Thursday, November 2, 2017

King's Football Travels to Widener For Big Matchup

A "Game of the Week" Photo
Article Courtesy of King's College Office of Sports Information
WILKES-BARRE — The King’s College football team will return to the gridiron on Saturday when the Monarchs make their final road trip of the season with a Middle Atlantic Conference matchup against Widener University at 1:00 PM at Leslie C. Quick Stadium in Chester.

King’s (4-4, 3-4 MAC) comes off an 18-15 last minute victory over FDU-Flirham on Saturday. Widener, meanwhile is 6-2 overall and 6-1 in the MAC and remains in contention for the conference title behind Delaware Valley (8-0, 7-0), who the Pride play the final game of the season.

Today’s game pits the King’s Monarchs against Middle Atlantic Conference rival Widener University.

This is the 25th meeting between the teams with Widener owning a 21-3 lead. King’s last victory was by a 35-24 margin in 2009 with the game being played in Chester.

Monarch mentor Jeff Knarr is in his eighth season at King’s and owns a 26-52 career record. Mike Kelly is in his fourth year at Widener and is 36-19 with the Pride.

Widener built a 17-7 halftime lead and outscored King’s 13-10 in the second half to post a 30-17 victory at McCarthy Stadium.

The Monarchs enter Saturday’s game ranked second in the MAC in scoring with 31.3 points per-game. King’s is first in total offense, averaging 426.9 yards per-game. The Monarchs are third in MAC passing yards with 279.6 per-game and are fourth in rushing with 147.3 yards each contest. Senior quarterback Zach Whitehead has completed 174-of-313 passes for 2,223 yards with 15 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has also rushed for 361yards on 142 carries with 12 more touchdowns. Whithead now has 5,460 passing yards and 27 touchdown passes and is challenging Tyler Hartranfts school records of 5,943 yards and 36 touchdowns with two games remaining.

Junior running back Jordan Downes has 514 yards on112 carries with four scores while adding 18 receptions out of the backfield for 171 yards. Junior Titus Nelson has 293 rushing yards on 60 carries while making four catches for 84 yards and one score. The receivers are paced by senior Tyler Marroni with 58 catches for 943 yards and six touchdowns. Marroni has 144 career catches and 2,131 yards and is challenging Dan Kempa’s records of 151 receptions and 2,550 receiving yards in his career. With 58 receptions he is also poised to break Kempa’s single-season mark of 60 receptions while his 943 receiving yards stands second behind Kempa’s record of 1,057 yards set in 2013.Fellow senior Marquis Miller follows with 41 receptions for 333 yards and one touchdown. Senior H-back Trey Campbell has posted29 receptions for 362 yards and four touchdowns while senior receiver Corey Flynn has caught 20 passes for 293 yards.

The Widener offense ranks sixth in the MAC in scoring at a 24.9 points per-game clip. The Pride are sixth in total offense, averaging 355.9 total yards per-game. Widener stands fifth in passing offense with 232.2 yards through the air per-game while ranking fifth in rushing offense with 123.6 yards each contest.

Widener has used two quarterbacks for much of the season as sophomores Sean McGaughey and Graham Jespersen have shared th duties. McGaughey has completed 67-of-115 passes for 1.034 yards with five touchdowns and four intercepetions while Jespersen has completed 59-of-100 passes for 770 yards with five touchdowns and five interceptions.

Sophomore wide receiver James Gillespie tops the squad with 36 receptions for 477 tards and two scores. Senior wide receiver Montrell Hicks-Taylor has caught 33 passes for 724 yards with six touchdowns and averages 21.9 yards every reception. Junior D’Andre Sapp has 23 catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns. Sophomore running back Chris Randle has 389 yards on 86 carries with three touchdowns while freshman Rob Ennis follows with 372 yards and two scores.

King’s entered the week ranked seventh in MAC scoring defense, allowing an average of 35.4 points per-game. The Monarchs are eighth in total defense in yielding 424.1 yards of total offense per-game. King’s is sixth in rushing defense in allowing 140.8 yards each game while standing 10th in passing defense at 283.4 yards. Senior linebacker Bruce Damon leads the team with 54 tackles, including 5.9 tackles for loss.

Freshman linebacker Mando Sallavanti follows with 49 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss. Sophomore cornerback Eli Vascos has also posted 46 tackles with an interception while senior nose-guard Chris DeGaetano contributes 42 tackles with 6.0 tackles for loss. Senior linebacker Jake Manetti adds 38 tackles with 10.0 tackles for loss and an interception. Sophomore safety Trevor Hill has posted 38 tackles and four interceptions while senior defensive lineman Jacoby Foresman has made 31 tackles with 8.5 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks sacks.

Senior linebacker Hassan Maxwell has tallied 26 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss while senior lineman Mike Dohn checks in with 26 stops and has recovered two fumbles. Senior cornerback Justin Foster chips in with 22 tackles andhas broken up nine passes.

The Widener defense stands second in MAC scoring defense, yielding just 12.6 points per-game. The Pride rank second in total defense in allowing 287.3 yards each contest. Widener is second against the run is permitting teams to rush for 107.6 yards per-game, while also ranking second in passing defense at 179.6 each contest.

Senior linebacker Casey Kerschner leads the team with 71 tackles and 14.5 tackles for loss and 8.0 sacks. Senior linebacker Joe Fox follows with 60 tackles and 4.0 tackles for loss. Junior defensive tackle Vince Char adds 56 tackles and 15.0 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks while junior defensive back Brian Atmstrong also has 56 tackles with seven pass break-ups. Senior defensive back Kyle Lowery contributes 55 tackles and three interceptions while junior defensive back Jordan Powell has registered 42 tackles with 10.5 tckles for loss

King’s will close out the regular-season at home with the annual Mayor’s Cup Game against city rival Wilkes UniversitY.

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