By: Colin Rhodes
For The Yellow Jacket
Third string quarterback Trevor Miller made his first collegiate start for the Waynesburg Yellow Jacket football team against the Saint Vincent Bearcats on Saturday, Oct. 23.
This comes after sophomore quarterback Josh Gibbons quit the team after a tough performance against the Westminster Titans the previous week.
Miller impressed in the beginning of the game after throwing a 48-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver Dakota Romantino.
Romantino has been playing with a cast on his left arm the past three games.
The touchdown and successful extra point by sophomore kicker Keegan Raabe put the Yellow Jackets up 7-0 in the first quarter.
Saint Vincent had the chance to score a field goal shortly after the touchdown, but freshman defensive back Brennan Boron of Waynesburg blocked it, keeping the Bearcats off the board for the time being.
It would not, however, stay that way for long.
After senior linebacker Kyle Coombe intercepted Miller’s pass and returned it to the Waynesburg 33, Bearcats’ junior quarterback Brady Walker completed a 34-yard touchdown pass to graduate student Phil Harding to tie the game late in the first quarter 7-7.
With eight minutes left in the second quarter, Walker threw his second touchdown of the game on a 41-yard pass to sophomore receiver Molayo Irefin to take the 14-7 lead.
An interception by freshman defensive back Marvelle Cromerdie would set up the Saint Vincent offense once again. Walker would throw his third touchdown of the game to graduate student receiver Andre Dixon, extending the lead to 21-7.
Miller was intercepted a second time by Cromerdie on the following drive, which was Cromerdie’s second interception of the game.
The Bearcats marched down the field to the Waynesburg seven before being stopped and forced to kick a field goal before halftime. The kick by freshman kicker Adam Koscielicki was good from 24 yards out to make it 24-7 going into the second half.
The opening drive of the second half saw Walker lead Saint Vincent to another score, a 29-yard touchdown pass to Irefin, Irefin’s second and Walker’s fourth of the game.
The touchdown also tied Walker with the school record for most touchdown passes in a career, held by his head coach, Aaron Smetanka, with 31 touchdowns.
The Yellow Jackets would finally get in range to score again, but Miller threw a fourth interception Coombe obtained his second interception at the Saint Vincent one-yard line.
Walker, having the chance to break the school record of passing touchdowns, got the Bearcats to the Waynesburg 15 before the Waynesburg defense stopped them.
Koscielecki’s kick from 33 yards away was no good, however, meaning Waynesburg took over on downs.
With the ensuing drive going into the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets made it to the Saint Vincent four-yard line, forced to go for it on 4th and Goal. Miller’s pass to sophomore tight end Andrew Elerick went over his head, and Waynesburg finished the drive empty handed.
Walker was subbed out in the middle of the next drive for senior quarterback Devin Gleason, who threw the final touchdown pass of the game to freshman receiver Jeffery Downs II on a 24-yard pass. Saint Vincent surprisingly recovered an onside kick to keep the ball, kneeling it to end the game victorious with a score of 38-7.
Trevor Miller finished the game 18 of 32 for 191 yards, one touchdown, and four interceptions in his first career start. Dakota Romantino had 11 of those completions for 142 yards and the lone touchdown.
“Trevor competed this week for the job,” Waynesburg Head Coach Christ Smithley said. “And he won it. He deserved to get those reps, and I’m proud of him for stepping up in a situation.”
When asked about what he hoped to build on in his performance, Miller said he hoped to “get the offense riled up and get the ball down the field for the next three games.”
“We shot ourselves in the foot a lot.” Coach Smithley went on to say. “We made a lot of mistakes on offense that turned into those turnovers in the first half. I wouldn’t put any of that on Trevor…. It’s his first start in college football. It doesn’t mean I’m not proud of him and I don’t believe in him. I would assume he’ll be our starter next week too.”
Waynesburg Travels to Beaver Falls, Pa. on Oct. 30 to face the Geneva Golden Tornadoes. Start time is at 7 p.m..