by Diana Petrovich, Staff Writer
Although homecoming weekend is long over and the last half of the season is quickly closing in, the Saint Vincent College football team is keeping their homecoming 17-3 victory over Thiel College fresh in their memories, and for good reason: since the team’s return in 2007, the September 25th win marks the program’s second win, and first-ever President’s Athletic Conference win.
The Bearcats performed a fast-paced offense against Theil, out-gaining the Tomcats 296 yards to 267, while holding them off with an aggressive defense, led by a school record-breaking 15 tackles by junior linebacker Armando Fortunato. Although the Tomcats struck first with a field goal in the second quarter, the rest of their advances were stifled by an enthusiastic Bearcat response, including a blocked field goal by senior defensive back Sean Hufgard in the third quarter. Junior quarterback Aaron Smetanka completed 150 yards passing, setting up a touchdown from sophomore fullback Joe Yezovich, and hitting junior Sheldon Loughner in the end zone late in the third. Junior quarterback Jake Smith threw for 68 yards, including a drive that put the Bearcats in range for a successful field goal by senior Aaron Jones halfway in the third. Jones also completed two extra point attempts.
The total team effort given by the Bearcats was enough to keep the score 17-3 for the entire fourth quarter, and enough to provoke an excited Bearcat crowd to rush the field after the win. Junior Lundy Sobek, a spectator, said that the Bearcat win was “the most exciting thing that has happened on campus this semester.” Sobek added that her excitement was so overwhelming that she did a cartwheel after she stormed the field.
“I was proud of my team,” commented Loughner after the victory. “I was happy for my teammates, my coaches, and for the institution. We wanted that win, and we earned it by playing the way we all knew we could.”
Now with the taste of victory in their mouths, the Bearcat football team is hungry for another win.
Although the Bearcats were defeated by Geneva 27-23 the next weekend, their homecoming victory serves as a “go-to” example of what the rest of their season should look like. With hard work and determination as their fuel, the football team sets out again this week to look for another win.
“My teammates and I feel that we can play with anyone on our schedule,” said Smetanka. “So far, we have proven this, and we feel that we should have won all the games we played.”
Loughner added, “Our coaches prepare as best they can each week with great game plans, and they make sure that we are ready for our opponents. I believe with their coaching and our will to win, we can win again.”
The team is not the only group on campus excited for another win; Sobek notes that she would like to do more “field-storming” after a game. The next Bearcat home game is October 23 against Grove City College at 1:00 pm, after which, the SVC football fans hope to celebrate another win.