The math is simple.
For the second consecutive week, Carnegie Mellon held a Presidents’ Athletic Conference opponent to zero points.
What that added up to Saturday was a 38-0 victory for the No. 17 Tartans against visiting Saint Vincent at Gesling Stadium in Oakland and, most importantly for Carnegie Mellon coach Ryan Larsen, a 2-0 record.
“Our defense is playing really well,” said Larsen in his second season at the helm of the Division III program. “The defensive staff is doing a great job putting together a good plan. The kids are executing.”
Carnegie Mellon held Saint Vincent to just 164 yards of total offense, 130 through the air and 34 on the ground. The Tartans registered just one sack but had three interceptions.
Only a week earlier, Carnegie Mellon opened its season on the road with a 31-0 win at Geneva, during which its defense conceded just 227 yards of total offense.
“We start every game with our ‘shutout’ chant,” said senior defensive back Kevin Arcia, who intercepted Saint Vincent quarterback Austin Slye twice. “That’s just something we expect. We go out there to play our hardest every single play no matter who’s in front of us. These are the results that come out of that.”
Slye completed 14-of-28 passes for 130 yards and was held to a team-high 28 yards on seven carries, which came largely in the fourth quarter against Carnegie Mellon’s reserve defensive players. He was sacked once by Tartans senior defensive back Aryan Hegde and was also intercepted by junior defensive back Jackson Lajoie.
“We will play against anybody,” Arcia said. “Whether it be in the PAC, anybody in the country, we feel like we have a chance.
“We think of ourselves as the best defense in the country,” he added. “That’s how we go into practice every day, every game, we have that mentality.”
And that certainly makes things easier for Tartans quarterback Ben Mills and his offense.
Mills completed 21-of-29 passes against Saint Vincent for 216 yards and two first-half touchdowns.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound senior connected with receiver Brian Stacy for a 10-yard, first-quarter scoring strike before finding Dominic Voiland in the end zone with a 4-yard pass in the second quarter.
“It was just good to carry the momentum from last week,” Mills said. “I thought we had a pretty good week of practice. They threw some stuff … that we weren’t exactly prepared for, but o-line did a good job taking care of it.”
In addition to its success through the air, Carnegie Mellon rushed for 155 yards, led by running back Tre Vasiliadis, who carried the ball 10 times for 52 yards and a 4-yard, first-quarter touchdown.
Joey McGinnis IV also carried the ball two times for 3 yards but made his attempts count with a pair of second-quarter touchdowns.
Tartans kicker Justin Caputo, a South Fayette native, rounded out the scoring with a 22-yard field goal in the third quarter.
“From film last week, it was anything inside the 10-yard line they were running man,” said Mills of Saint Vincent. “This week, it was all zone and bracket, so I was kind of just reading out the defense. Some of the guys flowed and guys were open. It’s easy when they’re open.”
Carnegie Mellon will next host Waynesburg at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“I think our confidence is there, which is great, but obviously we just have to keep getting better,” Larsen said. “The competition is going to keep getting harder, guys are going to step up, people are going to want a piece of us. We’ve just got to work, but I am excited for where we’re at.”
Pugh, Washington & Jefferson dominate through the air
Quarterback Jacob Pugh threw for 294 yards and five touchdowns to lead Washington & Jefferson to a 42-7 PAC victory at Bethany Saturday.
The Thomas Jefferson graduate connected with receivers John Peduzzi and Anthony Rosati for two touchdowns each while also finding running back Kobe Derosa, a Laurel graduate and New Castle native, in the end zone for another score.
Southmoreland graduate Zach Cernuto also scored on a 2-yard run for the Presidents, while Derry graduate Justin Huss rushed for a team-high 68 yards on 11 carries and Bethel Park native Troy Volpatti added 52 yards on nine carries.
Westminster rolls to first victory of season
The Titans rebounded from a season-opening loss to Grove City as Moon graduate Ty McGowan completed 9-of-14 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns to defeat visiting Thiel, 28-7, Saturday at Memorial Field inside Harold Burry Stadium in New Wilmington.
Chevy Dawson, Jaylen Royal-Eiland and Taite Beachy all caught touchdown passes from McGowan.
Pfeuffer helps keep Grove City unbeaten
Peters Township graduate Logan Pfeuffer threw for 272 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for two additional scores, as Grove City knocked off host Waynesburg, 43-27, Saturday at John F. Wiley Stadium.
Former West Allegheny running back Nico Flati rushed for 86 yards and two touchdowns for Grove City, which also received 52 yards and a touchdown on the ground from Clayton Parrish.
