Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Wilkes Football Travels to Cross-Town Rival King's for 18th Annual Mayor's Cup Game Saturday

A lycomingfootbal.com photo
Wilkes University travels cross-town to face MAC rival King’s College in the 18th annual Mayor’s Cup game at McCarthy Stadium. Wilkes enters the game following a heart-breaking 31-27 loss against Delaware Valley in its home finale. King’s saw its five-game win streak snapped at Widener University 52-20 in Chester, Pa.

Colonels coach Frank Sheptock (Bloomsburg ‘85) enters his 18th year on the Wilkes sideline, racking up a 107-80 (.572) record. With the 107 victories, Sheptock is the all-time winningest coach in school history, passing Colonel legend Rollie Schmidt’s (1962-1981) 90 wins three seasons ago. He reached the 100-win plateau last season with a 37-27 victory against FDU-Florham at Schmidt Stadium. 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.

 Jeff Knarr (East Stroudsburg 94’) enters his fourth season at the helm of the King’s College football program. He came to King’s after serving 11 years as an assistant coach at Muhlenberg where he was instrumental in helping the Mule program to six Centennial Conference championships and five NCAA Division III National Playoff berths, including berths in 2007 and 2008. During his 11 years at Muhlenberg, Knarr helped the Mules to a combined 78-40 record, including a 49-19 mark in Centennial Conference games. In addition, Muhlenberg won or shared six Centennial Conference championships and earned five berths into the NCAA Division III National Playoffs in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2008.

This will mark the 28th meeting between the two schools as Wilkes holds a 21-6 advantage in the series. The Colonels are 13-4 against the Monarchs under Sheptock. Wilkes posted a 44-32 win in Edwardsville in last year’s meeting. The Colonels have captured the last three Mayor’s Cup games with the last King’s win coming in 2009 (33-16) at McCarthy Stadium.

Wilkes earned its 300th win in the program’s 68 years of existence in week 4 at Misericordia. The Colonels currently boast a 302-304-8 (.498) overall mark heading into today’s contest with King’s.

Going into today’s game against King’s, Sheptock’s 107 wins stands as the school’s all-time leader. Sheptock’s 107 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 187 career games, Sheptock has a winning percentage of .572.

• Wilkes has owned the cross-town rivalry between the neighboring schools holding a 21-6 series lead. The Colonels have also had their way with the Monarchs during the Mayor’s Cup games capturing 13 of the 17 contests since the inception in 1996. Wilkes has claimed the last three contests including a 44-32 win last year at Schmidt Stadium.

• Sophomore running back Patrick Ingulli ran for over 100+ yards (130) for the second consecutive game in the loss against Delaware Valley as Wilkes rushed for a total of 230 yards against the Aggies defense. It brings Ingulli’s career total to 1,397 yards. He passed Courtney McFarland ‘89 (1,353 yards) for eleventh all-time on the school’s rushing list. Ingulli has a rushed for 73.5 yards per-game through 19 career games.

• Senior All-MAC linebacker Tate Moore-Jacobs continues to rack up the tackles finishing with nine stops against Delaware Valley. With the nine tackles, Moore-Jacobs currently has 445 career tackles over his four-year stint in the Navy and Gold. Moore-Jacobs has reached double-digit tackles in 29 of 39 career games. He also reached the 100-tackle plateau for the third season at Wilkes.

• Rookie receiver David Claybrook went over the 100+ yard mark for the third time this season against Delaware Valley. He finished with five receptions for 106 yards and one touchdown, a 54-yard strike. He also used his feet to hurt the defense rushing three times for 57 yards.

• Freshman quarterback Taylor Young finished his sixth career start against Delaware Valley with a 12-for-21 performance through the air for 159 yards and one score. He also ran eight times for 14 yards and one touchdown.

• The Wilkes ground attack has steadily improved as the year has progressed. The Colonels have rushed for over 200 yards the past two games including a season-high 335 total yards on the ground in the week eight win at FDU-Florham. For the year, Wilkes averages 170.6 yards per-game on the ground. Wilkes finished second in the conference last season averaging 232.4 yards per-game and led the league in 2011 (242.8 yards per-contest).

• Rookie wide receiver David Claybrook has emerged as one of the top outside threats in the league posting 32 receptions for 466 yards (11th in the MAC) and three scores. His 58.2 yards per-game receiving ranks 10th in the conference. Claybrook is averaging over 4.1 receptions per-game through eight games played for Wilkes. He showed his versatility against Delaware Valley last week rushing for 57 yards on three carries while catching five balls for 106 more yards. The rookie has also thrown for a touchdown this season, a 65-yard passing score to Jonathan Conklin against Stevenson in week seven.

• In the special teams department, Jonathan Conklin and Mason Smith are providing positive yardage in the kickoff return and punt return game for Wilkes. Conklin is averaging 15.4 yards per-kick return in seven attempts while Smith averages 24.7 yards per-return in 15 tries. Smith went for a season-high 96-yard return to open the game at Albright leading to a Colonels score. Conklin averages 6.7 yards per-punt return, returning 25 punts for 168 yards.

• The Colonels defense has been using a bend but not break style allowing 22.9 (5th in the MAC) points per-game, but using turnovers (9 interceptions/15 fumble recoveries) 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 nine interceptions and forcing a MAC-high 18 fumbles, with 15 being recovered by the Colonels. Teams are also converting just 45 percent (58-129) of the time on 3rd down and 28 percent (5/18) on fourth down. Wilkes forced one fumble against Delaware Valley, recovering deep in DVC territory. In the Colonels last five games, the defense has caused nine fumbles (recovering seven) and four interceptions.

• Tate Moore-Jacobs is the league’s top tackler averaging 11.1 stops per-game. His 49 total solo stops rank fourth in the MAC, while his 51 assisted tackles ranks second in the conference.

• King’s ranks fifth in the MAC in scoring offense averaging 28.6 points per-game. The Monarchs feature a balanced offense using both the run and aerial attack to score points. They average 122.9 yards per-game on the ground and 221.4 yards per-game through the air (4th in the MAC).

• The Monarchs feature the MAC’s tenth leading rusher in Kyle McGrath who averages 69.2 yards per-game totaling 623 yards on 179 carries and eight touchdowns. He has went for over 100+ yards in two of the nine games he has played in including a season-high 151 yards and three scores at Misericordia.

• Quarterback Tyler Hartranft leads the Monarchs under center throwing for 1,901 yards and 15 touchdowns in nine games. He is averaging 211.2 yards per-game, ranking fifth in the MAC in the category. His 15 touchdown passes are tied for tops in the league.

• The King’s defense is much improved in 2013 although they rank eighth in the MAC allowing 31.3 points per-game. The Monarchs feature seven players who have totaled 40+ tackles and five players with 50+ stops in nine games.

• Defensive end Ron Garrett has been the story on defense for King’s posting 57 tackles and 4.0 sacks while scoring four defensive touchdowns (fumble recoveries).