Saturday, September 6, 2014

Lycoming Football - Needhammer’s record highlights rout in Stagg Hat game

Senior Craig Needhammer tied the school's career rushing touchdown mark thanks to three scores against Susquehanna on Saturday.(Photo by John Green)
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Senior Craig Needhammer (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn) needed just one game In his senior season to tie the Lycoming College football team’s record for career rushing touchdowns, as he hit paydirt three times to give him 29 in his career to lead a 42-13 rout of Susquehanna University in the Stagg Hat Trophy game on a muggy Saturday, Sept. 6, in front of 3,087 fans at David Person Field.

“The record is great, but it is just icing on the cake,” Needhammer said. “We’re worried about coming out every Saturday and winning.”

Needhammer finished with 23 carries for 111 yards, his 11th career 100-yard game, and the three touchdowns, scoring on runs of one, one and two yards. He tied the school record for career rushing touchdowns with his final score with 12:10 left in the fourth quarter, giving the Warriors (1-0 overall) a four touchdowns lead. He tied the mark set by Tim Deasey from 1998-01.

7th year head Coach Mike Clark
“The last three years, our senior class had never scored a touchdown on the opening week before today,” Lycoming head coach Mike Clark said. “It was nice. We didn’t scrimmage very well, so I thought we took a step forward today.”

After a scoreless first quarter that featured just 116 yards of offense between the two teams, the Warriors exploded for four scored in the second period. The Warriors got on the board with a 12-play, 80-yard drive, with eight plays coming in the second quarter. Senior quarterback Tyler Jenny (Glasgow, Pa./Glendale) highlighted the drive with a 3-and-10 completion to senior John Sibel (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) for 19 yards to get the ball to the two-yard line. Two plays later, Needhammer dove into the end zone.

#1 John Sibel scores on blocked punt
After a three-and-out, the Warriors scored again when junior Phil Schron (Albrightsville, Pa./Marian Catholic) busted through the line and blocked the ensuing punt. Sibel picked up the ball and strolled into the end zone for a 10-yard score.

Just two plays later, senior Kyle Sullivan (Coatesville, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) picked off a pass at the 29-yard line and brought it back to the two, where sophomore Blake Bowman (Valley View, Pa./Tri-Valley) strolled into the end zone on the next play.

Susquehanna (0-1 overall) got a 76-yard kick return from Tommy Bluj to get the ball to the Lycoming 19-yard line, but a three-and-out that included a holding penalty helped Lycoming get ball back at the 28 after a failed field goal attempt. Needhammer dominated the ensuing eight-play, 72-yard drive, taking the ball five times for 51 yards and scoring on a one-yard rush, giving Lycoming a 28-0 lead with 5:28 left in the quarter.

Susquehanna drew back into the game with a pair of scores, one with 17 seconds left in the first half on a three-yard reception by Connor Decker after a botched punt by the Warriors gave Susquehanna the ball at the Lycoming six with 1:05 left in the half. In the third quarter, a 10-play, 85-yard drive made it 28-13 after Tim Wade, whose father Joe played at Lycoming, scored from three yards out.

#8 Jr WR Ryan Umpleby scores
Lycoming responded with a nine-play, 57-yard drive, though, scoring on a 16-yard passing play from Jenny to junior Ryan Umpleby (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) with 1:24 left in the third quarter. The Warriors added one more score in the fourth quarter on a seven-play, 77-yard drive, with Jenny hitting senior Cam Kriner (Montgomery, Pa./Montgomery) for 17 yards to highlight the drive before Needhammer scored on a two-yard plunge.

Lycoming rolled up 368 yards of total offense led by Jenny, who completed 15-of-25 passing for 230 yards and a touchdown. In the process, he became the eighth Warrior to cross 4,000 yards of total offense. Umpleby caught five passes for 94 yards and a score and Sibel added four for 54 yards. Bowman, as the backup running back, finished with 13 carries for 54 yards and a score.

Defensively, junior Brian Campbell (Drums, Pa./Hazleton Area) led the Warriors with a career-high nine tackles and 2.5 for loss. Senior Jimmy Nottingham (Hightstown, N.J./Hightstown) added a career-high eight tackles, one sack and 2.5 tackles for loss and senior Braden Zeiner (Whitehall, Pa./Whitehall-Coplay) notched career highs of seven tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. Senior Zack McMenamin (Prospect Park, Pa./Interboro) added a career-high seven stops and one tackle for loss. Both Sullivan and junior Matt Malecki (Stevensville, Md./Kent Island) each added five tackles and an interception as Lycoming allowed just 261 yards to the Crusaders.

Freshman Nick Crusco finished 13-of-25 for 148 yards and a touchdown for Susquehanna. He tossed two interceptions. Wade ran 25 times for 58 yards and a score and Denzell Walker made four catches for 60 yards. Jim Barry led the Crusaders with 14 tackles and a fumble recovery. Ian Murray added eight stops and C.J. Williams made seven.

The Warriors get back on the field on Saturday, Sept. 13, when they head to Albright for the Middle Atlantic Conference opener at 1 p.m.

-          The Warriors improved to 13-5 all-time in the Stagg Hat Trophy game.

-          Needhammer also became the fourth running back in school history to reach 2,500 career yards in the game.

-          The Warriors have won their last seven games at David Person Field, dating back to the 2012 season, the longest stretch since an eight-game home winning streak in 2007-08.