Football puts it all together in blowout win over Westminster

| Sports Reporter

Sophomore tailback Chris Castelluccio took the handoff from senior quarterback Stephen Sherman at the Blue Jays’ three-yard line, tiptoed left, followed his blockers and walked untouched into the endzone with 46 seconds to go in the first half.

Castelluccio’s run was Wash. U.’s first touchdown of the game, giving the Bears a 10-0 lead they would never give back.

The team rolled back to an even record Saturday night in front of a crowd of 2,128, who weathered the cold, rain and wind to see a 36-6 victory over Westminster College (2-2). Wash. U. (2-2) played its most complete game of the season, as the offense racked up 418 total yards while the defense forced four turnovers, giving head coach Larry Kindbom his 160th career victory.

“I think we put our first full game together, especially on defense,” said senior defensive lineman Greg Larson, who led the defense with seven tackles and 1.5 sacks. “With the exception of the one long touchdown, our secondary completely shut down the Westminster wide receivers. The linebackers were flowing to the ball really well, and the D-line had a great night in being able to get to the quarterback.”

Offensively, balance was the story: The Bears ran 32 passing plays and 42 running plays. Sherman threw for a career-high 229 yards and two touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Tom Gulyas caught the 100th pass of his career, finishing with six receptions for 88 yards.

“The big night in the passing game can be attributed to the offensive line and the wide receivers,” Sherman said. “When the line is allowing me to stand comfortably in the pocket, we’re bound to have a big night. The entire receiving corps made tough catches all night and gained substantial yardage after the catch.”

Wash. U. took the lead with 4:49 left in the second quarter after sophomore Eric Chalifour connected on a 27-yard field goal, capping a seven-play, 47-yard drive. Earlier in the drive, Sherman completed a 43-yard pass to the Westminster 17-yard line to sophomore wide receiver Drew Sexton on third and 14.

“Our offensive line gave [Sherman] all the time he needed to go through his reads and make the right choices,” said Sexton, who finished with three catches for 74 yards and a touchdown. “The receivers found openings, and after that, it was just pitch and catch, the same as we work in practice.”

Sherman threw both of his touchdown passes in the third quarter. On the first, Sherman rolled out to his right and lobbed the ball to the corner of the endzone, where Sexton beat double coverage, leaped and caught the pass, getting a foot down for the touchdown. Later in the quarter, Sherman threw a 24-yard strike to junior Easton Knott, who made a diving catch in the back of the endzone.

“Every week, we have the same goal in mind, no matter who we play,” Sexton said. “We regrouped [from last week], and coach Kindbom kept telling us we were close. We were hungry for a big home win. It clicked with this team.”

Off this weekend, the Bears will take on No. 20 Wabash College on Saturday, Oct. 9, at Francis Field at 1 p.m. The Little Giants (3-0) are coming off a 31-14 win over the University of Chicago.

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