GREENVILLE – The Grove City College football offense amassed 525 offensive yards and 31 first downs Saturday while the Wolverine defense posted its first shutout in six years as Grove City rolled to a 63-0 win at Thiel in the 36th annual Mercer County Cup game.
Grove City closes the regular season 8-2 overall and 7-2 in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference. The Wolverines’ current six-game win streak is the longest in the conference and Grove City’s seven league wins are the most in program history. Grove City also won the Cup for the third straight year and now leads the Cup series, 24-12.
The Grove City defense forced six turnovers Saturday, including five interceptions. Senior cornerback Jacob Ross returned an interception 40 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter to help the Wolverines bolt to a 28-0 lead.
Senior safeties Jackson McFall and Patrick Mark both intercepted passes, as did sophomore linebackers Nik Grabiec and Parker Kilgore.
Junior safety Jared Hurd forced and recovered a fumble. Senior linebacker Luke Salerno posted a team-leading 10 tackles, including five tackles for loss. Salerno and junior linebacker Brent Engleman both had quarterback sacks.
Offensively, sophomore quarterback Josh Ehst completed 16 of 22 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns during his two quarters of action.
Junior wide receiver Cody Gustafson hauled in eight passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Gustafson became Grove City’s all-time leader in career receptions as he now has 182 career receptions. He also went over the 3,000-yard mark for the career and has a Grove City-record 3,046 receiving yards. Gustafson has 1,007 receiving yards this year, his second straight 1,000-yard season.
Junior wide receiver Cameron Drake added six catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore Branden Caffrey and sophomore Cameron Roth each had three receptions.
Senior running back Wesley Schools ran for 75 yards and three touchdowns on 12 carries, giving him an NCAA Division III-best 25 rushing touchdowns this season. Sophomore running back Zach Trusky also had 75 yards and a score on 13 attempts. Freshman running back Clayton Parrish (West Middlesex High) added 37 rushing yards and a touchdown on five attempts.
Schools scored on runs of 12 and seven yards, respectively, to give Grove City a 14-0 lead in the first six minutes of the game. Gustafson’s 40-yard touchdown catch gave Grove City a 21-0 lead with 6:51 left in the first quarter. Ross closed the first quarter scoring with his interception return at the 5:30 mark.
Schools’ two-yard touchdown run with 13:35 left in the first half extended the lead to 35-0. Drake caught a 59-yard touchdown pass at the 10:52 mark while Gustafson pulled in a 10-yard touchdown reception with 2:21 left in the half. Parrish scored on a five-yard run in the third quarter and Trusky closed out the scoring with a six-yard touchdown run at the 3:08 mark of the third quarter.
Sophomore kicker Nick Morrow, senior kicker Mitch Causer and senior kicker Kelsey Tischler all went 3 for 3 on extra points.