Football records 41–14 victory over Allegheny

The Carnegie Mellon football team hit the road to Meadville, Pa. to take on Allegheny College Saturday and returned to campus with an impressive 41–14 victory over the Gators. The win improves the Tartans’ record to 4–2.

Carnegie Mellon quickly gained a 7–0 lead just 1:13 into the game, when junior quarterback Phil Pantalone threw a pass to junior wide out Brendan Howe on a 70-yard touchdown reception.

Senior Captain Jon Scholl commented on the play, saying, “Phil’s touchdown pass to Brandon early on put Allegheny’s defense on their heels and created an opportunity for us to run the ball later in the game.”

Allegheny equalized with a six-play, 65-yard drive with 10:38 minutes left in the first quarter.

The Tartans regained their advantage as they took a 14–7 lead with 11:57 left in the second quarter when sophomore Anthony Ruzga completed a 1-yard touchdown. The play marks the sixth straight game Ruzga has made a rushing touchdown, and it would not be long before he recorded another one for the Tartans.

Soon after Ruzga’s first touchdown, junior linebacker Aleksey Tigay returned a fumble 55 yards, placing the Tartans on the Allegheny 14-yard line. Ruzga scored his second rushing touchdown on the day, from 10 yards just two plays later. Carnegie Mellon entered halftime up 21–7. Scholl believes the team’s success with rushing plays has much to do with the Tartans solid offensive line. Scholl said, “The offense did a great job controlling the ball. The offensive line executed their assignments and were effective at creating holes in the Allegheny’s defense for Anthony Ruzga and Chris Garcia.”

Senior kicker Colin Marks increased the Tartans’ lead when he converted a 25-yard field goal to cap off a 14-play, 86-yard drive that ran 6:56 off the clock. The field goal put Carnegie Mellon up 24–7 with 3:48 remaining in the third quarter. Ruzga had six carries for 39 yards.

Allegheny rallied at the beginning of the fourth to come back 24–14 with a 1-yard touchdown run to end an eight-play, 41-yard scoring drive.

First-year running back Christopher Garcia ran in from 23 yards out to give the Tartans a 31–14 lead with 13:04 left in the game. To follow, Tartan senior Jake Cundiff intercepted the Gators’ quarterback’s pass, which set up a 27-yard field goal for Marks to complete with 9:57 on the clock to put Carnegie Mellon up 34–14.
The Carnegie Mellon victory was sealed with a late 1-yard touchdown from sophomore running back Justin Pratt.

Carnegie Mellon totaled 440 yards with 359 from the ground. Garcia tallied a career-high 135 yards on 13 carries, and Ruzga recorded a career-high 125 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Pantalone concluded the game with 4-of-8 for 91 yards and one touchdown strike. Senior Jon Scholl locked in the defense, preventing the Gators from rushing more than 99 yards with seven tackles. Junior Socrates Zacharias had six tackles, including 3.5 for a 9-yard loss and one sack. Although the offense posted impressive statistics, Scholl made it known that the Tartans’ defense is a huge part of the team’s offensive success. As he said, “The defensive line was successful at getting pressure on their quarterback and allowed the defense to create several turnovers that gave our offense good field position.”

Football will host Wittenberg University for Homecoming, with kickoff set for 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25.