Thursday, September 25, 2014

Scouting Report reveals Lycoming will be challenged at Wilkes

QB Tyler Jenny scrambles for yardage in 2013 battle (Image: John Green)
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Having moved up a slot in the poll, the 22nd-ranked Lycoming College football team will look to start the season 4-0 for the first time since 2003 when it heads to Middle Atlantic Conference foe Wilkes on Saturday, Sept. 27.

The Warriors (3-0 overall, 2-0 MAC) are one of four undefeated teams left in the league, thanks to what has been an efficient offense and a standout defense. The offense is third in the league with an average of 32.0 points per game and the defense leads the league at 8.7.

Wilkes (1-2 overall, 1-1 MAC) are coming off a 54-35 loss to Delaware Valley on Sept. 27. Senior Jonathan Conklin caught one touchdown and threw for two in the game.

Warrior Notes
• With 35 career touchdowns scored (32 rushing, three receiving), senior Craig Needhammer is tied for the school record with by Tim Dumas (1996-99).

• Needhammer needs 88 more all-purpose yards to become the third player in school history to post 4,000 in a career.

• With 364 completions, senior Tyler Jenny needs to complete four more passes to move into the top five in school history in career pass completions.

• Senior John Sibel needs 87 more yards to become the 21st receiver in school history to reach 1,000 in a career. Junior Ryan Umpleby is 128 yards from the mark.

• The Warriors notched 11 tackles for loss against Susquehanna and King's. Lycoming posted 10 tackles for loss three times in 2010.

• Ten receivers caught a pass against King's, just one fewer than in the entire 2013 season.

Scouting Lycoming
Offense: Multiple/Pro-Style

The Warriors enter the week third in the Middle Atlantic Conference with a scoring average of 32.0 points per game, while the team's 362.0 yards of total offense also ranks third.

The Warriors are second in the league with a 161.49 passing efficiency, as senior quarterback Tyler Jenny has notched a 0.654 completion percentage. He is also third in the league in passing yards per game at 232.0.

Senior Craig Needhammer is third in the MAC in rushing, averaging 104.3 yards per game, while his six rushing touchdowns is tied for the league lead. Junior Ryan Umpleby is one of two receivers amongst the league's top 10, sitting fourth with 84.3 yards per game while senior John Sibel is seventh at 63.0.

Defense: 4-3
Having given up just three touchdowns in the first three games, the Warriors are amongst the top defenses in Division III early this year. They are 13th in the nation in scoring defense (8.7) and eighth in total defense (208.7).The squad leads the MAC in 3rd-down conversion percentage (.200), first downs allowed (37) and rushing defense (70.3).

The Warriors have been able to consistently pressure behind the line of scrimmage, as the team has notched 29.0 tackles for loss this year. Three Warriors are in the top 10 in the MAC in the category, with junior Cole Welham second in the league at 2.5, senior Jimmy Nottingham fifth with 1.5 per game and junior Brian Campbell ninth at 1.3 per game. Welham is also second in the league with 1.33 sacks per contest.

Junior Matt Malecki leads the team with 20 tackles while Campbell has posted 17 stops.

Scouting Wilkes
Offense: Spread

With a fast spread offense, Wilkes is running an Oregon-like offense under first-year head coach Trey Brown. Against Delaware Valley in week three, that fast offense led to 113 offensive plays and 524 yards of total offense.

Sophomore quarterback Ryan Dailey leads the team, as he is fourth in the conference in passing yards per game (203.3) and second in passing touchdowns (5). Dailey has completed 46-of-93 passing and he has been intercepted four times.

Junior running back P.J. Incremona leads the team with 112 yards on 32 carries and he has also scored three times. Five Wilkes receivers have at least 80 yards, led by senior tight end Jermy Hartman, who has caught six passes for 130 yards.

Defense: 4-2
The Colonels are ranked ninth in the MAC in scoring defense (31.7), ninth in total defense (368.3), 10th in rushing defense (226.0) and third in passing defense (142.3).

Wilkes' defense is paced by sophomore Tanner Stengel, who has recorded 26 tackles and a sack in the first three games. Senior linebacker Nick Gray has added 17 tackles and a team-high two sacks.

In the secondary, junior Marcus Leaf has led the team with 12 tackles and four pass breakups, while both junior Jared Powell and freshman Steven Padillas have each picked off passes. Senior Preseason All-American Omar Richardson has notched 11 tackles and two breakups.

The Hammer watch
Senior Craig Needhammer is on the verge of breaking more school records. He enters the Wilkes' game tied for the school's all-time touchdowns mark of 35 set by receiver Tim Dumas (1996-99) and is now just 12 points shy of John Phillips' record of 222 total points scored. A kicker, Phillips posted 132 point-after attempts and 30 field goals in his career. Needhammer is in full view of several other records as his 12 100-yard rushing games is three shy of the record of 15 set by Brian Thompson (1995-98). He is also 552 all-purpose yards shy of the school record of 4,474 set by Kleinfelter from 2007-10 and 871 rushing yards shy of Kleinfelter's mark of 3,665 yards.

Mr. 60
Senior Tyler Jenny is on pace to leave his own distinguished mark on the school's record book. The quarterback has posted a 18-5 (.773) record as a starter, which is the sixth-most wins in school history. In his 23 starts, Jenny has completed more than 60 percent of his passes in 18 games, helping the team to a 16-2 (.889) record in those games. Jenny is the school's all-time leader in completion percentage (63.0) and passing efficiency (145.19).

After the 42-13 win over Susquehanna in the season opener, Lycoming entered the Top 25 in the 23rd slot. The team moved into 22nd after the 28-13 win over King's on Sept. 20, the first time the team moved up in the national poll since the 2003 squad went from No. 18 to No. 11 between week 11 and the final poll of the season.

Junior Cole Welham led the defensive line with his standout play on the corner against King's, as he got in on six tackles for a loss and three sacks to earn the MAC Defensive Player of the Week award. He was credited with two half-sacks in the game with senior Jimmy Nottingham and two more of his 10 tackles in the game were made for no gain for King's. He also got better as the game went along, turning in 1.5 sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss in the fourth quarter.

Sum of all parts
In the past three years, the Warrior defensive line has featured two All-Americans and an all-region player. This season, the Warriors entered the year wondering who would follow in the footsteps. The answer, it turns out, has been the whole line, as a corps of seven linemen  have combined for 10 sacks and 19.0 tackles for loss through the first three games.