Baroffio's Big Night Helps W&J Defeat Bethany For 29th-Straight Year
BETHANY, W.Va. – Washington and Jefferson College sophomore wide receiver Alex Baroffio (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) made pivotal plays the entire evening and helped the Presidents post their 29th consecutive victory over Bethany following a 31-14 Presidents’ Athletic Conference triumph Saturday night under the lights at Bison Stadium.
Baroffio finished the game with five receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown. He also returned three punts for 49 yards. The Bison (1-1, 0-1 PAC) have not defeated the Presidents since 1982.
W&J (2-1, 1-0 PAC) drove the ball into Bison territory on the first possession of the game, but sophomore quarterback Matt Bliss’ (Bethel Park, Pa./Bethel Park) deep pass was intercepted by Jamaan Webb.
Bethany used the momentum from the turnover and drove 75 yards in 10 plays to grab a 7-0 lead after Eric Walker’s 2-yard touchdown run at the 8:42 mark.
W&J tied the game five minutes later with a quick 60-yard drive. Junior running back DeAndre Simmons (Fort Myers, Fla./Riverdale) bulled in from the 1-yard line to tie the game. Baroffio set up the touchdown with a 56-yard reception.
The score remained that way for 15 minutes until senior linebacker Mitch Rose (Uniontown, Ohio/North Canton Hoover) gave the Presidents a boost by picking off a Matt Grimard pass and returning it 15 yards to the BC 15. Two plays later, Bliss rushed six yards for a touchdown and a 14-7 halftime lead. T
The Presidents’ defense forced a quick punt to start the second half and the offense took advantage as Simmons rushed 32 yards on the first play of the possession. Bliss then lofted a 13-yard touchdown pass to junior wide receiver Hunter Creel (Industry, Pa./Western Beaver), who leaped over a BC defender and made an acrobatic catch for the Presidents’ third touchdown.
Bethany answered right back four minutes later to narrow the gap to 21-14 as the Bison used a 49-yard flea flicker touchdown pass from Grimard to Johnathan Foster.
W&J drove 53 yards in 12 plays to up its lead to 24-14 on its next possession. Sophomore Eric Eberle (Mifflintown, Pa./Juniata) made a 27-yard field goal, the first of his career. Baroffio had a key 17-yard one-handed catch to keep the drive alive.
The Presidents tacked on another touchdown with 45 seconds left in the third quarter as Baroffio sprawled out in the corner of the end zone to grab a 10-yard pass from Bliss. The Presidents amassed 177 yards of total offense in the third quarter and 253 overall in the second half.
The W&J defense limited the Bison to just 155 yards in the second half and junior cornerback Nathan Melhorn (Salineville, Ohio/Southern Local) sealed the win with a sack and a forced fumble which was recovered by senior defensive tackle Darrick Dominick (Latrobe, Pa./Latrobe) late in the fourth quarter.
Both teams finished with 407 total yards. Simmons rushed 14 times for a career-high 96 yards, while sophomore running back Dion Wiegand (Pittsburgh, Pa./Keystone Oaks) totaled 73 yards (53 rush., 20 receiv.). Senior wide receiver Adam Dominick (North Irwin, Pa./Norwin) added 85 receiving yards on five catches from Bliss, who completed 18-of-29 passes for 246 yards and two scores.
The Presidents’ defense posted three sacks and limited the Bison to 5-of-15 conversions on third downs. Melhorn and seniors Matthew Gal (South Park, Pa./South Park) and Neil Sorice (Youngstown, Ohio/Canfield) all had 11 tackles, while freshman cornerback Dan Sciortino (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) added 10 stops.
Grimard led the Bison with 204 yards passing and 48 rushing. Walker ran 17 times for a game-high 112 yards, but was limited to only nine in the second half. Kyle Arrington collected a game-high 15 tackles.
W&J returns home next Saturday for a showdown with ninth-ranked Thomas More. The Saints are the three-time defending PAC champions. Kickoff is set for 1:30 pm at Cameron Stadium.