September 18, 2014

Lebanon Valley - Dutchman Look For Bounce-back At Stevenson

Photo courtesy of Lebanon Valley Sports Information
Lebanon Valley (0-2, 0-1 MAC) at Stevenson (2-0, 1-0 MAC)
Saturday, Sept. 20 | 1 p.m. | Mustang Stadium | The Fourth Meeting
Game Info
LVC Media Notes / Two Deep

Game Coverage
Live Stats:
Radio: Flying Dutchmen Radio Network
(WMSS 91.1 FM / WWSM 1510 AM)
Radio Webcast:

Lebanon Valley will try to bounce back from an 0-2 start when it travels to Stevenson in Week 3. The Mustangs (2-0) are coming off a shutout of King's, while the Dutchmen seek to rebound from a loss to nationally-ranked Widener.

Online Video
The game is being video streamed live and for free courtesy of

On the Radio
The game will be broadcast on the Flying Dutchmen Radio Network on WMSS 91.1 FM in Middletown and WWSM 1510 AM in Lebanon County. John Wilsbach and Steve Leedy will call the action. The game will be streamed live and for free at and

Weather Forecast
[ForecastA beautiful day for football, sunshine with a high of 79.

Going to the Game
[DirectionsAdmission, available at the gate, is $7.

If You Only Know Five Things
  1. Lebanon Valley looks to bounce back from a loss to Widener in its home opener last week. LVC has lost 4 of its last 5 MAC openers, but has rebounded to make the postseason each time.
  2. Stevenson is 2-0 after recording its first shutout in program history, 7-0, over King's last week.
  3. LVC will hope to replicate its defensive performance from last year when it picked off five passes and held Stevenson to 235 yards of total offense.
  4. Lebanon Valley is unbeaten in the young series, going 3-0 over Stevenson since the Mustangs introduced football in 2011.
  5. It will only be LVC's second trip to Owings Mills; in the previous meeting in 2012, the Dutchmen pulled out a 31-28 thriller.

The Series
The game is the fourth meeting all-time ... Lebanon Valley leads the series 3-0 ... Stevenson added football beginning in 2011 ... Their only meeting in Owings Mills, back in 2012, was a barnburner, with LVC escaping with a 31-28 win ... This will only be LVC's fourth game in Maryland since 1996, when their McDaniel series ended; LVC lost in the 2010 ECAC South-Atlantic Bowl at Johns Hopkins, then played at Stevenson in 2012.

Team Captains
LVC will have four first-time captains in 2014, all seniors. Tyler DeanFrank GaffneyBrian Murphy, andJoey Scerbo were elected by their teammates after the 2013 season.

Last Year vs. Stevenson
Lebanon Valley captured a share of its first Middle Atlantic Conference title since 1969, riding a dominant defensive effort and 317 yards rushing to beat Stevenson 30-6 during Week 10 last year. The Dutchmen scored the game's first 30 points, and controlled the game on the ground with 317 of 373 total yards coming via the running game with a 5.6 yards per rush average behind a fantastic effort by the offensive line. Brendon Irving went for 136 yards and two scores, and Austin Hartman added 130 yards. On the other side of the ball, LVC's secondary had a game to remember with the five interceptions and eight other break-ups - including two picks apiece by Zach Wierman and Andrew Burkholder '14 and another byKevin Antol - and holding the Mustangs (4-5, 3-5 MAC) to just 235 yards of offense and a late touchdown.

Widener Recap
A tough Widener defense combined with an opportunistic offense as the Pride - and the rain - spoiled Lebanon Valley's home opener at Arnold Field in a 45-3 decision. The Dutchmen were held to 149 yards of total offense and Matthew Smoluk's first career field goal in the loss. The Pride (2-0), who were receiving votes in the latest Top 25, scored 30 unanswered points in the second half while generating four LVC turnovers. Brendon Irving was an offensive bright spot with 98 yards rushing, and Joey Scerbo had a big game with 2.5 sacks and a batted pass among seven tackles. Widener's Seth Klein passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to Anthony Davis, who had 41 yards receiving before being ejected on a targeting flag in the third quarter. Tyler George (5 catches, 58 yards) and Darryl Sweeper (4 catches, 39 yards) led LVC's receivers as Brian Murphy went 9-for-27 for 97 yards.

