Saturday, September 10, 2016

King's Football - Monarchs Win at Lycoming for 1st Time Ever, 41-28

Photo Courtesy of King’s Athletics
WILLIAMSPORT -- Since the King's College football team returned to varsity football in 1993, the Monarchs had never won at Lycoming College's David Person Field, losing all 11 games in the process. That all ended Saturday when the Monarchs left Person Field with a 41- 28 victory over the home standing Warriors.

Junior quarterback Zach Whitehead completed 30-of-46 lasses for a school-record 421 yards and one touchdown as the Monarhs improved to 1-1 overall while winning their Middle Atlantic Conference opener. It wa also the first time since King's returned to varsity football that the Monarchs won two straight over Lycoming. King's has now won three of the last four meeting against the Warriors.  Lycoming, meanwhile, slipped to 1-1 on the year.

Lycoming reached the scoreboard first after the Warriors punted on the opening drive of the game, pinning the Monarchs at their own six-yard line.

On King's first play the Monarchs ran a reverse but wide receiver Matt DeMarco was tackled in the end zone for a safety, giving Lycoming a 2-0 lead just 12:59 into the game.

King's answered on its next possession when the Monarchs marched 63 yards to the end zone. A 39-yard pass from Whitehead to Tyler Marroni, moved the ball to the Warrior 17. Five plays later Whitehead scored from one-yard out to get the Monarchs on the board. Mikhail Kniaziewicz added the extra-point as King's took a 7-2 lead with 7:59 to go in the first quarter.

Lycoming countered with a nine-play, 50-yard drive, capped by a three-yard touchdown run by Blake Bowman to put the Warriors on top 9-7 with 11:58 left in the second quarter.

After then ensuing kickoff, Lycoming drove to the King's nine. On the next play quarterback Chase Whiteman fumbled and King's linebacker C.J. Curry appeared to recover at the Monarch 17. But in the scrum for the loose ball the Monarchs were flagged for a personal foul call and when the pile was cleared, officials awarded the recovery to Whiteman to keep the Warrior drive alive. Bowman would later score from three yards out to give Lycoming a 17-6 lead with 11:58 to play in the opening stanza.

But King's refused to back down and the Monarchs mounted another scoring drive. Whitehead completed a 34-yarder to Marroni, followed by a 16-yard hook-up to Palmer and a 19-yard completion to Marquis Miller to move the ball to the Warrior three. Two plays later Zunk Funk found the end zone and Kniaziewicz converted the point-after to bring King's within 16-14 with 8:58 to play in the half.

Lycoming would attempt to counter on the next possession when the Warriors advanced to the King's 26 before the drive stalled. Devon Flynn's 43-yard field goal sailed wide left as the score remained the same.

King's would take advantage on the ensuing possession. After a 26-yard pass to Trey Campbell and a 13-yarder to Austin White, Whitehead found Campbell for 13 more yards to the Lycoming 11. Two plays later Funk burrowed into the end zone from one yard out but the Warriors blocked the extra-point kick with 0:58 on the clock as the Monarchs took a 20-16 lead into the halftime break.

King's amassed 296 yards in the first half while Lycoming gained 202 yards. Whitehead completed 17-of-25 passes for 262 yards with an interception.                                                                              

 King's got great field position in the second half when Devon Weidman returned the kickoff to Lycoming 45.

After a 28-yard scramble by Whitehead the Monarchs eventually moved to the Warrior one. From there Whitehead would find pay dirt with a one-yard quarterback sneak. The extra-point pushed King's lead to 27-16 with 13:23 to play in the third quarter.

After King's stopped a Lycoming fourth-down attempt at the Monarch 46, King's matched downfield and scored again when Funk scored on a six-yard touchdown run. Kniaziewicz made good on the conversion to push the Monarch lead to 34-16 with 8:50 remaining in the third quarter.

Lycoming, however, would not fold and used a nine-play, 65-yard drive, capped by a two yard run by Bowman. The extra-point failed as the Warriors drew to within 34-22 with 5:31 to go in the third.

After Lycoming forced King's into a three-and-out
the Warriors took over at their own 46.

On first down Whiteman found Nick Costello for 47 yards to the King's seven. On the next play Bowman would scamper in on the next play but Lycoming missed another point-after as Warriors trimmed the lead to 34-28 with 4:00 left in the third.

After the Monarchs were again forced to punt, the Warriors moved to the King's 22. Facing a fourth-and-one, the Monarch defense came up with a huge play, stuffing Bowman for a three yard loss to end the scoring threat.

After the teams traded punts on three straight possessions, the Warriors took over with 2:11 from their own 19 yards line. After three straight incompletions set up a fourth down play. Whiteman's pass fell incomplete as the Monarchs took over at the Lycoming 19. 

King's would use four plays to reach the end zone, capped by a five-yard scoring pass from Whitehead to Campbell with 0:55 on the clock. Kniaziewicz added the extra-point to set the final score at 41-28.

The Monarchs finished the game with 532 total yards compared to 432 for Lycoming. Marroni was outstanding with eight catches for 150 yards, including a spectacular one-handed spinning catch in the first quarter. Palmer added six receptions for 82 yards while MIller and Campbell contributed four each.  Alvonte Thompson led KIng's backfield with 46 yards on 12 carries while added two receptions for 18 yards. 

Whitehead, meanwhile, continued his impressive play as a first-year starter. Last week against Moravian he broke school records with 40 completions and 63 pas attempts while equaling another school-record with four touchdown passes. With Saturday's performance Whitehead has set four school records in his first two games of the season.

 For Lycoming, Whiteman was 17-of-39 for 259 yards and one score. Bowman led all rushers with 112 yards on 27 carries with three touchdowns. Nick Costello and Kyle Slivka-Fralin added two catches apiece.

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