Thursday, September 26, 2013


Wilkes Colonels (1-2, 0-2) vs. Misericordia Cougars (0-3, 0-2)
Saturday, September 28, 2013 - 1:00 p.m.
Mangelsdorf Field

Wilkes University travels to Misericordia University for the first time in school history as the two local schools play in the second matchup of the series in Dallas, Pa. Wilkes is coming off a 21-0 loss against No. 24 Widener, while Misericordia dropped a 52-14 decision at Lycoming last week.

Colonels coach Frank Sheptock (Bloomsburg ‘85) enters his 18th year on the Wilkes sideline, racking up a 104-77 (.574) record. With the 104 victories, Sheptock is the all-time winningest coach in school history, passing Colonel legend Rollie Schmidt’s (1962-1981) 90 wins two seasons ago. Sheptock has led the Colonels to two NCAA and seven ECAC playoff berths during his tenure, along with a MAC championship (2006). Wilkes made the NCAA playoffs in 2005 and 2006, going 19-4 overall, including a 42-0 win over Washington & Lee in the first round of the 2006 playoffs. Since 1996, Sheptock has coached 12 All-Americans and 133 All-MAC performers.

 Mark Ross (Penn State ‘90) enters his second season at the helm of the Misericordia Football program after going 0-10 in its inaugural season in 2012. A native of Athens, Pa., Ross spent 10 seasons as an assistant coach at Ithaca College prior to his start at Misericordia. A graduate of Penn State with a degree in secondary education, Ross also spent four seasons as an assistant coach at East Stroudsburg where he earned a master’s degree in sport management. The 14th sport added since Misericordia joined the NCAA Division III in 1992, football brings MU’s total number of varsity intercollegiate offerings to 23. Misericordia joins Albright as the only MAC institutions to offer each of the conference sponsored varsity sports.

This will mark the second meeting between the two schools, as Wilkes opened the series with a 45-13 win in Edwardsville, Pa. last season.

The Colonels host Lebanon Valley College next Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Schmidt Stadium on Homecoming 2013. Prior to kickoff with the Dutchmen, the 1993 MAC Championship football team will be honored, and at halftime Wilkes will recognize all of its former/current athletes on the MAC All-Century Teams. Wilkes holds a 23-18 lead in the series with LVC entering next week’s contest.

Wilkes will be looking for win number 300 in the program’s 68 years of existence. The Colonels currently boast a 299-301-8 (.498) overall mark heading into today’s contest with Misericordia.

The Ralston Athletic Complex is currently in Phase III of a $3 million renovation, which has seen a new synthetic turf along with lights and a state-of-the-art press box added to Schmidt Stadium. A new bleacher system and comfort facilities will complete the project.

In addition to the Colonels football team, Wilkes men’s and women’s soccer along with field hockey will play on the turf in the fall, while the lacrosse team uses the field in the spring.

Going into today’s game against Lycoming, Sheptock’s 104 wins stands as the school’s all-time leader. Sheptock’s 104 career wins has been built up over 17 seasons of work and includes a program-record 11 wins in 2006. He reached the 100-win plateau last season in a 37-27 victory against FDU-Florham on September 29. In 181 career games, Sheptock has a winning percentage of .574.

• Wilkes and Misericordia meet for the first time in school history in Dallas, Pa. in football as the Cougars enter their second season at the varsity level.

• Sophomore running back Patrick Ingulli ran for 102 yards in the game against Widener breaking the 100-yard mark for the first time this season and fourth in his two-year career while bringing his career total to 811 yards, just 189 shy of 1,000 for his career in just 13 games (62.3 yards per-game).

• Senior All-MAC linebacker Tate Moore-Jacobs was all over the field last Saturday finishing with a career-high 17 tackles. Moore-Jacobs currently has 389 career tackles, 11 short of 400 for his four-year stint in the Navy and Gold. Moore-Jacobs has reached double-digit tackles in 26 of 33 career games. Moore-Jacobs was named to the MAC Honor Roll for his performance during the week.

• Wilkes managed just 165 yards of total offense (107 rushing/58 passing) in the loss against No. 24 Widener last Saturday, well below its average entering the contest (312.5 ypg).

• The Wilkes ground game continued to struggle for the second straight game in the loss against Widener totaling just 107 yards on 47 attempts (2.3 yards per-rush). The Colonels still rank fourth in the MAC averaging 159.0 yards per-game on the ground.

• With senior quarterback Tyler Berntsen out with an injury sustained in the first drive against Widener, freshman Taylor Young will look to exploit the Cougar defense which is allowing a MAC-high 545.7 yards of total offense per-game (303.7 rushing/242.0 passing). Young showed glimpses of his dual threat ability against Widener, using his speed to move around the pocket and find open receivers.

• The Colonel receivers and tight ends look to bounce back against Misericordia after posting five combined receptions against Widener (58 total yards receiving).

• The Colonels defense has been using a bend but not break style allowing 27.0 points per-game, but using turnovers and situational stops to get off the field and setup the Wilkes offense.
• Wilkes has been winning the turnover battle thus far this season collecting five interceptions and forcing seven fumbles, all being recovered by the Colonels. Teams are also just converting 51 percent (21-41) of the time on 3rd down and 25 percent (2/8) on fourth down. The Wilkes secondary picked off three Widener passes and the defensive line caused one fumble last Saturday.

• Tate Moore-Jacobs is the league’s top tackler averaging 14.7 stops per-game. His 22 total solo stops rank first in the MAC, while his 22 assisted tackles also lead the conference.

• The Misericordia offense has grown leaps and bounds in just one short season of existence using the ground game as its cornerstone. Through three games of 2013, the Cougars lead the MAC in rushing yards per-game averaging over 371.3 yards per-game scoring eight touchdowns on 208 attempts.

• Quarterback Jeff Puckett leads the conference averaging 167.7 yards per-game on the ground. He has carried the ball 75 times for 503 yards (6.7 per-carry) scoring six touchdowns including a 54-yard run for a score. His six touchdowns on the ground leads the MAC.

• Although the ground game leads the MAC, the passing game has stumbled through the start of the season as Puckett has passed for just 49.3 yards per-game and the Cougars have only scored one touchdown through the air.

• The Misericordia defense is allowing a conference-high 52 points per-game. The Cougars have given up at least 42 points in each of its first three contests including a season-high 62 points in a season-debut loss against Gettysburg.

• The Cougars has struggled to stop the run all year allowing 303.7 yards per-game (last in the MAC) and 13 rushing touchdowns.

• Sophomore safety Ben Camacho is the Cougars top tackler posting 21 total tackles (0.5 tackles-for-loss) and one interception.