College Football: Sivek scores 4 TDs, hits 1,000-yard rushing mark
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Carnegie Mellon running back Travis Sivek was not aware he was 2 yards shy of 1,000 for the season when his number was called on fourth-and-goal from the 2 early in the third quarter of the Tartans' 44-6 shellacking of Bethany yesterday afternoon.
But the irony ultimately was sweet as Sivek's afternoon ended on a 2-yard touchdown run -- his fourth of the game -- to make the junior the second player in Carnegie Mellon history to gain 1,000 yards in a season.
"I never knew a [2-yard] carry would do it, but it was great to do it anyway," Sivek said. "I give all the credit to the other backs and the offensive line. Football is a great team game, and, without them, honestly, there's no way I would have gotten [the yardage] I did."
Sivek's 139 yards were the centerpiece of a relentless running attack Carnegie Mellon (9-0) used on Senior Day to continue its quest for its first undefeated season and NCAA Division III playoff berth since 1990.
And the thought of having a chance to close out a 10-0 regular season with a victory Saturday at Thiel means more to Sivek than joining Scott Barnyak's 1990 campaign as the school's only 1,000-yard season or moving ahead of Barnyak and into second place on the Tartans' all-time rushing list as he did on the game's first drive yesterday.
Sivek has 2,741 yards for his career -- 169 shy of Mike Campie's all-time mark with at least another game and an entire season to go in his career.
"Travis is the type of guy that, when he heard he broke 1,000 yards, he went over to his offensive line and shook their hands," Carnegie Mellon coach Rich Lackner said. "He's a very unselfish man. We're not into personal stats here; we're into team accomplishments, and good things happen if your team performs well and wins. One of the good things that happened today is a young man broke 1,000 yards."
It certainly wasn't, however, the only good thing. Senior Aaron Lewis had two interceptions, and Colby Whitman ran for two touchdowns for Carnegie Mellon, which clinched its first University Athletic Association championship since 1997 with a win against Washington (Mo.) last week.
The Tartans scored touchdowns on their first four drives and did not punt until the score was 42-0. Even when Bethany (4-5) scored on Matt Blumer's 27-yard touchdown pass to Milton Joyner, the Tartans found a way to earn points. The extra point was blocked by Michael Reggie and recovered by Lewis, who lateralled it to fellow co-captain James Rogers, who ran 68 yards into the opposite end zone for two points.
"It's always nice to have interceptions as a defensive back, but our job was easy because the defensive line created just unbelievable pressure," said Lewis. "It's great to do it in what it is possibly my last home game here."
If the Tartans receive an at-large bid to the playoffs, it is possible they could host a first-round game.
First Published November 5, 2006 12:00 am