Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Wilkes Colonels Game Notes vs. No. 12 Delaware Valley

A www.WOL.news File Photo
Wilkes Colonels (0-2) vs. No. 12 Delaware Valley Aggies (2-0)
Friday, September 15, 2017 - 7:00 p.m.
Schmidt Stadium

Wilkes University continues Middle Atlantic Conference play against No. 12 Delaware Valley University at Schmidt Stadium on Friday night. Both teams opened MAC play last Saturday with Wilkes coming off a 36-0 home loss to Lebanon Valley and Delaware Valley coming off a 34-3 road win against Lycoming College.

Trey Brown (Colorado ‘93) is in his fourth season at the helm of the Wilkes football program following his hiring prior to the 2014 season. In just three years, Brown has coached 22 Colonels who earned All-MAC honors including first team tight end Jeremy Hartman in 2014, defensive end Jason Ugwu in 2015 and tight end Garrett Armstrong in 2016. Under Brown’s guidance, the Colonels offense ranked in the top five in several offensive statistical categories including passing yards and plays per-game. In a game at Delaware Valley in 2014, the Wilkes offense ran 113 plays, a Division III regulation game record. In 2016, the Colonels recorded one of the biggest upset victories in the program’s history when it bested No. 12 Stevenson University 38-35 on the road. Brown came to Wilkes after four years serving as the quarterbacks and special teams’ coordinator at Muhlenberg. In his role with the Mules, Brown was responsible for coaching the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and special teams as well as the installation of the pass game. Prior to his time at Muhlenberg, Brown spent four seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Lehigh University.

Duke Greco (Delaware Valley ‘03) is in his fourth season at the helm of the Delaware Valley University football program. He was named the head coach following an 11-year stint as an assistant coach, including eight as the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator. Last year, DVU went 9-2 and won at Muhlenberg in the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series. Eighteen Aggies received all-MAC accolades. In 2015, DVU went 9-2 and competed in the inaugural Centennial-MAC Bowl Series where it beat Moravian College 20-16. Fourteen Aggies received all-MAC honors, including Rashaad Lighty, who went on to earn D3football.com All-America first team accolades. In Greco’s first year in 2014 DVU earned a berth and home game in the NCAA Division III playoffs.

This will be the 54th meeting between the schools as Wilkes holds the series lead 31-22. Delaware Valley won last season 52-10 in Doylestown, Pa. The last Colonels win came by way of a 12-7 score line in 2015 at Schmidt Stadium.

Wilkes takes to the road to face Misericordia University on Saturday, September 26 at 1:00 p.m. Last season the Colonels beat the Cougars 46-23 inside Schmidt Stadium.

- Freshman quarterback Wade Rippeon is expected to make his first career start after sophomore Jose Tabora left last week’s game in the first quarter with an injury. Rippeon entered to play the remainder of the game and went 12-for-23 for 89 yards and two interceptions against Lebanon Valley. Rippeon also rushed six times for a team-high 21 yards. He saw limited action in a week one loss to Muhlenberg where he threw for 12 yards on 2-for-3 passing.

- The top target in the Wilkes passing game is Pre-season All-American and All-MAC selection Garrett Armstrong. His senior season is off to a strong start as he has 13 receptions for 152 yards and one touchdown from the tight end position. He now has 84 receptions for 876 yards and nine touchdowns in his Wilkes career.

- Aaron Coyne leads the Colonels wide receiver group with seven receptions for 54 yards. He scored two touchdowns in the opening week against Muhlenberg. Jeff Steeber, Greg Albertson, and Zach Bogoly all have multiple receptions on the season.

- Wilkes has used two different starters at the running back position so far this season. Junior Jacob Kadis started against Muhlenberg and sophomore Shane Deemer started against Lebanon Valley. Kadis leads the running backs with 11 carries for 28 yards and freshman Sincere Williams has carried the ball for 26 yards on a team-high 13 carries.

- Senior Jacob Brook has made a nice transition to the safety position after moving over from the offensive side of the ball. After two games Brook is tied for the MAC lead with 22 total tackles including a 14-tackle performance against Lebanon Valley.

- At linebacker, sophomore Bud Moyer is tied for sixth in the MAC with 20 total tackles and junior Lukas Wood is tied for third with 12 solo tackles.

- Joining Brook with a good start to the season in the secondary is senior Isaiah Robinson. He leads the MAC with two forced fumbles and also leads Wilkes with two tackles-for-loss and has 14 total stops. He also has one pass breakup.

- Defensive back Ishmael Coleman and linebacker Jordan Stiles lead the Colonels with two pass breakups and Dane Tarantelli and Vinnie Werner combined to provide a sack against Lebanon Valley.

- As a unit Wilkes is only giving up 168.5 passing yards per game which is good for fifth in the MAC.

- The Aggies offense is averaging 29.0 points per-game, good for second in the MAC. Their 200.5 rushing yards per-game ranks first in the conference as well as their 50 percent third-down conversion percentage.

- Senior running back Devauntay Ellis leads the MAC with 253 yards rushing on 37 carries and has two touchdowns. He ran for 172 yards last Saturday against Lycoming including a 62-yard touchdown scamper.

- Dashawn Darden has started the season throwing for 311 yards on 30-for-53 passing with four touchdowns and no interceptions as the quarterback of the Aggies. He has also rushed for 46 yards on 19 carries and one more score.

- The top target for Darden to start the 2017 season has been Marquis Ellis. He has seven receptions for 96 yards and has scored a touchdown in each of Delaware Valley’s games.

- The Delaware Valley defense ranks second in the MAC by with only 11.0 points per-game allowed. The unit tops the MAC by only allowing 233.0 total yards per-game and 85.0 rushing yards per-game.

- Senior linebacker Nick Wright was selected the MAC Defensive Player of the Week and to the D3football.com Team of the Week after a standout performance in the Aggies season-opening win against No. 11 Wesley. Wright finished that game with 10 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, a safety and a fumble recovery that he returned 70 yards for a touchdown.

- D3football.com Second Team Preseason All-American Shawn Miller has started the season with 12 tackles and two pass breakups from the safety position.

- Linebacker Michael Ockimey and Wright are tied for the MAC lead with three sacks.