Friday, September 9, 2016

King's Football - Looking to Rebound in Mac Opener at Lycoming College

A File Photo
WILKES-BARRE -- In the King's College football team's season-opening 50-35 loss at Moravian College on Saturday, it was a tale of two halves for the Monarchs. When King's opens its Middle Atlantic Conference schedule on Saturday, the Monarchs will look to start fast and finish strong against highly-respected league foe Lycoming College at 1:00 p.m. in Williamsport.

Lycoming, meanwhile, enters the game with a 1-0 mark after edging long-time rival Susquehanna University 27-24 in Williamsport.

Ticket prices at David Person Field are set at $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, while children under age 12 are free.

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In the Monarchs' opener Saturday, Moravian raced out to a 33-14 halftime lead before King's finally got untracked offensively.

King's closed to within 43-28 midway through the fourth quarter and appeared poised to score with an opportunity to cut the margin to 43-35 after driving to the Greyhound 13. But a blindside quarterback sacks resulted in a fumble which Moravian returned 77 yards for a touchdown to squash the Monarchs' comeback bid. King's managed 461 yards in the game with 286 coming in the second half.

Offensively for King's, junior Zach Whitehead, making just his second career start, broke two school records with 40 completions on 63 pass attempts while equaling another school record with four scoring passes.  His 391 yards was also the second most in school history.

King's receiving corp. was paced by senior Mike Palmer who had 11 catches, the second most in program history, for 120 yards. Junior Matt Demarco followed with nine receptions for 78 yards and two scores.  Junior Tyler Marroni added seven catches for 61 yards while fellow junior Marquis Miller chipped in with four receptions for 18 yards.

King's running game was not able to get untracked, due in large part to falling behind early and being forced to pass more than was in the game plan. Freshman running back Alvonte Thompson showed great promise after running for 38 yards on six carries and caught three passes out of the backfield, including a thunderous 55-yard romp in which he plowed over a Moravian defender midway through the run en route to the end zone. Senior Zack Funk added 16 yards on six carries.

Defensively, King's struggled all day as Moravian was forced to punt just twice in the contest. The Greyhounds ran for 167 yards on 38 carries, but did their most damage through the air, completing 23 passes for 354 yards, averaging 15.4 yards each catch. The Monarchs also struggled on third down as Moravian made good on 8-of-14 third down attempts and were also successful in their lone fourth-down attempt, a fourth-and-nine play at the King's 28 that ultimately led to a touchdown and a 14-7 Greyhound lead.

After allowing 377 total yards in the first half, the Monarch defense did a much better job in the second stanza in limiting Moravian to 144 total yards. King's yielded 17 first downs in the opening half but held the Greyhounds to eight over the final two quarters.

Against Lycoming, the Monarchs will be facing a squad it has never defeated in Williamsport since varsity football returned to King's in 1993. Overall, Lycoming has a 21-4 record against King's during this time while going 0-12 at David Person Field.

Lycoming, meanwhile, built a 20-14 half-time lead but held off a late Susquehanna charge. The Crusaders scored with 2:38 remaining to close to within 27-24, but Lycoming was able to maintain possession after successfully converting a key third-and-one play with 1:45 left to run out the clock.

The Warriors' offense totaled 331 yards in the game, including 198 yards on the ground.

Lycoming returning starting quarterback Chase Whiteman completed 15-of-18 passes for 133 yards with one touchdown. He also scrambled for 46 rushing yards out of the backfield. Last season against King's, Whiteman completed 12-of-18 passes for 168 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Warrior senior tailback Blake Bowman dominated the Susquehanna game with 168 yards on 28 carries and scored three touchdowns. He also added two catches out of the backfield for 21 yards. Bowman totaled 142 yards on 22 carries against the Monarchs a year ago. Nick Costello made five catches for 52 yards while Kyle Slivka-Fralin also had five receptions for 52 yards.

Defensively, Lycoming surrendered 357 total yards, including 239 through the air and 118 on the ground. Mike Ward topped the defense with seven tackles while six different players added five each.

Next Week:
King's will make its home debut when the Monarchs host Delaware Valley University at 1:00 p.m. At McCarthy Stadium.

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