Saturday, September 21, 2013

Lycoming on all cylinders in 52-14 win over Misericordia

The Hammer - Craig Needhammer scores on big run (Dick Hostrander Photo)
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – A six touchdown first-half, led by 182 rushing yards and three scores from junior Craig Needhammer (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn), helped the Lycoming College football team cruise to a 52-14 win over Misericordia University in Middle Atlantic Conference action on a rain-soaked Saturday afternoon, Sept. 21, at David Person Field.

Needhammer, who rushed just 16 times, moved into a tie for eighth in school history with Mike Santoleri (1979-82) with 19 career rushing touchdowns.
“He’s really good,” Lycoming’s head coach Mike Clark said. “For the first two years, he was really productive as a back-up and now he is the primary guy.  I think we’re starting to see his potential. He needs to touch the ball 20 times a game for us to be good.”

Junior quarterback Tyler Jenny (Coalport, Pa./Glendale) added another solid outing, completing 9-of-12 passing for 179 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for one before being replaced in the lineup at halftime. He was intercepted once.

The Warriors (2-1 overall, 2-0 MAC) got on the board after receiving the kickoff, marching 37 yards on six plays before Jenny plunged over from the one-yard line. Sophomore Ryan Umpleby (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) got Lycoming started with a 61-yard kickoff return to the Misericordia 37.

On the next drive, Misericordia drove 84 yards on eight plays before Needhammer broke for a 21-yard touchdowns run.

The Warriors were again moving down the field on the next drive, but Phil Arnold picked off a pass at the Misericordia 48-yard line and returned it 52 yards for a pick-six.

The momentum for the Cougars (0-3 overall, 0-2 MAC) was short-lived, though, as Lycoming scored on the next drive, covering 73 yards in six plays, with senior Matt Atkinson (Media, Pa./Penncrest) scoring on a seven-yard slant.

In the second quarter, Needhammer broke loose on touchdown runs of 23 and 36 yards and Jenny found Arkinson on a 43-yard post for a score on Lycoming’s three touches of the ball to take a 42-7 lead into the break.

The Warriors relied heavily on the run and reserves in the second half, with senior Matt McGinley (Ashland, Pa./Tri-Valley) completing just two passes in as many attempts while serving behind center for most of the half. He tossed a third-quarter, 11-yard touchdown pass to junior John Sibel (Morrisville, Pa./Pennsbury).

In the fourth quarter, junior Zach Fannin (Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield) connected on a 27-yard field goal to give the Warriors’ 45-point lead. Misericordia drove 70 yards on the ensuing drive, scoring on a rush by Ryan Kurtz from one-yard out with 10:01 left.

After that, the Warriors held the ball for the final 10 minutes, rushing the ball 15 times before the clock expired.

Freshman Blake Bowman (Valley View, Pa./Tri-Valley) rushed 18 times for 83 yards and sophomore Ethan Jeffries (Edison, N.J./J.P. Stevens) added three carries for 35 yards. Atkinson finished with three catches for 68 yards and two scores and Umpleby added four catches for 66 yards.

Kurtz ran 13 times for 48 yards and a touchdown and Jeff Puckett, who entered the game as the national leader in rushing at 230.0 yards per game, finished with 15 carries for 43 yards. Puckett also completed 4-of-11 passing for 29 yards. He was intercepted twice.

Sophomore Phil Schron (Albrightsville, Pa./Marian Catholic) led the Warriors with eight tackles and sophomore Brian Campbell (Drims, Pa./Hazleton Area) added six. Senior Dwight Hentz(Halifax, Pa./Halifax Area) and junior Braden Zeiner (Whitehall, Pa./Whitehall-Coplay) added five tackles and 0.5 sacks. Sophomore John Ciurlino (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) added four tackles and a sack. Junior Ryan Mihoci (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional) added a fumble recovery and an interception.

Tim Martin and Dan Hart each added eight tackles and Phil Arnold posted seven tackles and an interception for Misericordia. Ben Muschlitz added a sack.

In all, the Warriors finished with 528 total yards , including 347 on the ground, as they held the ball for 36:45. Misericordia was held to 197 total yards, including 157 on the ground, the lowest total of the season for the Cougars after entering the game second in the nation in rushing.

The Warriors get back in action on Saturday, Sept. 28, when they head to No. 24 Widener for a1 p.m. tilt.