Football defeats Hiram 41–6 home

In the beginning of the third quarter Saturday, a light drizzle turned into a heavy rain for about 15 minutes, and that was about the only thing that went wrong in Carnegie Mellon’s 41–6 romp over Hiram College. The Tartans dominated on both sides of the ball at Gesling Stadium, outclassing the Terriers of Hiram. The Tartans evened their record at 2–2 with the win, stopping a two-game losing skid that started in Grove City ball game, returning the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown. With only 12 seconds run off the clock, first-year Christopher Garcia from Albuquerque, N.M. gave the Tartans an early lead. Senior Colin Marks knocked the extra point through the uprights to make it 7–0, and it was as close as the Terriers would make it all game.

“You want to set the tone early in every game, but this week it was crucial to do so,” said senior Clayton Crites. “Hiram had just come off their best start in school history and just pulled out an OT win over Kenyon. They believed they could compete with us, so we knew we had to show them otherwise. That kick return completely took the wind out of their sails from the get go, and it was all down hill from there. I think they were defeated from that point on.”

After the teams held each other scoreless for the rest of the first quarter, the second quarter began almost as disastrously as the first for Hiram.

Tartan junior Devin Murray recovered a fumble on the Terriers’ 16-yard line to set up Carnegie Mellon’s next scoring drive. Senior running back Ryan Phillips finished off the three-play, 16-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown rush. Marks’ extra point made it 14–0 with 13:25 remaining until halftime.

At the end of the half, Marks accounted for six points in less than one minute. The kicker knocked in a 34-yard field goal to cap off a 16-play, 77-yard drive that drained 7:08 off the clock. On the first play of Hiram’s ensuing possession, quarterback Trevor Henderson was intercepted by Tartan junior linebacker Aleksey Tigay. Marks capitalized for the Tartans, knocking another field goal home as time expired, this time from 23 yards out.

The defense took yet another shutout into halftime, turning in another impressive performance for the game. The Tartan defense held the Terriers to just 40 yards on the ground, allowing a paltry 1.6 yards per rush.

After the half, the Tartans never looked back, outgaining the Terriers in total yards by a margin of 335–178. As a team, Carnegie Mellon averaged 4.1 yards per rush and tallied a grand total of 229 yards on the ground. Production was spread around the team relatively evenly, with running backs Phillips and Anthony Ruzga both scoring touchdowns in the game. Ruzga was the Tartans’ leading rusher, carrying the ball 24 times for 96 yards. His rushing touchdown was his fourth of the season in as many games.

The Tartans will host Kenyon College Saturday at noon in Gesling Stadium.