Ron Sermarini broke a conference record with his 52nd and 53rd career touchdown passes yesterday as visiting Western Maryland won its 23rd straight league game by defeating Gettysburg, 44-0, in the Centennial Conference opener for both teams.
Western Maryland (3-0), ranked No. 7 in the Division III coaches poll, blanked Gettysburg (0-3) for the first time since 1927 and posted its fourth shutout in five regular-season games dating to last year.
Sermarini, the conference's Offensive Player of the Year in 1997 and '98, completed 15 of 20 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns in more than two quarters of play. He climbed into the No. 2 spot in league annals in both passing yards (5,813) and total offense (6,603) behind his Green Terror predecessor, Brian Van Deusen (1992-95).
Junior wideout Ryan Smith hauled in a career-high nine passes for 198 yards, including a 69-yard touchdown, the first of his career.
All-American fullback Paul Smith rushed for 103 yards on 27 carries for the Bullets. Western Maryland hasn't trailed a regular-season opponent since its 1997 season finale against Johns Hopkins. It is going after a third straight Centennial Conference title and NCAA playoff berth.
The Green Terror defense and special teams managed to outscore Gettysburg on their own. Linebacker Matt Meiklejohn ran back an interception for a second-quarter touchdown, and Rory Maher returned a blocked punt for a third-quarter score after Chris Hamilton broke through to block the kick.
Salisbury State 21, Methodist 6: Senior running back Myron Dent rushed for 142 yards and two touchdowns to power the Sea Gulls (1-1, 1-0) past the visiting Monarchs (0-3, 0-2) in Atlantic Central Conference action.
Methodist's Carl Floyd opened the scoring with a 6-yard touchdown run at 6: 44 of the first quarter.
Salisbury tied the score on its next possession on Dent's 20-yard touchdown run.
Dent added his second touchdown, a 2-yard run, 3: 51 into the second quarter on a seven-play, 46-yard drive.
Frostburg State 38, W. Virginia Tech 21: DeNelle Hale rushed for 192 yards and one touchdown and Rodeny Miller added two touchdowns to lead the Bobcats past the host Golden Bulls (0-4) in Montgomery, W.Va.
Frostburg rushed for 277 yards. Tech was held to 75.
Tech's quarterback Damon Puckott ran in one touchdown and passed for another. He completed 9-of-26 passes for 104 yards.
Frostburg QB Jason Henry completed 6-of-7 for 114.
Tech saw its losing streak extended to 26 games.
Michael Casto caught a 17-yard pass from Damon Puckott to cap an 11-play, 73-yard drive to give West Virginia Tech the first and only lead it would enjoy, 7-0.
Frostburg scored four touchdowns to build a 28-7 lead with 5: 53 left in the third quarter.
The Bobcats totaled 393 offensive yards, 92 more than the Golden Bears.
Bowie State 23, Johnson C. Smith 19: Quarterback Jimmy Whitehead connected with Michael Bryant in the left corner of the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds remaining to lift the visiting Bulldogs (2-1) over the Golden Bulls (0-3, 0-2) in Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association action.
Trailing 19-0, Bowie scored on its first possession of the second half. Bowie State drove 63 yards in 10 plays, capped by a 25-yard touchdown pass from Whitehead to Hemsely.
Four plays later, Ray Hawkins added a 3-yard touchdown run to cut J.C. Smith's lead to 19-14.