Saturday, October 4, 2014

Lycoming Football - No. 25 Warriors dominate undefeated Mustangs in 31-10 win

Jr WR Ryan Umpleby make spectacular one hand catch (Image: John Green)
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Senior running back Craig Needhammer (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn) reached one milestone and broke the school record for all-time points scored and the 25th-ranked Lycoming College football team held undefeated Stevenson University to just 184 total yards as it cruised to a 31-10 Middle Atlantic Conference win at David Person Field on Saturday, Oct. 4.

Needhammer rushed 19 times for 113 yards and two scores, as he became the third running back in program history to reach 3,000 career rushing yards. His two scores helped him surpass the mark of 222 career points set by kicker John Phillips (1989-92), as his school-record 38 touchdowns gives him 228 career points.

“It’s something that is pretty cool to see the numbers,” Needhammer said, “but I have 10 other guys and a lot more than that with our subs that have helped me with (reaching the records). It’s really a team effort and I have been lucky enough to be a part of it.”

Senior Tyler Jenny (Glasgow, Pa./Glendale) was again consistent in the pocket for the Warriors (5-0 overall, 4-0 MAC), as he finished 19-of-27 for 215 yards and two scores to win his 20th game as a Warrior starter. Senior Ryan Umpleby (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) led the receivers with four catches for 46 yards and junior Corey Talerico (Moosic, Pa./Riverside) caught two passes for 47 yards. Junior Pat Whalen (West Chester, Pa./West Chester East) and senior Nick Mongiello (East Windsor, N.J./Hightstown) each caught touchdowns.

The Warrior defense was brilliant against the undefeated Mustangs (4-1 overall, 3-1 MAC), allowing just 99 yards on 41 rushes and 4-of-16 passing for 85 yards. The team made 12 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and added seven sacks, led by senior Zack McMenamin (Prospect Park, Pa./Interboro), who had two tackles for loss and one sack.

“Defensively, we are pretty darn good,” Lycoming head coach Mike Clark said. “It will continue to get tougher, but we have played outstanding defense against all the teams we have had to play. Zack McMenamin is outstanding. He is so disruptive.”

The game started quickly, with the Warriors moving 81 yards down the field in seven plays, led by a quick start from Needhammer, who had rushes of 28 and 25 yards during the drive before Jenny found Whalen for the touchdown with 11:20 left in the first. The Mustangs responded on the kickoff, with Devonte William rolling 83 yards for the touchdown to tie the game.

Lycoming ran into trouble early in the next drive, as Jenny was sacked from behind by Rasheed Lashley, with the ball popping out at the Lycoming 29-yard line and Stevenson recovered. Four plays later, Daniel Williams found Cortez Taylor for a 30-yard completion, but the Lycoming defense stood tall, pushing Stevenson back two yards over the next four plays before taking over at the three yard line.

“That was big-time defense,” Clark said of the goalline stand. “It’s not fancy, but all year when we have been backed up, they have continued to step up. That will benefit us moving forward.”

Both teams struggled to gain footing in the second quarter until Lycoming took over with 6:43 left at their own 16-yard line and two plays later, Jenny found senior Matt Cookson (Morrisville, Pa./Morrisville) over the middle for a 28-yard diving catch. After the ball moved across midfield, Jenny found senior John Sibel (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) on the sideline and a facemask moved the ball to the two yard line, where Needhammer rushed in.

On the next Stevenson drive, the Mustangs punted into the running arms of Umpleby, who saw a seem after taking the ball at 39-yard line and got 25 yards to the 14. With time running short in the quarter, the Warriors needed just three plays to score, as Jenny found Mongiello for a five-yard score with 46 seconds left.

The Warriors added a score midway through the third quarter, as senior Ryan Mihoci (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional) picked off a pass at midfield and Talerico took a screen pass for 40 yards on the first play of the ensuing drive to get the ball to the five-yard line. However, a sack forced Lycoming into a field goal and freshman Devin Flynn (Levittown, Pa./Conwell-Egan Catholic) connected on a 36-yarder.

In the first drive of the fourth quarter, Stevenson drew within two touchdowns at 24-10, with Tim Sternfeld hitting a 32-yard field goal, but the Warriors responded on a drive that Needhammer dominated, taking the ball six times for 42 yards before crashing in from two yards out to set the points record.

Trey Lee, who entered the game fourth in the MAC with 99.8 rushing yards per game, finished with 16 carries for 52 yards. Daniel Williams went 1-for-11 for 30 yards passing. He was intercepted twice. Jeff Farrah went 3-for-5 for 55 yards.

Senior Braden Zeiner (Whitehall, Pa./Whitehall-Coplay) finished with nine tackles, 1.5 for loss, and 1.0 sack. He also had a quarterback hurry. Senior Kyle Sullivan (Coatesville, Pa./Bishop Shanahan) notched eight tackles, one for a loss and both juniors Mike Gentile (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) and Brian Campbell (Drums, Pa./Hazleton Area) each added six stops. Junior Matt Malecki (Stevensville, Md./Kent Island) recorded five tackles and an interception.

Cory Pietrzyk led the Mustangs with seven tackles and 0.5 for a loss. Both Lashley and Chris Coffie posted a sack and Scott Lange had two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.

The road will get no easier for the Warriors next week, as they head to another undefeated Middle Atlantic Conference foe in Delaware Valley for a 12 p.m. game on Saturday, Oct. 11.