September 9, 2014

Wilkes Football - Game notes Vs Misericordia Saturday, Sept 13th

A WOLnews photo by John Green
Wilkes Colonels (0-1) vs. Misericordia Cougars (0-1)
Saturday, September 13, 2014 - 1:00 p.m.
Schmidt Stadium

Wilkes University opens its 2014 Middle Atlantic Conference slate against Misericordia University at Schmidt Stadium on Saturday. Both teams will be looking for its first win this season.

Colonels coach Trey Brown (Colorado ‘93) enters his first year at the helm of the program in 2014. Brown comes 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. The Mountain Hawk offense scored 30 or more points 15 times during his tenure and led the Patriot League in scoring in 2006, when its quarterback was named to the All-Patriot League first team. Brown coordinated an offense that averaged 32.3 points in league games in 2008 and 27.3 points in 2009. Lehigh scored more than 80 percent of the time it reached the Red Zone both seasons, including a Patriot League-best 87.9-percent efficiency in 2008.

Mark Ross (Penn State ‘90) is in his third season as head football coach at Misericordia University. A native of Athens, PA, Ross was hired as the first coach in the history of the program in February, 2011. A year ago, he guided the Cougars to their first win in the season finale, 63-40, over FDU-Florham. Ross spent the previous 10 seasons as an assistant coach at Ithaca College and has also coached at East Stroudsburg University. At Ithaca, he served as the Bombers’ defensive coordinator and linebackers coach for the Bombers since 2007 and previously coached linebackers, defensive line and place-kickers. A graduate of Penn State with a degree in secondary education, Ross also spent four seasons as an assistant coach at East Stroudsburg, where he earned a master’s degree in sport management.

This will be the third meeting between the two schools as the Colonels hold a 2-0 advantage in the series meetings. Wilkes posted a 33-14 win over the Cougars last season in Dallas, Pa.

Wilkes takes to the road for the first time this year heading to Doylestown, Pa. to face Delaware Valley College at 7:00 p.m., the first home night game at DVC. Wilkes fell 31-27 last season to the Aggies at Schmidt Stadium.

Trey Brown will look for his first win as the head coach at Wilkes University, as well as his first victory at Schmidt Stadium in his career with the Colonels.

Wilkes struggled behind center in the season opener against Muhlenberg as sophomore Ryan Dailey and sophomore Marcellus Hayes, seeing their first time leading the offense, combined to throw for 117 yards on 15-of-35 passing. There was pressure from the edges as evident in the three Muhlenberg sacks through four quarters. This week Dailey and Hayes look to get into rhythm against a Misericordia secondary that allowed 271 yards and two scores.

The Colonels ground game was held to -5 yards rushing in week one as the newly developed offensive played its way through its first game of the season. Senior starter Ryan Behrmann rushed for ten yards on seven carries while change of pace backup PJ Incremona added ten yards on seven attempts. The offensive line took a hit prior to the game as freshman standout tackle Alex Hollingshead went down with an arm injury in the days leading up to the opener. Wilkes will hope to continue its trend of success running against Misericordia after posting 182 yards and one score last year on the ground in Dallas, Pa.

The Wilkes defense was steady and sound although giving up 34 points against the Mules last Saturday. The Colonel defense was on the field for 39:25, over nineteen minutes more than the Muhlenberg defense. They forced two fumbles while stopping the Mules once in the red zone. Wilkes also sacked the Mules quarterback three times totaling a loss of 27 yards.

Junior cornerback Marcus Leaf and sophomore linebacker Tanner Stengel were all over the field last Saturday combining for 16 tackles. Leaf finished with eight stops (seven solo), one pass breakup and one forced fumble, while Stengel accounted for eight tackles (six solo) and one sack for ten yards. With the eight tackles, Leaf hit the 100 tackle mark for his career.

Junior punter Bryan Mellon was fantastic for Wilkes in the punt game against Muhlenberg. Mellon punted seven times for an average of 41.3 yards per-punt while booting his best of 56 yards late in the third quarter. Of his seven punts, two were over fifty yards and two went inside the twenty.

In just its third year in existence, the Misericordia football team has had its share of ups and downs throughout its startup. The offense has shown some signs of life on the ground as junior quarterback Jeff Puckett leads a spread offense that relies on the run game. Last season, Puckett led the MAC in scoring and was second in rushing. He was the top rushing quarterback and 25th in the nation with 1,300 yards rushing. He finished 14th in the country in scoring with 114 points. Puckett ran for 53 yards on 23 attempts in the Cougars opener against Utica. Puckett’s main threat on the outside is sophomore Colton Pyne who caught three balls for 24 yards last week.

The Cougars offense is averaging 126 yards per-game on the ground while adding 49 yards per-game through the air this season.

The Cougars defense returns eight starters from 2013 including sophomore Chris Hutter and junior Brandon Salazar. Hutter recorded a team-high seven tackles (0.5 tackles-for-loss) while Salazar added four stops in the loss against Utica last week.

Misericordia is allowing 179 yards per-game rushing while giving up 271 yards per-game through the air.