Monday, August 31, 2015

Lycoming Football 2015 Season begins at Susquehanna

Team Captain WR Ryan Umpleby dives for the ball (WOLnews File Photo)
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Perhaps the youngest squad in head coach Mike Clark's eight-year tenure, the Lycoming College football team will get its 2015 campaign underway on Saturday, Sept. 5, when it visits Susquehanna University for the Stagg Hat Trophy game.

The Warriors, who received votes in the preseason poll, will have to replace 15 starters from the 2014 squad, which went 8-2. Senior wide receiver Ryan Umpleby returns, though, after earning All-East Region honors by compiling 1022 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior.

The Crusaders are coming off a 2-8 campaign in 2014 and welcome first-year head coach Tom Perkovich into the fold this year.

Warrior Notes
• The Warriors and Crusaders have competed for the Stagg Hat Trophy since 1993. Lycoming holds a 13-5 lead in the trophy game series.

• Senior Ryan Umpleby needs 88 more yards to become the 11th player in school history to post 2,500 all-purpose yards in a career.

• Senior Cole Welham is three tackles shy of 50 in his career and 0.5 sacks from 10.

• The Warrior offense set school records with 6.18 yards of total offense per play and 514.9 all-purpose yards per game in 2014.

• Junior Chase Whiteman is expected to be the first Warrior quarterback to make the first start of his career as a junior since Joe Feerrar in 2000. Feerrar led the team to a 15-3 record in two years as the team's starter.

• Lycoming is 39-25 in season openers and 3-4 under head coach Mike Clark.

Scouting Lycoming

Offense: Multiple/Pro-Style
After a record-breaking season for the Lycoming offense in 2014 when it set school records with 6.18 yards of total offense per play and 514.9 all-purpose yards per game in 2014.

However, this season the Warriors will have to replace seven starters from the squad. Junior Chase Whiteman has appeared primed to take over the quarterback duties after serving as a backup to student assistant Tyler Jenny. Junior Blake Bowman will move into the starting lineup for the first time in his career, as he rushed for 408 yards in just 74 attempts as the primary backup in 2014.

Seniors Ryan Umpleby and Pat Whalen give the team a solid returning 1-2 punch at wide receiver, with Umpleby returning after posting 1022 receiving yards and Whalen notching 102 during their junior years.

Defense: 4-3
The Warriors will have to replace seven starters from the 2014 squad. Leading the squad is senior Cole Welham, who led the MAC with eight sacks in 2014. The fast defensive end is complimented by seniorsJosh Cook and Tyler O'Connell, who each also had three sacks.

Senior Brian Campbell returns to the linebacker slot, as he led the team with 67 tackles, 7.5 for loss and he also added a sack. Senior Phil Schron III posted 19 tackles and a sack and junior Mike Neumanfinished with 13 tackles in backup roles.

In the secondary, senior Matt Malecki finished second on the team with 65 tackles, three interceptions and three pass breakups. Sophomore Mike Ward added 33 tackles, an interception and five pass breakups.

Scouting Susquehanna

Offense: Multiple
Susquehanna finished 2014 ranked eighth in the Centennial Conference in scoring offense (20.7), 10th in total offense (324.0), ninth in rushing offense (120.3), and sixth in passing offense (203.7).

Sophomore quarterback Nick Crusco finished fifth in the Centennial Conference with a 122.2 passing efficiency and 15 touchdowns and sixth with 188.3 passing yards per game while starting all 10 games during his freshman season.

The team returns two dynamic wide receivers in seniors Casey Crotty and Kwane Hayle. Crotty finished third on the team with 19 catches for 169 yards and Hayle was a dual threat, catching 18 passes for 236 yards and three touchdowns and also running for 52 yards on six attempts.

Defense: Multiple
The Crusaders finished seventh in the Centennial Conference in scoring defense (29.1), seventh in total defense (402.2), ninth in rushing defense (218.6) and second in passing yards allowed (183.6). The team did excel in forcing and recovering fumbles, leading the conference with 1.3 recoveries per game.

The team is led by senior linebacker Jim Barry, who led the nation with an average of 8.7 solo tackles per game and 12th in the country with an average of 11.8 total tackles per game. Senior defensive back Tom McLoughlin also returns after posting 74 tackles and picking up two fumbles.

The Stagg Hat Trophy
An actual bronzed fedora worn by the legendary Amos Alonzo Stagg Sr. when he coached at Susquehanna University, the Stagg Hat Trophy became the trophy in the square off between Lycoming College and Susquehanna in 1993 after it had been used for the winner of Susquehanna's home opener from 1960-78. The Crusaders won the first three Stagg Hat Trophy games against the Warriors, but Lycoming has won 13 of the last 15.

The Umpleby Update
After a phenomenal junior season in which he earned All-East Region honors, senior Ryan Umpleby will have the opportunity to continue his rise in the school's career record books, where he sits just outside the top five in several categories. The Forest Hill, Md., native needs 169 more receiving yards to move past James O'Malley (1984-87, 1,810) and into the top five Lycoming's career record book and 10 more receptions to move past Dave Bodmer (1988-91, 121) and into the top five. He is also four touchdowns away from the top five in receiving touchdowns, while his six 100-yard receiving games are already fifth in school history. With 2,412 all-purpose yards, he is just 88 shy of becoming the 11th player in school history and the fourth wide receiver to post 2,500 in a career.

Five in a Row
The Warriors have posted five straight winning seasons under head coach Mike Clark. The current streak is the second-longest in program history, as legendary former head coach Frank Girardi led the team to 29 consecutive winning seasons from 1975-2003.

Receiving Votes
Lycoming is one of three MAC teams receiving votes in the Preseason Poll, as the team received 11 votes. It is the eighth straight year that the Warriors have received a vote in the poll. Widener enters the year ranked 12th and Delaware Valley picked up 34 votes.

An Experienced Staff
While the Lycoming football staff has always been long on experience, the 2015 coaching staff has plenty of long-time veterans, as a corps of four coaches have a combined 116 years of collegiate coaching experience. Head coach Mike Clark is entering his 22nd year on a college sideline and passing game coordinator Tim Landis is starting his 25th. Defensive coordinator Steve Wiser is beginning his 42nd season and linebackers coach Mike Weber is entering his 27th. Both Wiser and Weber have only coached with the Warriors.