back Wesley Schools (Sparrow Bush, N.Y./Port Jervis) ran for a career-high 271 yards and two touchdowns on 37 carries.

Schools concludes the season with 1,266 yards, becoming the fourth 1,000-yard rusher in program history. That is the fifth-highest single-season total in program history. His 271 yards marks the seventh-highest single-game output in program history.

Sophomore quarterback Randall Labrie (McKees Rocks, Pa./Montour) added 64 rushing yards and two touchdowns on nine attempts. The Wolverines finished with 342 yards on 50 carries. ​​​​​​​Labrie also completed 7 of 14 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman wide receiver Cody Gustafson (Newville, Pa./Shippensburg) caught five passes for 151 yards, including a career-long 92-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

Grove City took a 7-0 lead 88 seconds into the game when Labrie scored on a one-yard sneak. Schools set up the touchdown with a 64-yard run deep into Thiel territory.

Grove City pushed the lead to 10-0 at the 5:01 mark when sophomore kicker Mitch Causer (Johnstown, Pa./Westmont-Hilltop) drilled a 27-yard field goal. Three minutes later, sophomore linebacker Sam Henson (Cranberry Township, Pa./Seneca Valley) returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown.

The Wolverines pushed the lead to 24-0 on the first play of the second period when Labrie lofted the 92-yard touchdown pass to Gustafson on a post pattern. Labrie scored on an 18-yard option keeper at 11:23 of the second quarter, giving the Wolverines a 31-0 lead.

Thiel cut the lead to 31-7 with 4:56 left in the half on Ronald Brown’s three-yard touchdown pass to Jake Elk on fourth-and-goal. Grove City answered with a five-play, 78-yard drive that Labrie capped with a 21-yard touchdown strike to senior wide receiver Matt Pennypacker (Lititz, Pa./Warwick).

Schools scored on a three-yard run with 4:48 left in the third quarter, extending Grove City’s lead to 45-14. His 16-yard touchdown run with six minutes left closed the Grove City scoring.

Senior linebacker Andrew Seifert (Kettering, Ohio/Archbishop Alter) helped pace the Grove City defense with two sacks. Senior defensive end Jacob Armbrecht (Streetsboro, Ohio/Streetsboro) and senior defensive end Caleb Allen (La Grange, Ky./Oldham County) both had sacks as well.

Senior free safety Kyle Beyer (Perry, Ohio/Perry) also intercepted a pass for the Wolverines. Freshman safety Patrick Mark (Palm Beach Gardens, Fla./Wellington) recorded a team-high 15 tackles for the Wolverines while junior linebacker Ethan Conto (Bruin, Pa./Karns City) had nine stops and a forced fumble.

Schools joined Doug Steiner (1996-97), R.J. Bowers (1997-2000) and Shane Kaclik (2012) as Grove City backs to go over 1,000 yards in a season. Schools also went over the 2,000-yard mark for his career. He now has 2,169 yards, which is No. 6 all-time at Grove City.

Gustafson’s 58 catches are the most ever by a Grove City rookie. His 815 receiving yards are the most by a Grove City freshman as well. Henson’s interception return for a touchdown is the first by a Grove City player since Joe Diani at Waynesburg five years ago.

Grove City now leads the Cup series, 22-12. The Wolverines will graduate Allen, Armbrecht, Beyer, wide receiver Gabe Greco (New Brighton, Pa./New Brighton), linebacker Josh McElrone (Harrison City, Pa./Penn-Trafford), linebacker Deion Minor (Sykesville ,Md./Century), fullback Nathan Nativio (New Castle, Pa./Neshannock), Pennypacker, nose tackle Quinton Reed (Oil City, Pa./Oil City), cornerback Steven Reeher (Volant, Pa./Laurel), running back Andrew Schauer (Akron, Ohio/Cuyahoga Valley Christian), Seifert, linebacker Joe Serventi (Cranberry Township, Pa./Our Lady of Sacred Heart), and guard Daniel Sedjo (West Chicago, Ill./Wheaton Academy).

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