Monday, September 8, 2014

Warrior Football: Lycoming game notes Vs. the Albright Lions

#23 Sr RB Craig Needhammer (A WOLnews photo by John Green)
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - After entering the national rankings thanks to a big week one win, the No. 23 Lycoming College football team will look for its fifth straight win over Albright College when it heads to Shirk Stadium for the Rajah Pretzel Bowl on Saturday, Sept. 13.

The Warriors (1-0 overall) opened the season with a convincing 42-13 win over Susquehanna in the Stagg Hat Trophy game. Senior Craig Needhammer led the Warriors with three rushing touchdowns in the game, as he tied the school's career mark of 29 set by Tim Deasey (1998-01).

The Lions (1-0 overall) picked up a 25-14 win over Kean in their season opener thanks to three interceptions and a touchdown from senior Joe Magosin.

Warrior Notes
• The Warriors are 34-20-1 all-time in MAC openers, including 5-1 under head coach Mike Clark.

• Senior Craig Needhammer needs one more rushing touchdown to become the first Warrior in school history to post 30 in a career.

• Senior Tyler Jenny needs 55 more passing yards to become the eighth quarterback in school history to pass for more than 4,000 in a career.

• Senior John Sibel needs two more receptions to become the 22nd player in school history to reach 75 in a career.

• Senior Braden Zeiner moved past 10 career sacks with his two against Susquehanna and needs just 0.5 tackles for loss to reach 20 in his career.

• Lycoming had 12 defensive players achieve career highs in tackles against Susquehanna.

Scouting Lycoming
Offense: Multiple/Pro-Style

After racking up 42 points and 368 total yards in the season opener against Susquehanna, the Warriors will look to continue to use the same balanced offensive attack throughout the season.

Senior Craig Needhammer finished the first week with 111 yards on 23 carries, which is tied for the top mark in the conference. He also scored three of the team's four rushing touchdowns, with sophomore Blake Bowman also hitting paydirt and rushing for 54 yards in the contest.

Senior Tyler Jenny had an efficient start to his senior year at quarterback, completing 15-of-25 passing for 230 yards and a touchdown. Junior Ryan Umpleby was his favorite target, as he caught five passes for 94 yards and a score. Senior John Sibel added four catches for 54 yards and senior Cam Krinerposted two catches for 34 yards.

Defense: 4-3
If the opening game of the 2014 campaign is any indication, the strength of the Warrior defense may well lie in the depth of its front seven players.

The defensive line played outstanding against the Crusaders, making 11 tackles for a loss and posting three sacks. Senior Braden Zeiner notched two sacks and a career-high seven tackles and senior Jimmy Nottingham posted eight tackles and 2.5 for loss. Senior Zack McMenamin also made a career-high seven stops and added one stop for a loss.

The linebacking crew also played admirably, with an athletic corps of five players all making major impacts in the game. Senior Kyle Sullivan led the way with five stops and a pick and junior Brian Campbell, in his first game as a starting middle linebacker, made a career-high nine tackles, including 2.5 for loss. Freshmen Dalton Yentsch and Tabius Walker each posted six tackles and junior Phil Schron posted two tackles and blocked a punt that led to a touchdown.

Scouting Albright
Offense: Multiple

Even though the Lions return just two starters from its 2013 offense, the team managed to post 25 points and 231 yards of total offense in its opening 25-14 win over Kean.

Junior quarterback Ryan Wade finished the game 5-of-14 passing for 71 yards and led Albright with 50 yards rushing. He also added a rushing touchdown. Sophomore Vinny Williams led the Lions receiving corps with four catches for 52 yards, which included a 42-yarder.

The team also has the benefit of one of the best kickers in Division III, as Preseason All-AmericanDaniel Sobolewski canned two field goals in the season opener, connecting from 33 and 26 yards. Sobolewski hit 15-of-23 as a junior, including connecting on a 51-yarder.

Defense: 4-3
Much like the offense, the Albright defense is stacked with talented but inexperienced players, as the team returns just one defensive starter from the 2013 season.

Senior Joe Magosin willed the Albright defense to a stellar performance against Kean, posting three interceptions and scoring one touchdown in the contest. He also forced a fumble that led to an Albright recovery in the contest and he led the team with 10 tackles.

Sophomore defensive tackle Rich Kuhn had a sack and three tackles for loss to pace the defensive line. Junior middle linebacker Colton Ryan made nine tackles while fellow linebacker Steve Barrosso made seven stops.

Keep hammerin'
Senior Craig Needhammer is on the verge of breaking his first school record, as he enters the game with Albright tied with Tim Deasey (1998-01) for the school's career rushing touchdown mark, with both having scored 29 times. The 5-8, 180-pounder is in full view of several other records, though, as his 11 100-yard rushing games is four shy of the record of 15 set by Brian Thompson (1995-98). He is also 878 all-purpose yards shy of the school record of 4,474 set by Josh Kleinfelter from 2007-10 and 1,073 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 16-5 (.762) record as a starter, which is just one win shy of the sixth-most in school history, where Domenic Pacitti (1981-83) and Jason Marraccinni (1997-98) sit tied. In his 21 starts, Jenny has completed more than 60 percent of his passes in 16 games, helping the team to a 14-2 (.875) record in those games.

After the 42-13 win over Susquehanna, Lycoming has entered the Top 25, placing 23rd in the poll. The Warriors entered the top 25 for the second straight year, as they reached No. 24 after week five of the 2013 season. However, the team dropped a 14-7 decision to Lebanon Valley in week six and dropped from the poll. The ranking of 23rd is the highest for the team since being ranked 22nd after the first week of the 2004 season.

The Warriors' special teams unit has transformed into a kick-blocking force in the past two seasons under the guidance of Doug Thiel and Tim Landis. In the past 11 games, the Warriors have blocked six kicks and scored 16 points (two touchdowns and two defensive extra points) off the special teams' performance. Against Susquehanna, junior Phil Schron busted through the line to block a punt, which senior John Sibel scooped up for a touchdown.

Ryan's rolling
Taking out the game in which he suffered a season-ending injury in 2013, junior Ryan Umpleby has racked up more than 100 all-purpose yards in each of his last seven games. Umpleby serves as the team's top receiving, kick returning and punt returning threat.