Saturday, November 7, 2015

Warriors score 22 in a row to upset No. 19 Delaware Valley

Sophomore Devon Flynn is congratulated after his game-winning 32-yard field goal.
(A Lycoming Athletics Photo)
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – As the Lycoming College men’s soccer team wrapped up the celebration from its second MAC Commonwealth title in three years, the Lycoming College football team left its own mark on one of the most historic days in the history of the Robert L. Shangraw Athletic Complex, with senior Matt Malecki (Stevensville, Md./Kent Island) grabbing an on-side kick with 56 seconds left and sophomoreDevon Flynn (Levittown, Pa./Conwell-Egan Catholic) drilling a 32-yard field goal with five seconds left to lift the Warriors to a 43-42 Middle Atlantic Conference upset over 19th-ranked Delaware Valley University at David Person Field on Saturday, Nov. 7.

After giving up 42 points in the game’s first 37 minutes, the Lycoming defense stood tall against the Aggies (7-2 overall, 6-2 MAC), who relinquished first place in the MAC with the loss, forcing three punts while the offense scored on three of its final four drives. The win is Lycoming’s first over a ranked team since a 19-16 win over a 16th-ranked Aggies’ squad at David Person Field on Oct. 5, 2013. Lycoming (3-6 overall, 3-5 MAC) has won seven games over ranked teams during head coach Mike Clark’s eight years as head coach.

“I told the kids I am really proud of them,” Clark said. “I am proud of the coaches. They didn’t quit. Luckilly, we made some plays, which made it easier to keep responding. We blocked a punt. We got an on-side kick. We gave ourselves a chance to win.”

Backed up to their own one-yard line and down 42-34 with 4:01 left, the Warriors drove 99 yards on 14 plays, with sophomore Chase Whiteman (Gettysburg, Pa./Gettysburg Area) keying the drive by going 6-for-8 passing and rushing four times for 25 yard. He finished the drive by finding senior Ryan Umpleby(Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) in the end zone on an 11-yard pass.

“Offensively, we were really productive (Saturday),” Umpleby said. “We were pretty good running the ball and Chase was really elusive in the pocket. He made a lot of good runs. He put the ball on the money a lot of the time.”

However, Whiteman was forced backwards before being tackled on the two-point conversion attempt to tie the game, forcing the Warriors to try an on-side kick. The kick, from Flynn, was perfect, and Malecki met up with it just as it reached the Lycoming 45-yard line, catching it in his stomach and falling to the ground.

After a failed screen pass, Whiteman found freshman Nick Costello (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) for a 21-yard pass. Whiteman rushed for 11 yards on the next play before finding Costello on a five-yard quick before he spiked the ball. Junior Blake Bowman (Valley View, Pa./Tri-Valley) followed with a three-yard rush to put the ball at the 15-yard line and Flynn stepped up after a pair of timeouts and drilled the game-winning kick from 32 yards out with five seconds remaining.

“I was hard on Devon when he missed a field goal (in the second quarter),” Clark said. “I told him flat out that we need him to make those kicks. The on-side kick was a great kick and the field goal was, too. I am proud of Devon.”

Time ran out on the ensuing kickoff return by the Aggies. With some of the crowd from the packed soccer game making its way over to the football field, they saw one of the most impressive upsets in the program’s storied history.

“It was awesome hearing the crowd and seeing the players and the coaches,” Umpleby said.

Down 42-21, the Warriors started their comeback late in the third quarter, as Whiteman connected with Umpleby for a 29-yard pass and Bowman on a 23-yard screen during a six-play, 67-yard drive before Bowman crashed in from two yards out to become the program’s single-season leader with 15 touchdowns scored.

“He works so hard,” Clark said. “Blake is a really good kid. He prepares you want guys to prepare. The touchdown record is a direct result of how he prepares. To say he has scored more touchdowns in a season than any guy that has ever played here is pretty cool.”

A blocked extra point kept it a 15-point game and Lycoming got the ball back just as the fourth quarter began at its 25-yard line. The Warriors moved the ball to the Delaware Valley 26, but a fumble, a penalty and a sack ended the drive. However, Delaware Valley’s drive with 10:20 left lasted only three plays and when forced to punt from its own 34-yard line, junior Joe Pawlowski (Shamong, N.J./Seneca) broke through and blocked the punt, giving Lycoming the ball at the Aggies’ nine-yard line after a personal foul. Two plays later, Whiteman rushed 11 yards into the end zone to make it 42-34.

The Warriors fell behind 21-7 late in the second quarter, but managed to move 65 yards in 49 seconds, with Whiteman finding Costello for a four-yard touchdown with 24 seconds left to make it a one-possession game. However, the Aggies extended the lead when Eric Shorter returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a score and then the Aggies added a score with an 85-yard drive to start the third quarter.

Lycoming responded quickly, as Whiteman found Umpleby for a 51-yard pass before finding senior Pat Whalen (West Chester, Pa./West Chester East) for a 16-yard touchdown to make it 35-21 with 8:55 left in the third quarter. Delaware Valley got its final score moments later on a 40-yard drive, with Stephen Greco scoring on an 11-yard reception.

The Warriors posted 481 yards of total offense, with Whiteman leading the way, as he passed for a career-high 372 yards on 27-of-38 passing. He also tossed three touchdowns and ran for one, while also carrying 16 times for 61 yards.

His favorite target was Umpleby, who caught 11 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown, as he became the first Warrior in program history to post 200-yard receiving games three times ina career. Costello finished with six catches for 52 yards and a score and Bowman posted five catches for 76 yards and 16 rushes for 42 yards and two scores.

Dashawn Darden went 10-of-16 for 145 yards and three touchdowns for the Aggies, while Delaware Valley rolled up 295 rushing yards on 46 attempts, led by 107 yards on 11 carries by Devauntey Ellis. Eric Shorter led the team with four catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns receiving and 178 yards on three kick returns.

Sophomore Mike Ward (Edgewater, Md./South River) led the Warrior defense with 12 tackles and a fumble recovery that led to the team’s first touchdown. Freshman Dominic Loffredo (Jersey Shore, Pa./Jersey Shore) posted nine tackles, Malecki added eight and 0.5 for loss and junior Phil Schron III (Albrightsville, Pa./Marion Catholic) posted seven tackles, 1.5 for loss.

Danny Wynne led the Aggies with 10 tackles, one for loss and Rashaad Lighty added two sacks.

The Warriors wrap up their season on Saturday, Nov. 14, when they host Misericordia at 1 p.m. at David Person Field.