Saturday, September 24, 2016

Lebanon Valley Football - The Dutchman Fall Short at King's

Photo Courtesy of Lebanon Valley Athletics
Turnovers and an inability to finish inside the red zone cost Lebanon Valley in its 21-17 loss to Middle Atlantic Conference foe King's at McCarthy Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 24.

The Flying Dutchmen (1-3, 1-2 MAC) had to dig themselves out of an early 14-3 hole after the Monarchs (2-2, 2-1 MAC) scored touchdowns on their first two drives of the game.

King's quarterback Zach Whitehead capped his team's nine-play opening possession with a touchdown run from one yard out to put the Monarchs ahead 7-0 just 2:51 into the contest.

LVC responded with a nine-play drive of its own on the team's ensuing possession. The Dutchmen stalled inside the King's 10-yard line but kicker Marcus Brown got his team into the scoring action with a 25-yard field goal with 8:10 left in the first quarter.

The Monarchs added a second score when Whitehead rushed for his second touchdown of the day, this time from two yards out with 4:54 remaining in the opening quarter. The quarterback's run to paydirt finished off an 11-play, 75 yard.

Cornerback Spencer Moser sparked Lebanon Valley when he intercepted Whitehead on King's next drive and returned the ball 35 yards to the Monarchs' 27-yard line. The Dutchmen turned the pick into points when quarterback Tim Pirrone sprinted 27 yards and into the end zone on the very next play to cut the deficit to 14-10 with 13:59 left in the second quarter.

Midway through the quarter, LVC forced another turnover when Adam Wagaman recovered a Devon Weidman fumble. Again, the Dutchmen capitalized when Pirrone capped the ensuing 12-play, 63 yard drive with a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dylan Berberick. The score gave LVC its first lead of the day at 17-14 with less than two minutes left in the first half.

The Monarchs showed off their quick strike offense on the next possession, however, and Whitehead moved King's 57 yards in five plays. The drive culminated with a 25-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Tyler Marroni with 54 seconds left until the break.

Turning Point
With less than four minutes left to play, LVC used seven plays to move to within yards of the King's red zone and looked to regain the lead for the first time since the second quarter. Facing a 3rd and 13 at the Monarchs' 25-yard line, quarterback Tim Pirrone was intercepted while trying to connect with a Dutchmen receiver near the goal line. King's Jake Manetti made the pick at the 3-yard line, giving the ball back to the home team with 3:41 remaining. The defense had the Monarchs pinned in deep but Alvonte Thompson's 17-yard rush gave King's enough breathing room to run out the clock and escape with the slim victory.

Inside the Numbers
- King's racked up 407 yards of total offense, while the Dutchmen weren't far behind with 376 total offensive yards.
- Turnovers were prevalent on the day as the teams combined to turn the ball over five times.
- Lebanon Valley finished 2-4 in the red zone, while King's converted two of its three red zone opportunities on the day.
- LVC racked up 236 yards and a toucdown on the ground on 52 attempts. The King's running game managed 157 yards and a two scores on 34 carries.
- Tim Pirrone finished the game 10-19 for 140 yards with one touchdown and a pair of interceptions. The quarterback also rushed eight times for 48 yards and a 27-yard score.
- Brendon Irving surpassed the 100-yard mark on the ground for the first time this fall. The tailback rushed 25 times for 115 yards with a 4.2 yards-per-carry average.
- King's entered Saturday's game with the top passing game in the MAC. Quarterback Zach Whitehead finished 22-38 for 250 yards, a touchdown, and one interception. He added a pair of rushing touchdowns, accounting for all three Monarch scores on the day.
- Spencer Moser and Kyle Murray were LVC's leading tacklers with eight stops apiece. Moser also added three pass breakups and his first interception of the season.
- Tommy Garner and Austin Maguire added seven tackles each, while Brendan Yetter chipped in with six stops on the day.
- Bobby Russell, Jacoby Foresman, and Jake Manetti all posted double-digit tackle efforts for King's. Russell led the way with 15 tackles, a forced fumble, and an interception.
- Lebanon Valley's defeat was just the team's second loss to the Monarchs in the teams' last 10 meetings.

Who's Next?
It doesn't get any easier for the Dutchmen when they return to the friendly confines of Arnold Field for the first time in three weeks. LVC hosts No. 14 Delaware Valley for the team's annual Coach to Cure MD contest on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 1.
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