Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Wilkes Football Vs Misericordia Week Four Preview

A File Photo
Wilkes Colonels (0-3, 0-2 MAC) vs. Misericordia Cougars (0-3, 0-2 MAC)
Saturday, September 23, 2017 - 1:00 p.m.
Mangelsdorf Field

Wilkes University hits the road for its first Middle Atlantic Conference road game of the season when they face Misericordia University at Mangelsdorf Field on Saturday afternoon. Both teams enter the contest at 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference. The Colonels are coming off a 34-14 home loss to No. 12 Delaware Valley while the Cougars lost 34-21 on the road against Widener.

Trey Brown (Colorado ‘93) is in his fourth season at the helm of the Wilkes football program following his hiring prior to the 2014 season. In just three years, Brown has coached 22 Colonels who earned All-MAC honors including first team tight end Jeremy Hartman in 2014, defensive end Jason Ugwu in 2015 and tight end Garrett Armstrong in 2016. Under Brown’s guidance, the Colonels offense ranked in the top five in several offensive statistical categories including passing yards and plays per-game. In a game at Delaware Valley in 2014, the Wilkes offense ran 113 plays, a Division III regulation game record. In 2016, the Colonels recorded one of the biggest upset victories in the program’s history when it bested No. 12 Stevenson University 38-35 on the road. Brown came to Wilkes after four years serving as the quarterbacks and special teams’ coordinator at Muhlenberg. In his role with the Mules, Brown was responsible for coaching the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and special teams as well as the installation of the pass game. Prior to his time at Muhlenberg, Brown spent four seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Lehigh University.

Mark Ross (Penn State) is in his sixth season as the head football coach at Misericordia where he became the first head coach in program history. Ross has led the Cougars to at least one win in each of the last four seasons. Ross came to Misericordia after spending the previous 10 seasons as an assistant coach at Ithaca College. At Ithaca, Ross served as the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach starting in 2007, and also coached defensive line and place-kickers during his tenure. A graduate of Penn State with a degree in secondary education, Ross spent four seasons as an assistant coach at East Stroudsburg University, where he earned a master’s in sport management.

This will be the 5th meeting between the schools as Wilkes leads the series 4-1. The Colonels won last year’s game 46-23 in Schmidt Stadium. The lone Cougars win in the series came in 2015 when they won 31-24 in Dallas, Pa.

Wilkes stays on the road to face Lycoming College on Saturday, September 30 at 1:00 p.m. Last season the Colonels beat the Warriors 28-26 inside Schmidt Stadium.

- Wilkes is ninth in the MAC in scoring offense (11.0), ninth in total offense (215.0), ninth in rushing offense (63.0), and seventh in passing offense (152.0).

- Freshman quarterback Wade Rippeon made his first career start last Friday night against No. 12 Delaware Valley and had a very impressive performance. Rippeon Went 23-of-37 for a 62.16 completion percentage and totaled 160 yards through the air. He also tossed his first two touchdown passes of his career against one interception for a passing efficiency rating of 110.92. For the season Rippeon is 37-of-63 for 261 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions.

- The top target in the Wilkes passing game is Pre-season All-American and All-MAC selection Garrett Armstrong. He has 18 receptions for 179 yards and one touchdown from the tight end position. The 18 catches have him in a tie for seventh in the MAC. He now has 89 receptions for 903 yards and nine touchdowns in his Wilkes career.

- Jeff Steeber had a breakout game against the Aggies last time out with six catches for 61 yards and a touchdown that pulled Wilkes within five points of the No. 12 team. He also rushed two times for nine yards. Aaron Coyne leads the Colonels wide receiver group with three touchdown receptions which is ranked in a tie for third in the MAC. Junior Zach Bogoly added two receptions for 24 yards against Delaware Valley.

- Shane Deemer rushed 18 times for 52 yards last week and now has 26 carries for 71 yards on the season after missing the opeing week. Freshman Sincere Williams was the top backup running back against the Aggies getting five carries. He now has 18 carries for 37 yards on the season.

- Wilkes is ninth in the MAC in scoring defense (44.0), eighth in total defense (426.7), tenth in rushing defense (272.3), and second in passing defense (154.3).

- The defense has four of the top seven tacklers in the MAC through three games. Junior linebacker Lukas Wood made a team-high 15 tackles against Delaware Valley and now is second in the MAC with 35 total tackles. Senior safety Jacob Brook is fourth in the MAC with 30 tackles, sophomore linebacker Bud Moyer is tied for fifth with 29 tackles, and senior defensive back Isaiah Robinson is tied for seventh with 28 tackles. Robinson is fifth in the MAC with 4.5 tackles-for-loss and leads the conference with two forced fumbles.

- Junior Jordan Styles provided the first interception of the season for the Wilkes defense when he picked off Delaware Valley last week. He also has three passes defended this season which is tied for third in the conference.

- Dane Tarantelli and Vinnie Werner combined to provide a sack against Lebanon Valley and Michael Murphy and Richmond Owusua picked up half-sacks against Delaware Valley.

- The Cougars rank seventh in the MAC in scoring offense (24.3), second in total offense (412.7), fifth in rushing offense (119.3) and fourth in passing offense (293.3). Misericordia leads the conference with a 45.5% third-down conversion rate.

- Sophomore quarterback Brady Williams is coming off a 21-of-36 for 256 yards and three touchdowns performance against Widener. Senior Brandon Leap threw for 426 yards and three scores in the season opener against Merchant Marine.

- Brady Williams leads the Cougars rushing attack with 29 carries for 175 yards which places him third in the conference in rushing yards.

- Isaiah Williams is the MAC leader in receiving yards with 376. He had 10 catches for 174 yards against Merchant Marine and added seven catches for 143 yards and a touchdown against Widener.

- Misericordia ranks tenth in the MAC in scoring defense (46.7), tenth in total defense (545.3), ninth in rushing defense (255.0), and ninth in passing defense (290.3).

- Senior safety Tyler Collins leads the Cougars with 26 tackles this season including 16 solo stops.

- Senior cornerback Matt Martin has forced a fumble and has two tackles-for-loss on the season.

- Senior defensive end Thomas Anderson and sophomore defensive end Michael Conway each have one sack.

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