New Wilmington, PA – The Raiders found themselves in a battle early on in their season opener at Westminster on Saturday but managed to pull away as the game went on and left Pennsylvania with a 48-7 win to open the ’21 campaign.
The Raiders forced a punt from Westminster on the opening drive of the game and then followed up with a 21-yard touchdown run from Josh Petrucelli (PAT was good) to open the scoring. Mount Union tacked on a second touchdown when Deandre Parker scored on an 8-yard run (PAT was good) to put the Raiders up 14-0 with 5:29 left in the first quarter. Westminster managed to stick around and play with the Raiders in the opening quarter and pick off Mount Union quarterback Braxton Plunk after a pass bounced off the hands of DJ Harvey late in the first quarter. The Titans hit paydirt a few plays later when quarterback Cole Konieczka found Chevy Dawson in the endzone for a 28-yard touchdown pass (PAT was good) to cut the Raiders’ lead to 14-7 with a little over a minute left in the first quarter. That would be the last time Westminster would score any points in the game as the Raiders got into their usual rhythm as the second quarter got underway. Mount Union picked up a trio of touchdowns in the second quarter; a 13-yard touchdown reception by DJ Harvey, and a pair of short yardage touchdown runs by Josh Petrucelli (PATs good after all three). The two teams went to the locker rooms at halftime with Mount Union leading 35-7 over Westminster.
Mount Union continued to dominate in the second half. Josh Petrucelli got his fourth touchdown of the day with 7:08 left in the third quarter when he punched it in from 4-yards out (PAT was no good). Ulice Gillard got in on the action late in the quarter when he got a 13-yard touchdown pass from Plunk to close out the scoring (PAT was good) and put the Raiders up 48-7. Neither team was able to score in the fourth quarter as the Mount Union backups saw action.
On the day, Braxton Plunk threw for 345 yards (29 completions/38 passing attempts), a pair of touchdowns, and an interception and Westminster’s Konieczka threw for 125 yards (14/27), a touchdown, and two interceptions. In the run game, Josh Petrucelli and Deandre Parker were fantastic for the Raiders. Petrucelli ran for 97 yards on and four touchdowns. Parker had 71 yards and a touchdown. The Raiders’ receiving core had a great game as well with DJ Harvey catching 6 passes for 74 yards and touchdown and Wayne Ruby Jr. catching 8 passes for 119 yards. As for Westminster, Ryan Gomes had 26 rushing yards (the team was held to 3 yards rushing total) and Denny Dennison had four catches for 36 yards to lead the Titans. The Trap’s Sporting Goods player of the game was Josh Petrucelli for his outstanding game.
Westminster drops to 0-1 with the loss and will be back in action on September 18, 2021, when they travel to take on Case Western Reserve University. With the win, the Raiders open the season 1-0 and will next be in action on September 18, 2021, as well when they welcome Baldwin-Wallace to town to open their Ohio Athletic Conference schedule. The game is set for a 1:30 P.M. kickoff and coverage on 91.1 WRMU will start at 12:30 P.M. with the Aultman Alliance Community Hospital Pregame Show.