Saturday, September 23, 2017

Misericordia Scores 37 Unanswered Points in 43-14 Win Over Wilkes Football

A file photo
DALLAS, PA – Trailing 14-6 early in the second quarter, host Misericordia University scored 37 unanswered points on way to a 43-14 Middle Atlantic Conference victory over Wilkes University Saturday afternoon at Mangelsdorf Field.

Wilkes remains winless at 0-4 overall and 0-3 in MAC games while Misericordia recorded its first win of the 2017 season standing 1-3 overall and 1-2 in league contests.

The Wilkes offense looked good early using a nine-play, 70-yard drive to open the scoring in the game. Wade Rippeon found several of his targets on quick, short passes including an 18-yard completion to Jeff Steeber and nine yard completion to Garrett Armstrong. Wilkes moved inside the Misericordia ten yard line before Rippeon found Armstrong over the middle from six yards out to put the Colonels up 7-0 following a Mike Hauck extra point.

Three drives later Misericordia used a long and ground-oriented drive (nine-play, 78-yards) capped by a nine yard touchdown pass from Brady Williams to Mark Rainey to cut the deficit to 7-6 after the Cougar extra point attempt went wide right.

The Wilkes defense came up big on Misericordia’s next drive when Isaiah Robinson picked off his second pass of the game, this time returning the ball 40 yards for the second Colonel touchdown of the day. It marked Robinson’s second career pick-six, both coming against Misericordia in subsequent years. Wilkes led 14-6 with 13:22 left in the second quarter.

Misericordia went back to the ground game using designed quarterback runs to march down into Colonel territory. Williams went in for his first rushing touchdown of the game cutting the Wilkes lead to 14-12 after the two point conversion failed.

From there Misericordia began its furious scoring run notching another touchdown through the air before the half ended to take a 19-14 advantage to the break. The Cougars added a field goal on its first drive of the second half thanks to good field position when a Wilkes onside kick was touched early before the ball went ten yards setting up the hosts inside Wilkes territory.

After a Wilkes interception, Williams went back to the ground rushing in from 28 yards out untouched to give Misericordia a 29-14 lead with 2:50 left in the third frame. Another Wilkes interception led to a Rainey scamper from one yard out to push the lead to 36-14 with 6:56 left in the game. Wilkes moved down to the Misericordia 45 before the drive stalled and the Colonels turned the ball over on downs to give Misericordia one last scoring drive attempt with under five minutes to play. The Cougars notched their fourth rushing touchdown of the game on the ensuing possession to close out the unanswered scoring run and record their first win of the season.

The ground game proved to be the difference in the game with Misericordia rushing 52 times for 387 yards and four touchdowns. Wilkes was unable to match the push up front as the Cougars collected 25 first downs with 15 coming off the run game.

Rippeon finished 32-for-51 for 269 yards and one touchdown but also threw a season-high four interceptions leading to four Cougars scores. Aaron Coyne was his top target making ten catches for 76 yards. Steeber finished with four catches for 65 yards while Armstrong collected eight receptions for 58 yards and one touchdown.

Williams accounted for 218 yards on 24 carries on the ground going in for two scores. Misericordia also had two other rushers finish with over 80 yards and two more scores. Williams also was effective through the air throwing for 174 yards on 16-for-25 passing and two touchdowns.

Bud Moyer led three Colonels in double figures tackles with 15 stops. Lukas Wood followed with 14 tackles including eight solo stops while Jordan Stiles made 12 tackles. Robinson finished with nine tackles and the two interceptions, one for a defensive touchdown.

Wilkes continues its MAC road stretch next Saturday traveling to Williamsport, Pa. for a 1:00 p.m. matchup at Lycoming College.

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