It's Not How You Start...
Losing their Middle Atlantic Conference opener last week isn't the end of the world for Lebanon Valley. In fact, since 2009, LVC has lost its MAC opener four times and ended up with a postseason berth in each of those seasons, most significantly last year, when the Dutchmen also lost to Widener in their league opener before reeling off seven straight wins to capture the MAC title.
Year1st MAC GameRecordResult
2013Widener, L 28-358-3MAC Champs, NCAA
2011Del Val, L 10-348-3ECAC Bowl
2010Del Val, L 6-386-5ECAC Bowl
2009Del Val, L 7-289-2ECAC Bowl

Returning to the Scene
Lebanon Valley quarterback Brian Murphy will be returning to the spot of his first career start. Murphy got the call against Stevenson as a sophomore in 2012 and carried LVC to a 31-28 win, rushing for 55 yards and a touchdown and going 5-for-10 for 64 yards passing on a day that LVC ran for 293 yards. Murphy is one of seven active Dutchmen who played in that game; big games also came from Joe Scerbo, who had six tackles and a sack, and Zach Wierman made four stops while Tyler Dean started at left tackle to help LVC's big running day.

Smoluk Splits The Uprights
Lebanon Valley junior kicker Matt Smoluk notched his first career field goal last week against Widener, hitting from 28 yards out in the closing minutes of the second quarter. Smoluk is 3-for-3 on extra points and 1-for-1 on field goals this season.

Taking The Challenge
On Wednesday, members of Lebanon Valley's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) accepted an Ice Bucket Challenge from their counterparts at Albright College, and in turn challenged Stevenson University's SAAC ahead of Saturday's game. LVC's SAAC, which has representatives from all 24 Dutchmen teams, includes football student-athletes Connor FeeneyMike Mullen, and Brian Murphy.

Dean, Gaffney, Wierman Earn Dream Bowl Invitations
Lebanon Valley seniors Tyler DeanFrank Gaffney, and Zach Wierman have garnered invitations to the Dream Bowl senior all-star game. The trio were identified as among the nation's outstanding seniors, and received invitations to play in the game on Jan. 19 in Virginia Beach. Last year, Joey Miller '14 and Kevin Smith '14 both played in the game, joined by LVC's honorary captain Levi Hain, who participated as part of the Coach to Cure MD program.

Noting LVC's Offense
LVC's offense was led last week by Brendon Irving, who rushed for 98 yards on 16 carries including a game-long rush of 31 yards ... Fullback Bobby Conlon also saw four carries for 10 yards, and Jeff Hackerhad a 14-yard take on a fake punt ... LVC netted only 52 yards rushing due to a pair of bad snaps that led to safeties and negative team rushing yardage ... Several youngsters got their first career varsity action, including Cyree Sutton-Ames and Jon Jones ... Brian Murphy had a tough game in the rain, going 9-for-27 for 97 yards and an interception ... Jeremy Franck and Kyle Beissel also saw time in the second half ...Darryl Sweeper (4 for 39 yards) and Tyler George (5 for 58 yards) were LVC's receiving leaders ... Left tackle Tyler Dean started his 31st career game last week and leads active players in starts.

Noting LVC's Defense
LVC's defense was led by Joe Scerbo, who had a terrific effort with seven tackles, 2.5 sacks, a batted pass and a hurry ... Andrew Livingston, who missed the 2013 season and returned to start at the other DE spot as a senior, led all Dutchmen with nine tackles, including 1.5 for a loss ... Frank Gaffney also had seven tackles with a hurry ... Clayton Williard teamed with Scerbo on a sack and recorded two pressures with four tackles ... Safety Connor Pierce, who is in his first year with the team after playing basketball the last three seasons, saw his first career action in the second half and wound up with five tackles, a break-up, and half a tackle for loss ... Many youngsters saw their first career action in the second half vs. Widener, with 33 different players recording at least one tackle ... Free safety Kyle Murray made his first career start and had four tackles.

Noting LVC's Special Teams
Matthew Smoluk made his first career field goal for LVC's only points last week, from 28 yards ... Jeff Hacker averaged 31.0 yards per punt on five takes, putting one inside the 20 ... Spencer Moser also took his first career punt and hit a 40-yarder ... Hacker also took two free kicks off safeties ... Mike Smithhanded both punts LVC saw and turned in a solid 10.0 yards per return ... Moser had four kick takes for 73 yards, including a best of 22 yards, while Bryan Ek had three for 53 yards.

Next Time
LVC returns home to host Delaware Valley on Sept. 27.