Saturday, November 2, 2013

King’s upends Warriors in final seconds

King's scores with 9 seconds on the clock to upend Lycoming
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Junior Craig Needhammer (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn) leapt over the pile to put the Lycoming College football team ahead with 46 seconds left, but just 39 seconds later, King’s College answered to help it to a 28-24 Middle Atlantic Conference win at McCarthy Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 2.
The win by King’s (5-3 overall, 5-2 MAC) helped shake loose a three-way tie at the top of the conference, leaving Lebanon Valley in sole possession of first place at the end of the day, as the Dutchmen held on for a 34-21 overtime victory against Delaware Valley. Albright posed a 33-19 win over Widener to knock the Pride from first and creating a three-team tie for second with King’s and Lycoming (5-3 overall, 5-2 MAC).

One week after a game-tying drive that ate nine minutes of clock against Albright, the Warriors took over at their own 37-yard line with 6:51 left and ate six minutes of clock on a 15-play drive to take a 24-21 lead. The Warriors faced fourth down twice, with junior quarterback Tyler Jenny (Coalport, Pa./Glendale) finding junior John Sibel (Morrisville, Pa./Pennsbury) for six yards the first time and then Jenny found senior Matt Atkinson(Media, Pa./Penncrest) on fourth-and-12 from the King’s 26 to extend the drive. On third-and-11 from the 15, Jenny found Sibel for 12 yards, getting the ball to the three, where Needhammer crossed the goalline three plays later.

After the kickoff was returned to the King’s 37, sophomore John Ciurlino (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) and junior Braden Zeiner (Whitehall, Pa./Whitehall-Coplay) got in on a sack. An incompletion made it third-and-17, but the Monarchs completed two passes to get the ball to the 39-yard line, where Tyler Hartranft found Justin Burke over the middle for the winning score with nine seconds left.

The Warriors started the game with a 12-play, 65-yard drive, as Needhammer dominated the drive, rushing for 22 yards on six carries before Jenny found him open for a three-yard score with 8:30 left in the first quarter. King’s responded with its own eight-play, 75-yard drive, with Kyle McGrath scoring from one-yard out to tie the game.

Lycoming held the ball for the rest of the first quarter, bringing the ball down to the King’s three-yard line during a 10-play hike, but the drive stalled when Needhammer was stopped behind the line on second down and an incompletion on third down set up a 23-yard field goal from senior Zack Czap (Phillipsburg, Pa./Phillipsburg-Osceola).

After getting King’s off the field, the Warriors next drive took just four plays, with Jenny finding sophomore Corey Talerico (Moosic, Pa./Riverside) on a deep shot, scoring from 36 yards out.

King’s responded on the next drive, though, with Hartranft finding Kempa for a 51-yard completion to get the ball to the 11-yard line and three plays later, the dup connected again on a nine-yard touchdown. The Monarchs took the lead on the first drive of the second half, going 89 yards on 10 plays before Hartranft found Jay Thomas for a three-yard touchdown to take a 21-17 lead.

King’s had a pair of chances to extend the lead thanks to a blocked punt and a fumble, but the Lycoming defense stood tall each time. Early in the fourth quarter, the Warriors went on an 11-play drive to get inside the King’s 40, but penalties and a sack ended the drive. After a King’s three-and-out, Lycoming went on their six-minute drive to set up the dramatic end.

Needhammer finished with 24 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown rushing and three catches for 35 yards and a touchdown. Jenny completed 21-of-34 passing for 249 yards and two touchdowns. Atkinson caught eight passes for 84 yards and Sibel caught seven for 53.

McGrath rushed 14 times for 47 yards and a score and caught six passes for 42 yards. Hartranft completed 19-of-27 passing for 295 yards and three touchdowns. Kempa caught five passes for 115 yards and a touchdown and Burke caught three passes for 82 yards and the winning score.

Senior Tyler Denike (South Boardman, Mich./Forest Area) finished with eight tackles and senior Kabongo Bukasa (Sharon Hill, Pa./Academy Park) added seven tackles and a breakup. Junior Kyle Sullivan (Coatesville, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) also had seven stops. Zeiner finished with four tackles, two for a loss.

Bobby Russell led the Monarchs with nine stops, two for a loss, and both Nick Kaijala and Anthony Martuccio posted eight tackles. Kris Matthews added seven stops and a fumble recovery. Ron Garrett posted seven tackles and a sack.

The Warriors get back on the field on Saturday, Nov. 9, when they face FDU-Florham at1 p.m. at David Person Field in a MAC game.