October 29, 2014

Flashback Year 2000 - Widener 50, Lycoming 49

Lycoming Loses a heartbreaker in Chester, PA.
CHESTER, Pa -- Widener is an easy commute off route 95 in Chester, PA.  The stadium, built on the side hill of the campus is a beautiful setting for a Saturday football game.  Today, the sun is shining with scattered clouds so the weather should not be a factor.  This is the second game for both squads in 2000, Lycoming coming off a strong defensive game with an offense picking up the pace in the second half against Juniata. Lycoming, after being down 7-0 had 21 unanswered points to end that game.  Widener on the other had played catch up last week and squeezed out a win against FDU-Madison 21-20.  Lycoming leads the all-time series 15-7 and has won 10 straight.  Widener's last victory was in 1988, a 24-17 victory in Chester.  Of the 22 meetings, 15 have been decided by eight points or less.

Head Coaches Frank Girardi and Bill ZwaanPre-game ...WOL talked to both coaches before the kickoff and this is what they had to say.  

Head Coach Frank Girardi -- Last year the defense play very well after the giving up a touchdown early, then Lycoming had 21 unanswered points.  What have you do this week to prepare for Widener?  "I think it is going to take a little more time than normal because we have so many young players on the team, but I was happy the way they performed last week and our young guys played very very well.  They are going to improve every week so I expect them to come out a little bit quicker today."  

The offensive line is pretty young this year, and that is a part of the team that not many see about this team.  Absolutely, we replaced three offensive linemen this year, three new wide receivers and a running back, so we had to replace eight of them and that is ok because we should have people ready to replace them in our program."  What do you think of Widener's Offense?  Again, they have a great passer (Mike Granato) who throws the ball extremely well and I think they are going to lean on his arm, I really do.  I think we have to put the heat on him and get into his face get a sac on him.  Even when we don't sac him, I think we have to hit him.

Head Coach Bill Zwaan -- Every year has been a winning year, this is your fourth season.. "Ya, but we can't beat these guys!" What are you looking for today?  Well, Lycoming is a great team and they know how to win and we have had a couple of chances over the last four years and we haven't come through with it.  So, I think we probably cannot make any mistakes because you can't make mistakes against a great football team and we hope they do (make mistakes) and maybe we can take advantage of that.  It is going to be a close game and it will probably come down to the fourth quarter."  Lycoming has always had a great defense and it looks like they may have another one this year.  What are you planning to do to crack that defense, pass alot?  "Well, I think that is what we have always tried to do against them and have not had a tremendous amount of success, so we probably will have to throw the ball, but they have four great secondary kids.  I think we will have to try and run and pick and choose, this is going to be a tough one."

The Game...WOW, where to start in this game.  What a finish to an offensive display that had almost everything, a blocked PAT Return by Lycoming, circus catches, long punt returns, short drives for long yardage and plenty of excitement.  Lets pick up the game in the second half.  It is the fourth quarter with just 6:29 on the clock and Widener just scored a 30 yard field goal which put them two touchdowns ahead of Lycoming.

To this point, the Lycoming offense has moved the football, but without consistency.  In front of them is a short clock and a hard playing defense in Widener.  Lycoming's QB Joe Feerrar started a march similar to two years ago.  Widener kicked off after the field goal to the Lycoming 10 yard line and Jared Morris returned the ball to the 29 yard line.  QB Joe Feerrar in a shotgun offense, connects with Tim Deasey for a 14 yard gain.  Two plays later, he threaded a pass between the Widener defense to Zulkowski for 22 yards at Widener's 35 yard line.  Again the Feerrar to  Zulkowski combination was good for 10 yards to the 25 yard line of the Pioneers. Later, with second and 10, QB Feerrar found Chris Dauber for the touchdown pass with 4:35 remaining on the clock.  The point after touchdown attempt was good by Dave Christianson and the Warriors were just 6 points behind Widener at 36-30.  The crowd was definitely getting nervous at Chester, with flashbacks of two years ago.

Mitch MarzoThe Lycoming defense, which had some breakdowns in the game would not let the next series pass them buy.  They stopped a Mike Granato to Mike Ambrose handoff for a one yard gain.  Next, a pass attempt to intended receiver Coleman fell to the ground.  On third and nine, a handoff to FB Sean Selover gained just 4 yards and Lycoming's defense held, giving the offense a shot at winning this game  Widener's Christian Kearns punted from his own 23 yard line to Jared Morris who returned the ball 14 yards to Widener's 46 yard line with 3:27 on the clock.  Lycoming's Tim Deasey gained 11 yards and then a Feerrar to Hanna pass for 35 yards tied the game at 36 apiece.  Dave Christianson's extra point attempt was low and blocked.  The Warriors had tied the game and were looking for another miracle win in Chester.  With 2:48 on the clock, there was plenty of time for another score.  Lycoming's defensive back Jeff Tinney picked off a Mike Granato pass pass play at the Widener 34 yard line.  Then the Warriors, in six plays stalled at the Widener 24 yard line and John Schaffer came in for a field goal attempt.  The attempt was a fake and the Dave Christianson to Matt Staffaroni pass fell to the ground at the two yard line and the game headed to overtime.

