Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Good Run for the Poll-Busters

Craig Needhammer dodging tacklers
A Good Run
Junior Craig Needhammer has begun to quickly ascend the program's record books. The 5-7 running back has posted back-to-back 100-yard rushing efforts, notching 130 against Wilkes and 182 against Misericordia, becoming the first player since Josh Kleinfelter in 2010 to achieve that feat. His three rushing touchdowns against Misericordia also left him one shy of becoming the eighth player in school history to post 20 in a career and 102 all-purpose yards shy of becoming the 10th player to reach 2,500 in a career.

Mike Clark's Warriors have gained a reputation as ranking killers, as they have knocked four teams from the national rankings in his five years as head coach. In his first year at the helm in 2008, the Warriors downed No. 22 Delaware Valley, 10-7, knocking the Aggies from the poll. In 2010, the team did it again, shocking No. 13 Ithaca, 26-24, to knock it from the poll. In 2011, the Warriors picked off their third ranked opponent in Clark's tenure, knocking No. 22 Rowan from the polls with an 8-6 win. Last year, the Warriors knocked No. 22 Delaware Valley from the rankings again, beating the Aggies, 24-14.

At(kinson) the goalline
Senior Matt Atkinson has found the endzone four times in the last two games, scoring twice each against Wilkes and Misericordia. The wide receiver/option quarterback is one of the most versatile players that the Warriors have, and in three games, he has recorded a team-best 238 receiving yards and 18 catches. The 6-2 Penncrest graduate is the first Warrior receiver to post back-to-back two-touchdown games since Tim Dumas did it against Albright and Delaware Valley in 1999.

MAC Coaches Pick Warriors first
Three Preseason All-Americans and seven returning all-conference players helped the Warriors top the 2013 MAC Preseason Football Coaches' Poll with 76 points.

Wise's time
After assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Steve Wiser '74 became just the second football coach in MAC history to reach 200 career conference wins, he is closing in on another milestone. Since Wiser joined the program in 1970 as a linebacker, he has helped the Warriors win 297 games. As a player, he helped the team win nine games from 1970-73 and since 1974, he has helped win 288 as an assistant coach.