November 19, 2013

Southeast Bowl: Delaware Valley College Football vs F&M Preview

DOYLESTOWN (PA) – The Delaware Valley College football team will look to win a championship for the sixth year in a row as the Aggies host Franklin & Marshall College for the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Southeast Bowl on Saturday, November 23. Kickoff at Robert A. Lipinski Field at James Work Memorial Stadium is set for 12:00 p.m.

It is the 10th time in the last 11 years that the Aggies have reached the postseason, including the second straight year that they have been to the ECACs as they defeated host Muhlenberg College, 24-21, to capture the 2012 South Atlantic Bowl. It was their third ECAC crown as they were also victorious in the 2003 Southeast Bowl (54-37 over The College of New Jersey) and the 2008 South Atlantic Bowl (16-7 over Kean University).
They dropped a 15-9 decision to Salisbury University in the 2006 South Atlantic Bowl.
The 2003 triumph capped an amazing turnaround for Delaware Valley as the team went from 2-8 in ’02 to a 9-2 record that season. It also began an 11-year run that has seen the Aggies win six Middle Atlantic Conference championships (2004-05-08-09-10-11), make five appearances in the NCAA Division III playoffs (quarterfinals in 2004 and 2005, second round in 2009, 2010 and 2011) and take home the three ECAC crowns. The team’s record since the start of the 2003 campaign is 99-27, including a 66-23 mark in Jim Clements’ eight years as head coach.
This season, Delaware Valley is 7-3 overall with the three setbacks coming by a combined 13 points. The Aggies have a win over an NCAA qualifier thanks to their 35-27, season-opening triumph over Rowan University and are coming off last Saturday’s 50-28 win over Widener University.
The Widener game saw Delaware Valley trail 28-17 at halftime before exploding for 33 unanswered points. The offense racked up 632 total yards for the game while the defense held the Pride to just 177 yards in the second half.
The Aggies average 32.5 points and 441.6 yards per contest (218.5 avg rushing, 223.1 avg passing). They have put 20 or more points on the scoreboard in all but two of their games (both losses) and have hit the 40-point plateau on four separate occasions.  
Senior tailback Kyle Schuberth (Darby, PA/Monsignor Bonner) leads the unit and is coming off the third-highest, single-game rushing total in school history as he netted 235 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries (184 yards and all three scores in the second half) against Widener.
Earlier in the season, Schuberth became just the second Aggie to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark in three consecutive years and his current 2013 totals stand at 204 carries for 1,240 yards and 14 touchdowns in just eight games (he missed the first two with an injury). He is also second on the school’s all-time list for rushing yards (3,668), rushing touchdowns (43) and overall touchdowns (44).
Junior quarterback Aaron Wilmer (Philadelphia, PA/George Washington) has played in eight games this year and has completed 141 of 243 passes for 1,943 yards and 15 touchdowns while also rushing for 360 yards and three scores. He threw for 310 yards and two scores while adding 75 rushing yards and one trip to the end zone in the win over Widener.
Wilmer’s favorite targets are wideouts Rasheed Bailey (Philadelphia, PA/Roxborough) and Lewis Vincent (Bensalem, PA/Bensalem). Bailey, a junior, can record just the fifth, 1,000-yard receiving season in school history as he has 915 yards and eight touchdowns on 46 catches. Two of his scoring grabs came in the win over Widener.
Vincent reached a milestone with his four-reception performance against Widener as the senior became just the 10th Aggie to notch 100 or more catches in a career (his total stands at exactly 100). This year, he has 40 grabs for 565 yards and three touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, Delaware Valley is permitting 24.3 points and 356.5 total yards (164.3 avg rushing, 192.2 avg passing) per game. The unit has 15 sacks and 14 turnovers to its credit.
Sophomore safety Danny Wynne (Hatfield, PA/North Penn) leads the way with 101 tackles, including 59 solo stops. He also has one interception, one forced fumble and one blocked kick.
Sophomore linebacker Ken Kenner-English (Philadelphia, PA/Roman Catholic) is coming off a career-high 17 tackles against Widener and it upped his season total to 80 (47 solo). He leads the team with eight pass breakups. 
Fellow linebackers Bernard Avery (Philadelphia, PA/Roxborough) and John Marcelline (Bensalem PA/Bensalem) follow with 68 and 64 tackles respectively. Avery, a junior, also has three sacks to his credit while Marcelline, a senior, has two forced fumbles and an interception. The two combined for 16 stops last week.

The Diplomats, under head coach John Troxell, will be making their eighth ECAC bowl appearance and their third in the last for four years, including a loss in the 2012 Southeast Bowl to Albright College. Last week, they posted a 36-26 home victory over Centennial Conference rival Gettysburg College to finish their regular season with a 6-4 overall record.
For the season, the F&M offense is averaging 30.8 points and 404.0 yards (171.7 avg rushing, 232.3 avg passing) per game. They have scored at least 28 points in eight of their 10 games and have won six of the eight.
The Diplomats’ offense begins with senior quarterback E.J. Schneider, who has thrown for 2,300 yards and 16 touchdowns on 215 completions. He also leads his team in the running game with 779 yards and 12 scores on 115 carries. Schneider shredded Gettysburg for 135 yards and four touchdowns on the ground and 159 yards in the air.
The next leading rusher is senior tailback Frank Strumolo, who has carried the ball 92 times for 465 yards and four touchdowns in just five games played. He had 177 yards and a score on 36 carries last week.
In the passing game, F&M looks to wideouts Jordan Zackery and Tim Muller, who have combined for 113 catches for 1,249 yards and 12 touchdowns. Zackery, a junior, has caught 60 balls for 753 yards and seven touchdowns while Muller has 51 grabs for 496 yards and five scores in his senior season.
Defensively, the Diplomats are surrendering 25.3 points and 349.9 total yards (170.0 avg rushing, 179.9 avg passing) and held Gettysburg to just 263 yards, including just 33 on the ground. They have registered 27 sacks and 10 interceptions on the year, including 10 quarterback takedowns against Gettysburg.
Senior linebacker Brendan Wengerter leads the unit with 111 tackles and 12 sacks while fellow linebacker Ryan Young, a junior, follows with 93 stops. The two combined for 20 tackles and four sacks last week. Junior Aaron Fant leads the F&M secondary from his corner position. He has 35 tackles, nine pass breakups and five interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) on the year.