Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Lycoming Football - Warrior Game Notes Vs Delaware Valley

A 2012 WOLnews Photo taken in Delaware Valley (Image: John Green)
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - In the last seven seasons since head coach Mike Clark has taken over the Lycoming College football program, the game with Delaware Valley seems to always be a major key in deciding the Middle Atlantic Conference championship.

The Aggies have scored 27 touchdowns this season. The Warriors have allowed six.

This year is no different, as the 20th-ranked Warriors (5-0 overall, 4-0 MAC) are one of three undefeated teams left in the MAC along with the Aggies (4-0 overall, 3-0 MAC), who are ranked 24th in the AFCA poll entering Saturday, Oct. 11's 12 p.m. clash.

The two squads tied for the MAC title in 2008 before Delaware Valley won the next three titles from 2009-11. After Widener won the 2012 title, Lycoming earned a share of the title in 2013.

Game Notes
• Senior Craig Needhammer broke the school record for career points scored, finishing the game with Stevenson with 228 points off 38 touchdowns.

• Needhammer is 231 yards shy of the school record for career all-purpose yards of 4,474 set by Josh Kleinfelter (2007-10).

• Senior Tyler Jenny needs three more completions to become the third player in school history to post 400 in a career and 191 yards to become the fourth player to reach 5,000 career passing yards.

• Four Warriors are ranked in the top 10 in the MAC in sacks, with junior Cole Welham first (1.20), senior Jimmy Nottingham fifth (0.75) and both junior Josh Cook and senior Braden Zeiner are seventh (0.60).

• The Aggies have scored 27 touchdowns this season. The Warriors have allowed six.

Scouting Lycoming
Offense: Multiple/Pro-Style

The Warriors enter the week third in the Middle Atlantic Conference with a scoring average of 30.8 points per game, while the team's 377.2 yards of total offense also ranks third.

Senior Craig Needhammer is one of the most versatile players in the MAC, as he is third in the league in rushing yards (106.2) and second in kickoff return yardage (31.0), leaving him with a hefty average of 163.8 all-purpose yards per game.

Senior Tyler Jenny is enjoying a fine season through the first four games, leading the league with a .656 completion percentage and his 156.4 passing efficiency rating is third in the league. Junior Ryan Umpleby is fifth in the conference with an average of 65.4 receiving yards per game, but the Warriors love to spread the wealth, as an average of nine receivers have caught passes in the last two games.

Defense: 4-3
Having given up just six touchdowns in the first five games, the Warriors are amongst the top defenses in Division III early this year. The team leads the MAC in third-down conversion percentage (.229), first downs allowed (53), passing defense (123.6), red zone defense (.500), passing efficiency defense (74.58) and sacks (4.60).

The Warriors have been able to consistently pressure behind the line of scrimmage, as the team has notched 47.0 tackles for loss this year. Two Warriors are in the top 10 in the MAC in the category, with junior Cole Welham leading the league at 2.0 per game and senior Jimmy Nottingham is fifth with 1.4 per game.

Junior linebacker Brian Campbell has led the team through the first four games, making 34 stops, including 4.5 for loss.

Scouting Delaware Valley
Offense: Multiple
Delaware Valley enters the game leading the MAC and sixth in Division III in scoring offense (49.8) and they also lead the MAC in total offense (518.3) and passing offense (315.8) and are second in rushing (202.5).

The team's dynamic offense is led by standout senior quarterback Aaron Wilmer, who is eighth in Division III in passing efficiency (192.3), 12th in passing yards (315.8) and 16th in passing touchdowns (12).

Alongside Wilmer, the Aggies feature the top receiver in the nation in senior Rasheed Bailey, who averages 177.0 yards per game on a MAC-leading seven receptions per game. Senior Chris Smallwood is also the top rusher in the MAC, averaging 127.8 yards per game, while his nine touchdowns are tied with Lycoming's Craig Needhammer for the league lead.

Defense: Multiple
The Aggies are ranked sixth in the MAC in scoring defense (30.0), ninth in total defense (413.3), seventh in rushing defense (167.8) and 10th in passing defense (245.5).

Delaware Valley does like to pressure, with two Aggies in the top 10 in the league in sacks. Junior linebacker Rashaad Lighty is second in the league with four sacks and sophomore linebacker Frank Law is close behind with three.

Junior defensive back Danny Wynne is also a consistend threat for the Aggies, as he is second in the MAC in tackles, averaging 10.5 per game and sophomore defensive back Corey Morris is second in the league in passes defended with four.

Why he's our guy
It might be hard to believe now, but during Delaware Valley week in 2012, the Warriors were in fear of watching their season unravel. With a sophomore quarterback being pressed into starting service for the second week in a row, Tyler Jenny earned the starting job by leading the Warriors to a 24-14 win over 22nd-ranked Delaware Valley. He finished that game 12-of-20 for 134 yards and two touchdowns. In 2013, Jenny was even better against the 16th-ranked Aggies, going 11-of-12 in the second half to finish  16-of-24 for 170 yards and a touchdown to lead the team to a 19-16 win.

Sacks full
Its become abundantly clear throughout defensive coordinator Steve Wiser's 41 years with the Warriors that he doesn't like to blitz. That hasn't seemed to matter this year, as the team's 23 sacks have helped the team place fourth in Division III with 4.6 per game. While the team does have the league's top rusher in junior Cole Welham, who has six sacks, it has also been a total team effort, as nine different players have been credited with getting to the quarterback this year. It hasn't just been the quarterback that has been tackled behind the line, though, as the team has recorded 47 tackles for loss, thanks to the efforts of 17 players.

The Hammer watch
Senior Craig Needhammer, who holds the school's career rushing touchdowns (35), total touchdowns (38) and points scored (228) records, has his eyes on a few more as the second half of his senior year begins. Needhammer's 14 100-yard rushing games is one shy of the record of 15 set by Brian Thompson (1995-98). He is also 231 all-purpose yards shy of the school record of 4,474 set by Kleinfelter from 2007-10 and 663 rushing yards shy of Kleinfelter's mark of 3,665 yards.

Quest for 1,000
Senior John Sibel and junior Ryan Umpleby have formed a solid 1-2 punch in the receiving corps this year and both are on the verge of an impressive milestone. Sibel needs just 16 more yards receiving to become the 21st player in school history to post 1,000 in a career while Umpleby is close behind, needing just 54 more yards to hit the milestone.

Leading the Pack
The Lycoming defense is again one of the best in the nation through the first half of the season, sitting fourth in pass efficiency defense (74.58), fourth in sacks (4.6), sixth in total defense (208.0), sixth in red zone defense (0.500), eighth in third-down conversion defense (0.229) and 10th in scoring defense (10.0).