By: Jason Walsh II
Oct. 1st, 2022: Thiel College traveled to West Virginia to take on Bethany College in a PAC matchup. After 60 minutes of physical football in the rain and cold, the Tomcats would defeat the Bison 27-26. This is Thiel Footballs’ first win in 41 games. The Tomcats now sit at a record of 1-4 overall and 1-3 in the PAC, as they come up on their bye week this week.
The game kicked off Saturday at 4:30 pm, with the rain pouring down onto a waterlogged, puddles-filled field. Thiel won the coin toss and received the opening kickoff. As the Tomcats opened the first drive of the game, they began to move the ball downfield, but the drive would be stopped by a Bison interception. However, the Tomcat defense would dominate the Bison’s offense throughout the first half, giving the ball back to Thiel’s Offense. On Thiel’s second drive they would take a deep shot downfield to WR Dre Rodgers for the first score of the game, followed by Drey Livingston’s extra point (7-0).
As the game went on there would be mistakes made by both teams, with the weather taking its toll. Both Thiel and Bethany would turn the ball over during the second quarter with fumbles and interceptions. Thiel would eventually score again going up 14-0. Then late in the second quarter, Bethany would find the endzone, but not the uprights, making the score 14-6 going into halftime.
Starting the second half, the 3rd quarter would contain the most points throughout the game with 20 points combined between both teams. Thiel would score again to go up 20-6. But Bethany would respond with 14 unanswered points to tie the game at 20-20 going into the 4th quarter.
The 4th quarter would be a final defensive battle between the two teams, which team had more discipline. With 8 minutes remaining, the Bison would cap off a 5-minute drive with a touchdown and a missed extra point to take the lead 26-20. They would only hold this lead for a little over 2 minutes, when the Tomcats marched the ball downfield with their run game, resulting in a Jorden Collier rushing touchdown. Thiel would take advantage of Bethany’s missed PAT and Drey Livingston’s PAT would put the Tomcats up 27-26 with just under 6
minutes to play. Thiel would remain disciplined, holding off the Bison for the remainder of the quarter to win 27-26.
This was Thiel’s first regular season victory since September of 2017 when they beat Bethany 28-13 (excluding the 2020 season that was canceled due to COVID). After this week’s bye, the Tomcats will finish out their season on a 5 game PAC run. Playing @Westminster, home against Waynesburg for their night game at 7 pm, home against W&J, home against Geneva, and will end the regular season @Grove City on November 12th.
Congratulations Tomcat Football!
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