September 27, 2014

Wilkes Football - Colonels Hang Tough with Defending Co-MAC Champion Lycoming on Homecoming

William Deemer finished with four catches for 32 yards against Lycoming Saturday
(Photo Courtesy of Wilkes Sports Information)
EDWARDSVILLE – Visiting Lycoming College ran for 226 yards on the ground and two scores to post a hard-fought 27-14 victory over host Wilkes University Saturday afternoon in Middle Atlantic Conference football action on Homecoming from Schmidt Stadium.

Lycoming, the No. 22 ranked team in the nation, remains unbeaten at 4-0 following the win moving to 3-0 in MAC play. Wilkes drops to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in league contests.

Defense rang true to begin the game as neither team’s offense was able to muster any promising drives. The Colonels defense forced Lycoming quarterback Tyler Jenny into a turnover as Tanner Geake intercepted a pass from Jenny on the Warriors first drive.

Late in the first quarter, Lycoming was able to put together a 9-play, 88-yard drive capped by a Jenny one yard sneak to put the Warriors up 7-0 following a Devon Flynn extra point.

The Wilkes offense began to find its rhythm early in the second thanks to some excellent field position on a Lycoming illegal touching penalty on a punt which led to a turnover on downs setting the Colonels up at the Lycoming 21. Six plays later, Colonels quarterback Ryan Dailey took off around the right side scampering in from ten yards out to tie the game at 7-7 following a Bryan Mellon extra point.

The tie was short-lived as Jenny hooked up with receiver John Sibel for a 39-yard touchdown pass as Lycoming took a 14-7 advantage with 7:10 left in the half. After a Wilkes punt, Lycoming added one more score before the break as Jenny hit Tyler Botchie for a three-yard score to give the Warriors a 20-7 lead heading into the break.

Wilkes began the third quarter with the football and immediately began to drive the ball down to Lycoming territory. Dailey connected with William Deemer for a 20-yard gain then hit tight end Jeremy Hartman for nine yards, followed by a completion to Tim Bousson for eleven more yards to move the Colonels down to the Lycoming 5. From there, Dailey called his own number going in for the second time, this time running in from five yards out to cut the Lycoming lead to 20-14 with 11:26 left in the third.

Another Wilkes big play on defense gave the Colonels the ball back with good field position. Jared Powell picked off Jenny at the Wilkes 46 to give the offense the ball back with a chance to tie or take the lead. The Wilkes drive stalled at the Lycoming 5 where the Colonels settled for a 22-yard field goal attempt from Mellon. Mellon’s kick was short giving the Warriors the ball back at the end of the third quarter.

The teams traded punts through the first six minutes of the fourth quarter before Lycoming put the game away as a Craig Needhammer five-yard touchdown run put the Warriors up for good 27-14 with just 5:36left to play.

Dailey led the ground game with 27 yards and two scores on 17 carries. The sophomore signal caller also threw for 114 yards on 14-of-30 passing and one interception.

Six Colonels posted receptions in the game with Deemer’s four grabs for 32 yards leading the way.

Jenny finished 14-for-23 for 183 yards and two scores for Lycoming under center, while Needhammer led the Warriors ground attack with 105 yards and one score on 26 carries.

Wilkes finishes its home stretch next Saturday hosting FDU-Florham (0-4) at 1:00 p.m. at Schmidt Stadium. It marks the lone home contest for Wilkes in the month of October.