Thursday, September 22, 2016

King's Football - Monarchs to Host Lebanon Valley on Homecoming

A file photo
WILKES-BARRE — The King's College football team will return to the field on Saturday when the Monarchs celebrate their 2016 Homecoming with a 1:00 p.m. Middle Atlantic Conference matchup against Lebanon Valley College at McCarthy Stadium.
Fans unable to attend the game can follow online at the links below:

King's fell to 14th ranked Delaware Valley 49-14 in the Monarchs' home opener. Lebanon Valley lost to 24th ranked Stevenson 24-13 on the road.

This week-four matchup is important for both teams which suffered MAC defeats last week. The winner will remain in MAC contention while the loser will face a tough task regaining contender status. Both teams are currently 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the MAC. 
This is the 18th meeting between the teams with Lebanon Valley holding a 10-7 all-time advantage. The teams have split the last two meetings with King's posting a 10-7 home win in 2014 while the Flying Dutchmen won 10-6 on their home field last season.
Last season Lebanon Valley won a 10-6 defensive battle, holding King's to a pair of field goals. The Dutchmen held a 7-6 lead before adding a field goal of their own with 0:34 left in the third quarter. Neither team was able to score in the final quarter of play.
Monarch mentor Jeff Knarr is in his seventh season at King’s and owns a 18-45 career record. Lebanon Valley head coach Joe Buehler is in his first season and is 1-2 thus far. 
After two strong offensive showings, the Monarchs struggled last week against Delaware Valley, mustering only 125 yards of total offense in the game. The Monarchs are ranked third in the MAC in scoring (30.0 ppt , fifth in total yards (373.3), and are still first in passing yards (312.3). But after only two net rushing yards, King's is ranked ninth in MAC rushing with 61.0 yards each game.
Junior quarterback Zach Whitehead has completing 60.9 (81-133) percent of his passes for 905 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions. In his first two games of the season he set new single-game school-records in pass completions (40), pass attempts (63), and passing yards (421), while equaling the King's mark of single-game touchdown passes (4). Last week against Del-Val he was 11-of-24 with one TD and two interceptions.
King's receivers have played well this season. Junior Tyler Marroni has 20 for 271 yards while returning senior all-MAC receiver Mike Palmer has 19 catches for 209 yards. Junior Matt Demarco adds 10 for 95 yards while fellow junior Marquis Miller also has 10 catches for 94 yards. Nine different King's players have caught at least two passes.
In the backfield, freshman Alvonte Thompson has 129 yards on 24 attempts and averages 5.4 yards per-carry while adding six receptions for 88 yards and one score. Senior Zack Funk has 56 yards on 23 carries with three touchdowns while catching two passes for 10 yards. Whitehead is a capable runner who has gained 90 yards with three touchdowns, but seven sacks has trimmed his total to 39 net yards on 23 attempts. 
Defensively, King's ranks ninth in the MAC in allowing 42.3 points and 464.3 total yards per-game. The Monarchs are eighth against the run in yielding 206.0 yards and stand seventh against the pass in allowing 258.3 yards.
Leading the King's defense thus far is junior linebacker Bruce Damon who tops the MAC with 45 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, and 5.0 sacks. In his last two games he posted 16 tackles against Lycoming, then 17 versus Delaware Valley. Senior linebacker Bobby Russell, a two-time All-MAC selection, follows with 22 tackles and an interception. Junior safety Jake Manetti adds 19 tackles while freshman safety Joe Davis and sophomore defensive end Chris DeGaetano contribute 14 and 13 respectively. 

Freshman linebacker C.J. Curry has 12 tackles while junior linebacker Hassan Maxwell, senior linebacker Brandon Ginzalez, and sophomore defensive end Jordan O'Hearn have tallied 11 tackles apiece. Freshman cornerback Eli Vascos chips in with 10 stops
The Flying Dutchmen ranks eighth in the MAC in scoring with 19.0 points per-game. Lebanon Valley stands eighth in the MAC in total offense with 318.7 yards per-game. The Dutchmen lead the MAC in rushing (223.0 ypg) and are last in passing yards (95.7).

Junior quarterback Tim Pirrone runs the Dutchmen offense and has completed 23-of-50 passes for 273 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He has also rushed for 163 yards on 29 carries with three touchdowns. Sophomore tailback Brendan Irving leads the team with 185 yards on 47 carries. Fellow sophomore Ryan Fink adds 148 yards on 24 carries and averages 6.2 yards per-carry. Junior Jon Jones chips in with 125 yards on 29 attempts with two scores. Senior Michael Gaval leads the receivers with eight catches for 75 yards while sophomore Travis Saylor also has eight catches for 64 yards.
The Dutchmen stand fifth in MAC in scoring defense, allowing 24.7 points per-game. Leb-Val is fourth in total defense in yielding 333.7 yards per-game. The Dutchmen are sixth against the run (186.3 ypg) and first against the pass (147.3). Heading the defense is junior corner cornerback Spencer Moser who tops the squad with 22 tackles. 

Senior safety Kyle Murray follows with 14 tackles and two pass breaks. Junior linebacker Tommy Garner adds 14 tackles with an interception while freshman safety Brendan Yetter contributes13 tackles with an interception. Freshman safety Anthony Jenkins has 11 tackles and a sack while Nick Tucker, Tom Gallagher, and Alex Trujillo have 0 tackles apiece. Trujillo also adds an interception. 
King's will travel to Reading to face Albright College in a 1:00 p.m. Middle Atlantic Conference matchup in Shirk Stadium.

King’s will recognize two former student-athletes for their selection to the Middle Atlantic Conference Hall of Fame prior to the contest.  Steven Wilson (football) and Jess Harvey (softball) will be presented their MAC Hall of Fame plaques in an on-field ceremony at 12:40 p.m. Both are 2003 King's graduates.

In addition, the third annual Father Patrick J. Sullivan Award. “The award is presented to a junior or senior member of the football team who has a strong moral compass, demonstrates hard work, discipline, and leadership as a member of the King’s College football team, and who reflects the stated values of the greater King’s College and Holy Cross.” The 2016 winner will be announced in a 12:50 p.m. on-field ceremony and will receive the award from 2015 winner Chad Curtice.

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