From staff reports
PITTSBURGH – Start fast or get left behind.
Whitworth couldn’t overcome a two-touchdown deficit, and Carnegie Mellon secured a 35-17 win over the Pirates on Friday in the season-opening football game for both programs.
Whitworth quarterback Jaedyn Prewitt passed for 404 yards, and the Pirates rolled up 456 yards of offense, but Carnegie Mellon never trailed after building a 14-0 advantage in the second quarter.
Tartans quarterback Ben Mills connected with Kris Hughes for an 18-yard touchdown pass and a 7-0 lead with just under 13 minutes remaining before halftime.
Hughes raced 99 yards for another receiving touchdown on Carnegie Mellon’s next possession to boost the margin to 14-0.
Whitworth’s Logan Kitselman plunged into the end zone from the 1-yard line to pull the Pirates within 14-7 with 2:09 left in the half.
Whitworth’s defense forced a three-and-out, and the Pirates used six plays to set up Al Campos-Ontiveros’ 40-yard field goal on the final play of the second quarter to draw within 14-10 at halftime.
The Tartans opened the second half with Tre Vasiliadis’ 12-yard run for a touchdown and a 21-10 lead.
The Pirates clawed within 21-17 when Prewitt located Evan Liggett for a 2-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds left in the third quarter.
Vasiliadis romped 11 yards for a touchdown to increase Carnegie Mellon’s lead to 28-17 midway through the fourth quarter.
The Tartans sealed the outcome when Kevin Cooke intercepted a Prewitt pass and returned it 43 yards for a touchdown with 5:44 left.
Prewitt completed 34 of 47 passes and was intercepted twice. Dillon Kuk reeled in seven receptions for 149 yards, and Liggett had eight catches for 110 yards.
Mills was 15-for-32 passing for 354 yards for the Tartans. Vasiliadis rushed for 152 yards on 28 carries.
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