Saturday, November 12, 2016

King's Football - King’s Takes Back Mayor’s Cup with 42-14 Win Over Wilkes Football

A File Photo
EDWARDSVILLE – King’s College quarterback Zach Whitehead threw for 299 yards and three scores and ran for one more being named team MVP as the visiting Monarchs scored 35 unanswered points to claim the 21st annual Mayor’s Cup game 42-14 over Wilkes University Saturday afternoon at Schmidt Stadium.

Wilkes saw its two-game winning streak come to an end finishing the season 3-7 overall and 3-6 in Middle Atlantic Conference games. King’s improved to 5-5 overall and finished MAC play with a 5-4 mark.

King’s opened the game with the ball, but a stingy Wilkes defense forced a quick three and out to setup the Colonels offense for its first drive just one minute into the game. Jose Tabora found Jacob Brook out of the backfield on a screen pass on a third and seven for 19 yards moving the Colonels to the 45 yard line. Four straight Wilkes running plays move the ball into King’s territory before short passes to William Deemer and Austin Quiroz brought the Colonels inside the King’s 30. Two plays later, Tabora found Deemer 19 yards out on a perfectly thrown post pattern that put Wilkes up 7-0 following a Mike Hauck extra point with 7:33 left in the first quarter.

Wilkes forced another King’s punt giving the ball back to the offense at its own 26 yard line. Tabora connected with Garrett Armstrong for ten yards then another ten yard gain on a completion to Zach Bogoly that crossed midfield. On a second and ten, Tabora was forced out of the pocket trying to advance the play with a pass, but King’s Trevor Hill picked off the pass at the Monarch 12 halting the promising Wilkes drive.

From there, the King’s offense began its surge of 35 unanswered points over the rest of the first quarter and into the second and third stanza. Whitehead found daylight on a designed quarterback run for a 55-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7 with just eighteen seconds left in the opening quarter.

Wilkes moved the ball again on its ensuing drive but the drive ended on a fourth and one play when the King’s defense stuffed a Brook run up the middle turning the ball over on downs. King’s used a 14-play, 84-yard drive capped by a Whitehead to Mike Palmer 19-yard touchdown pass to give King’s its first lead of the game up 14-7 with 5:40 left in the first half.

Following a Wilkes punt late in the second quarter, King’s went to the air for a big 32-yard gain then finished off a 10-play, 91-yard drive with a two yard touchdown run from Zach Funk to push the Monarch advantage to 21-7 at the break.

Wilkes started the third quarter with the ball and again moved into King’s territory before the drive stalled and a fourth and nine pass from Tabora fell incomplete to Brook turning the ball over on downs for the second time in the game.

King’s wasted little time making the Colonels pay when Whitehead connected with Trey Campbell for a 67-yard completion moving the ball inside the Colonel ten yard line. Two plays later, Whitehead hit Palmer for the duos second touchdown of the day as King’s led 28-7 with 10:51 remaining in the third quarter.

Wilkes began the ensuing possession with good field position thanks to a 30-yard return from Devon Fink setting the Colonels offense up at its own 40. Using the run and pass, Wilkes moved into King’s territory before Fink took off for a 19-yard scamper up the middle dodging several Monarch defenders along the way. Facing a second and goal at the King’s 7, Tabora was picked off again by Hill two yards deep in the end zone. Hill returned the interception 39 yards setting up the King’s offense for its fifth straight scoring drive of the game.

Two big runs from Alvonte Thompson moved the ball to the Wilkes 19 before Thompson took a hand-off 17 yards for a Monarch touchdown and a 35-7 lead with 5:39 left in the third period.

Wilkes finally stopped the King’s run of points late in the third when Tabora connected with Armstrong for an eight-yard touchdown pass cutting into the Monarch lead 35-14 with 2:11 on the third quarter clock. The touchdown was setup following a 33-yard pitch and catch from Tabora to Bogoly two plays earlier.

King’s added one more score midway through the final quarter as Whitehead threw his third passing score of the game, a 39-yard touchdown to Tyler Maroni to seal the Mayor’s Cup victory for the visitors.

Tabora finished 37-for-57 for 360 yards and two touchdowns, the second straight game of 350+ yards for the freshman signal-caller. The 37 completed passes was also a career-high.

Deemer, who was named Wilkes team MVP, finished with ten catches for 104 yards and one score to lead the Colonel receivers.

Tanner Stengel concluded his brilliant Wilkes career with a team-high 11 tackles in the contest.

Wilkes said goodbye to 19 seniors that were honored prior to kickoff of the game. Amongst the group included three-year starting quarterback Ryan Dailey who finished third all-time in yards passing with 6,213 yards. Deemer finished his career sixth all-time in career receptions with 145 catches for 1,773 yards.

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