Presidents shut out Yellow Jackets to close out 2021 season

The Waynesburg University football team has not scored a single point against Washington and Jefferson since November 16, 2019.

This past Saturday afternoon on W&J’s senior day resulted in the second consecutive shutout against the Presidents. The final score was 55-0 in Washington, Pa.

As senior linebacker Bret Hicks put it: “They scored points, we didn’t score points.”

After losing the previous week to Carnegie Mellon, W&J’s chances of a berth into the NCAA Tournament were lost. The Presidents, however, took all their frustration out on the Yellow Jackets at Cameron Stadium.

W&J took 12 plays to compile a 64-yard scoring drive on the first offensive possession of the game. Junior running back Joey Koroly sneaked it into the endzone from one yard out to make it 7-0 early.

Although the second drive for the Presidents ended in a turnover-on-downs, W&J would score nothing but touchdowns on the next four offensive drives.

The score was 35-0 at halftime, but the Presidents continued in their scoring ways by finding the endzone on their first three possessions of the second half.

“We didn’t handle adversity well,” Waynesburg head coach Chris Smithley said. “We made a lot of mistakes, a lot of things that we practiced all week to the tee. On gameday, we didn’t do it the way that we had practiced it.”

The dynamic duo of senior quarterback Justin Heacock and sophomore quarterback Colton Jones combined for an even 300 yards through the air. Heacock threw two touchdowns while Jones found the endzone once.

“It really wasn’t about them as much as it was about us not doing what we needed to do,” Smithley said. “That’s something we [have] to improve on in the offseason and not have those things happen next year.”

Senior running back EJ Thompson made the most of his senior day by rushing for 85 yards and two touchdowns.

For the Yellow Jackets, their senior running back Nick Hall rushed for 85 yards as well, but junior running back Justin Flack only had 17 yards on 14 attempts.

In terms of receiving, senior wide receiver Nick Hrivnak was the leader in this category with 68 yards on only one catch, which ended up being a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Andrew Wolf finished his college career with 66 yards on five receptions and a touchdown.

The Yellow Jackets had 46 total passing yards, as sophomore quarterback Trevor Miller went 7/ 23 with two interceptions.

In spite of the results, it was an emotional afternoon on the turf after the game, as the Waynesburg seniors walked arm-in-arm to the locker room one last time.

“Take every snap like it’s your last,” Hicks said. “It’s just surreal. You know it’s coming; you just never want it to.”

Smithley expressed his appreciation for this core of seniors.

“We’re grateful and thankful for these guys, the time and commitment they put in,” Smithley said. “They’ve definitely been a component in us, moving this program in a different direction on and off the field.”

The Yellow Jackets finished the 2021 season at 2-8 overall and 2-7 in Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) play. For now, Waynesburg will have to wait until the 2022 football season to suit up for its next game.

The Yellow Jacket Print Newspaper is back for a Special Fall 2021 Edition.

Pick up your copy around campus Friday, December 3! Copies will also be available at select locations around the community. Happy holidays and happy reading!