Knoch graduate Scott Fraser caught eight passes for 125 yards and a touchdown for the Wolverines.
Waynesburg quarterback Samuel Barber completed 22-of-30 passes for 203 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. Derry native Justin Flack, who rushed for 115 yards and one touchdown, also led the Yellow Jackets offense.
Cal U opens season with victory
California University of Pennsylvania grounded out 143 yards rushing to emerge with a season-opening 31-20 victory against visiting Kutztown Saturday at Adamson Stadium.
Running back Eric McKan III carried the ball 13 times for 98 yards and a touchdown for the Vulcans, who also got strong play from quarterback Davis Black, who threw for 192 yards and a score, in addition to rushing for a touchdown.
Seton Hill rallies to get first win
After dropping its season opener at Wheeling a week ago, Seton Hill returned to Offutt Field in Greensburg Saturday and came back from a 10-point, first-quarter deficit to upend Shippensburg, 28-23.
Redshirt freshman quarterback Hayden Teska, a Greensburg Salem graduate, threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns for the Griffins.
Connellsville native Ky’Ron Craggette rushed for a team-high 73 yards and one touchdown for Seton Hill, which also received a touchdown run from running back Tre Mason.
Receiver Ethan Fame caught three passes for 104 yards and a touchdown for the Griffins, while Mark Bails Jr. added three catches of his own for 94 yards and a score.
No. 13 IUP upset by East Stroudsburg
The Crimson Hawks were unable to get a game-winning field-goal attempt off from inside their own 5-yard line and fell to visiting East Stroudsburg, 13-12, Saturday at George P. Miller Stadium in Indiana.
Saturday’s game included a failed 2-point conversion try, a missed extra point and a lengthy lightning delay.
IUP was only able to score one touchdown on a 39-yard touchdown catch by South Allegheny graduate Drew Lockhart from quarterback Hunter Karst. The Crimson Hawks’ other points came courtesy of a 43-yard and 31-yard field goal by Nick Andrasi.
Karst completed 18-of-27 passes for 284 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Quinn Zinoble caught seven passes for a game-high 107 yards for the Crimson Hawks.
Kiski Area graduate Drew DiNunzio-Biss also recorded seven tackles, one for a loss, and one forced fumble.
No. 15 Slippery Rock hot early in victory against West Chester
No. 15 Slippery Rock scored 28 first-quarter points and never looked back before defeating visiting West Chester, 49-24, Saturday night at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium.
Junior quarterback Brayden Long passed for 312 yards and four touchdowns against West Chester. Slippery Rock receiver Kyle Sheets racked up 123 yards and two touchdowns, while Logan Ramper added a 5-yard touchdown catch.
Running back Khalid Dorsey carried the ball 14 times for 118 yards and one touchdown, and also caught a 7-yard touchdown pass.
Pitt comeback falls short against Cincinnati
Pitt quarterback Phil Jurkovec, a Pine-Richalnd graduate, orchestrated two consecutive fourth-quarter touchdown drives, but the Panthers were unable to crawl out of their first-half hole en route to suffering a 27-21 loss to Cincinnati Saturday night at Acrisure Stadium.
Jurkovec threw for 179 yards and three touchdowns.
Anthony Chiccitt leads Robert Morris past Saint Francis
Bethel Park graduate Anthony Chiccitt completed 21-of-27 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns as Robert Morris held on to a 10-point lead through three quarters to emerge with a 31-21 victory against Saint Francis Saturday night at Joe Walton Stadium in Moon.
Chiccitt also carried the ball five times for 23 yards and caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Connor Becker.
Receiver Noah Robinson caught eight passes from Chiccitt for 138 yards and one touchdown.
Duquesne scores first, but falls to West Virginia
Duquesne quarterback Darius Perrantes found receiver Darryl Powell Jr. for a 38-yard touchdown pass that initially handed the Dukes a seven-point, first-quarter lead Saturday evening against West Virginia at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown.
It would be the last time Duquesne would lead, as West Virginia rolled to a 56-17 win.
Perrantes completed 14-of-32 passes against West Virginia for 220 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Powell Jr. ended the game with three catches for 75 yards, while Teddy Afful had four catches for a team-high 83 yards and a touchdown.
Mountaineers junior quarterback Garrett Greene threw for 240 yards and four scores. Running back Jahiem White led West Virginia on the ground, rushing for 110 yards and a score, while freshman receiver Hudson Clement hauled in a game-high five catches for 177 yards and three touchdowns.