OT Period:
Matt HendrickLycoming won the toss and elected to go on defense.  The Pioneer's QB Mike Granato handed off to TB Mike Ambrose for one yard.  On 2nd and nine, QB Granato threw an incomplete pass.  On third down, Granato connected with Jim Jones to the Lycoming 10 yard line, a pickup of 14 yards.  Following a no gain and incomplete pass, Granato then found Mike Coleman in the end zone for the touchdown in OT.  The extra point was good and Lycoming was faced with a must score and extra point to say in the ballgame.

From the 25 yard line, the Warriors took 5 plays to score.  Tim Deasey ran for 6 yards.  Next, Joe Feerrar threw two incomplete passes, but the second pass intended for Chris Dauber was call pass interference.  Lycoming on the 5 yard line, gave it to Deasey for a one yard gain.  Then Tim Deasey ran it over from the four for a touchdown.  John Shaffer's extra point was good and the game headed to double overtime.

Double Overtime Period:
Joe Feerrar Looking For ReceiverWidener started the double overtime period on defense and it took Lycoming just two plays to score.  QB Joe Feerrar threw a 22 yard pass completion to Chris Dauber at the left sideline.  Then Joe Feerrar pitched out to Tailback Tim Deasey for  the touchdown run.  John Shaffer's extra point try hit the left upright and fell back into the end zone giving Lycoming a 49-43 lead.

Widener did not waste any time getting into the end zone.  The first pass play from Mike Granato to Mike Coleman gained 17 yards.  Then Jim Jones scrampered into the end zone untouched from Lycoming's 8 for the 49-49 tie.  Kicker Paul Ragan split the upright perfectly for the win.  
Tough Loss For LycomingThe stadium broke into an uproar.  Lycoming has not lost to Widener since 1988.  Coach Bill Zwaan, has felt that they have been dominated by a good Lycoming program since his tenure at Widener, but today it was his turn to feel the thrill of victory.  On the other side of the ledger, the Warrior team was stunned.  This is the first regular season loss for the players on the team.  Lycoming just could not reach the number 40 mark.  Well, streaks are meant to be broken.  One Lycoming fan said upon leaving the stadium, "We will have to start the streak over again, starting next week."  This game will go down in the annals of history as a classic for both teams.  But this time, Lycoming could not pull off the miracle win in Chester.  Division III football is exciting for sure.  See you next week at Kings.

Post Game Interview:
Head Coach Bill Zwaan and John ScanlanWidener Head Coach Bill Zwaan -- 
How are you feeling right now?  "Oh, I don't know what to say, both of these teams played their hearts out and as I told you in the pre-game interview, this one could go down to the final play.  I am so proud of my team and the way they played today.  Both clubs are a class act."  What are you going to tell your team when you get back into the locker room?  "I will tell them how proud I am of them, They played so hard out there against a great Lycoming team.  I will give them this evening to celebrate and relax, enjoy the moment and then looking to tomorrow, it is back to thinking about football again."

TeamQtrTimeScoring PlayPATDriveScore
Widener110:48Jim Jones 88 punt returnJohn Ragan Block-6-0
Lycoming110:28John Scanlan Defensive PAT return6-2
Lycoming210:48Tim Deasey 2 runJohn Shaffer failed11-576-8
Widener27:25Michael Coleman 59 pass from Mike GranatoPass Failed2-5912-8
Lycoming24:36Joe Hanna 28 pass from Joe FeerharJohn Shafer Kick2-2812-15
Widener23:23Jim Jones 47 pass from Micke GranatoPaul Ragan Kick3-7619-15
Widener2:41Jim Jones 20 pass from Mike GranatoPaul Ragan Kick3-7626-15
Lycoming35:03Tom Bulkowski 10 pass from Joe FeerrarTim Deasey from Joe Feerrar5-6626-23
Widener3:28Michael Coleman 40 pass Mike GranatoPaul Ragan Kick1-4033-23
Widener46:29Paul Ragan 30 Field Goal9-6236-23
Lycoming44:37Chris Dauber25 pass from Joe FeerrarDave Christianson Kick8-7136-30
Lycoming42:48Joe Hanna 35 pass from Joe FeerrarDave Christianson Kick blocked3-4636-36
WidenerOTMichael Coleman 10 pass from Mike GranatoRagan Kick6-2543-36
LycomingOTTim Deasey Pass from Joe FeerrarJohnShaffer Kick5-2543-43
Lycoming2OTTim Deasey 3 runJohn Shaffer Failed2-2543-49
Widener2OTJim Jones 8 RunPaul Ragan Kick2-2550-49

Score By Quarter1234OT2OTScore
Lycoming Warriors2138137649