Thursday, September 17, 2015

Lycoming Football - Warriors vs. Wilkes Colonels Preview

A WOLnews File Photo
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - After falling in its conference opener at Stevenson, the Lycoming College football team will continue to have its work cut out for it on Saturday, Sept. 19, as it has to slow a high-flying Wilkes University team that upset 2014 NCAA Tournament squad Delaware Valley in week two.

The Warriors (0-2 overall, 0-1 MAC) racked up nearly 300 yards of total offense against the Mustangs in the week two matchup, but Stevenson used 38 straight points to post the 38-14 win. Sophomore Scott Palmer and junior Ryan Umpleby led the way, with Palmer running for 112 yards and Umpleby collecting 86 yards on seven receptions.

The Colonels (1-1 overall, 1-0 MAC) upset Delaware Valley, 12-7, in week two, as junior Jacob Brook scored with 2:14 left on a 29-yard pass.

Warrior Notes
• The Warriors have completed more than 50 percent of their pass attempts in 21 straight games.

• Senior Ryan Umpleby needs six more pass receptions to tie Rich Kessler (1983-86) for fourth in school history with 127 in a career.

• Umpleby recorded 224 all-purpose yards at Stevenson, the second-most in his career.

• Senior Josh Cook had career-highs of eight tackles, 3.5 for loss, and 1.5 sacks at Stevenson.

• Senior Cole Welham's half-sack at Stevenson gives him 10.0 sacks in his career.

• The Warriors have scored on their first offensive possession in their last three games.

• The Warriors have had a 100-yard performance out of a running back in both games this year.

Scouting Lycoming
Offense: Multiple/Pro-Style
Lycoming is ninth in the MAC in scoring offense (13.5), eighth in total offense (326.5), fourth in rushing offense (177.5) and eighth in passing offense (149.0).

The team has been led by its ground game early in the season, with junior Blake Bowman fifth in the MAC with 77.0 yards per game and sophomore Scott Palmer sixth with 76.0 yards per game.

Junior quarterback Chase Whiteman is eighth in the conference with 136.5 passing yards per game, while he is sixth with a 57.4 completion percentage (27-of-47). His primary target has been senior Ryan Umpleby, who is fifth in the league with 10 catches, while his 118 yards are sixth.

Defense: 4-3
Lycoming is eighth in the MAC in scoring defense (33.0), fifth in total defense (378.0), first in rushing defense (95.0) and ninth in passing defense (283.0).

Early in the season, the defensive line has paced the team, as senior Josh Cook and junior Jon Rummel are tied for seventh in the league with 1.75 tackles for loss per game. Rummel is also tied for third in the MAC with two sacks.

Sophomore Mike Ward has paced the secondary, as he is tied for the league lead with four passes defended. He is also tied for the team lead with senior Phil Schron in tackles (11).

Scouting Wilkes
Offense: Spread
Wilkes is 10th in the MAC in scoring offense (9.5), sixth in total offense (344.0), eighth in rushing offense (101.0) and fourth in passing offense (243.0).

Junior Ryan Dailey is sixth in the MAC with a 114.5 passing efficiency, while his 243.0 yards per game is fourth in the league. He has completed 61.4 (54-of-88) percent of his passes and thrown two touchdowns.

The team's leading rusher is senior P.J. Incremona, who is eighth in the league with an average of 70.5 yards per game. Sophomore Aaron Coyne is the team's top receiver, as he is ninth in the MAC with an average of 67.5 yards per game. He also has scored one touchdown.

Defense: 3-4
Wilkes is fourth in the MAC in scoring defense (21.0), seventh in total defense (402.5), sixth in rushing defense (189.0) and seventh in passing defense (213.5).

The Colonel defense played exceptionally well against Delaware Valley, allowing 378 yards of total offense, but picking up two turnovers and standing tall during a late drive to preserve the 12-7 win.

The defense is paced by junior linebacker Tanner Stengel, who leads the league with 15.0 tackles per game. He also leads the league with 3.0 tackles for loss per game. Senior Jared Powell and sophomore Isaiah Robinson pace the secondary, as Powell has 13 tackles and two breakups and Robinson has 12 stops, 2.5 for loss and two breakups.

Two-headed Monster
During the first two weeks of the season, the Warriors have had two different 100-yard rushers, giving the team one of the most versatile running attacks in the MAC. Junior Blake Bowman rushed for 111 yards against Susquehanna in the opener and sophomore Scott Palmer posted 112 on 15 carries against Stevenson. The two backs are one of two rushing tandems in the MAC to both be in the top 10 in the league in rushing, with Bowman fifth at 77.0 yards per game and Palmer sixth at 76.0.

The Umpleby Update
Senior Ryan Umpleby continues to rise in the school's career record books, where he is beginning to make his move into the top five in several categories. The Forest Hill, Md., native needs 46 more receiving yards to move past James O'Malley (1984-87, 1,810) and into the top five Lycoming's career record book and six more receptions to move past Rich Kessler (1983-86, 127) for fourth in school history. He is also three touchdowns away from the top five in receiving touchdowns. He is also just 24 yards shy of the top five in kick return yards, where Dave Nolan (1978-82) sits with 759. With 2,763 all-purpose yards, he is just 84 yards from the top 10 in school history, where Troy Erdman (1987-90) finished his career.

Mike's Ward
Sophomore safety Mike Ward is quickly becoming a key part of the Lycoming defense, as the first-year starter is tied for the team lead with 11 tackles, while his four passes defended are tied for the MAC lead. Ward, who was an important backup at cornerback and safety as a freshman, has posted 45 tackles, two interceptions and eight breakups in just 17 career games.

Really Cooking
Senior Josh Cook stepped up on the defensive line against Stevenson, as the defensive tackle notched career highs across the board with eight tackles, 3.5 for loss, and 1.5 sacks. The team captain now has 10.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in his career.

Nearing 50 Tackles
Three Lycoming players are nearing 50 career tackles entering the Wilkes game, with senior Cole Welhamat 49 and junior Phil Schron and sophomore Mike Ward both at 45.

Fresh Faces
The 2015 Warriors are one of the youngest in head coach Mike Clark's eight years as head coach. Only 10 of the 22 projected starters in week three had starting experience before this year.