October 9, 2014

Lebanon Valley Football - Preview: LVC Hosts Misericordia For Homecoming

Photo courtesy of Lebanon Valley Sports Information
Lebanon Valley (0-5, 0-3 MAC) vs. Misericordia (1-4, 1-3 MAC)
Saturday, Oct. 11 | 1 p.m. | Arnold Field | The Third Meeting
Game Info

Lebanon Valley hosts Misericordia on Homecoming Weekend looking for a win to kickstart its season. The Dutchmen are winless but hope to capture the magic that has seen them win their last six Homecoming games.

Online Video
The game is being video streamed live and for free on LVCtv.

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 Brian Keyser will call the action. The game will be streamed live and for free at WMSSFM.com and GoDutchmen.com.

Weather Forecast
[Forecast] Partly cloudy and a high in the mid-60s.

If You Only Know Five Things
Lebanon Valley is trying to get one in the win column after a tough 0-5 start. Misericordia, at 1-4, has its lone win over FDU-Florham.

Senior DE Andrew Livingston is the reigning MAC Defensive Player of the Week, and leads the team with 4.0 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss this season.

The Dutchmen have won six games in a row on Homecoming.

Lebanon Valley has won each of the previous two meetings with Misericordia as their program enters its third season.

Before today's game, LVC will introduce its 2014 Hall of Fame Class, and at halftime, it will crown the Homecoming king and queen. Senior WR Darryl Sweeper is on the Homecoming court.

Series History
The game is the third meeting all-time ... LVC has won each of the previous two match-ups ... This is the third year of Misericordia football ... LVC won MU's only other trip to Arnold Field, 47-7, back in 2012. That was the Cougars' inaugural MAC game, and was also the first football game played on artificial turf at Arnold Field.

Last Year vs. Misericordia
LVC had the second-best rushing day in program history, going off for 441 yards including Brendan Irving's 154, to beat Misericordia 31-14 on the road. LVC's offensive line was dominant in both phases, not allowing a sack while pushing LVC to its highest rushing total since 1989. Misericordia, which had the MAC's top rushing offense heading into the game, was held to 166 yards on the ground and just 91 yards after a long opening drive. LVC completed only one pass and did not punt, scoring onfive drives, turning it over three times, and running out the clock twice. Misericordia's Jeff Puckett completed 10 of 18 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown.

King's Recap
Lebanon Valley's offense never found its rhythm to take advantage of a superb defensive game as the Dutchmen fell to King's last Saturday, 10-7. LVC's defense allowed only 194 yards and generated four sacks, but the offense managed 232 yards and a single touchdown despite stronger second-half play. Tyler George caught his team-leading sixth touchdown of the season on a 17-yard strike from Brian Murphy in the fourth quarter, but LVC wasted chances to go ahead with an earlier field goal blocked and a pick-six called back on a penalty. Frank Gaffney again led LVC with nine tackles, but it was Andrew Livingston who set the tone defensively with eight stops and 2.5 sacks, while Joey Scerbo had six stops, half a sack, and two batted passes. The secondary limited King's to 128 yards of passing as Kevin Antol made two break-ups and Trevor St. Clair snagged an interception.

No Place Like Homecoming
LVC is aiming for its seventh straight Homecoming win today. The Class of 2015 would be only the fifth in program history to win all four of its Homecoming games, joining the previous three senior classes and the class of 1977.

Homecoming Court
As is tradition, LVC will crown its Homecoming king and queen at halftime. The Homecoming court includes a football player - senior wide receiver Darryl Sweeper - and has plenty of other athletic connections, featuring track & field's Kat O'Hara, swimmer Brett Frazier, women's basketball's Kiely Chaklos, cheerleader Sarah Witmer, and student athletic training aide Amisha Lala, along with Nick Cove, Adam Fuehrer, Billy Gartrell, and Steph Behrends.

Livingston Earns MAC Honor
Senior defensive end Andrew Livingston was named the MAC Defensive Player of the Week on Sunday. Livingston led a fantastic performance by LVC's defense at King's, compiling eight tackles and 2.5 sacks. He was part of a defensive front seven that allowed only 66 yards rushing, and LVC gave up only 194 yards of offense overall.

Mr. Consistent
Senior wide receiver Tyler George has been Lebanon Valley's most consistent offensive producer through Week 5, compiling 379 yards and six touchdowns, including TDs in four of five contests. His scoring output is the highest by an LVC receiver through five games since 2005, when all-time receiving leader Adam Brossman '08 caught seven.

Noting LVC's Offense
LVC's offense has stayed remarkbaly healthy through the halfway point, putting the same 11 starters out in each game ... LVC is averaging 17.2 points per game with 109 yards rushing and 167.2 yards passing ... Brian Murphy heads the offense throwing for nine touchdowns and 836 yards this season ... Tyler George is his favorite target, catching 27 balls for 379 yards and six touchdowns ... Darryl Sweeper has 17 catches for 267 yards and two scores, and Mike Smith has LVC's other receiving TD this season ... The run game is headed by brendon Irving, who has 445 yards and a touchdown averaging 4.3 yards per carry ... Spencer Moser has been a solid second option as a freshman, accounting for 76 yards and 3.6 yards per carry ... LVC loves to use its fullbacks, with Bobby Conlon running seven times for a 4.3 yard average and Billy Powanda scoring two touchdowns ... The offensive line has LVC +2 in sacks, allowing 10 over five games ... Left tackle Tyler Dean will start his team-high 35th career game today.

Noting LVC's Defense
LVC's defense is allowing 32.4 points per game, but is coming off a very good outing at King's that saw them limit the Monarchs to 10 points and 256 yards of offense ... LVC holds opponents to 133.2 yards rushing per game, a good sign against the run-heavy Misericordia offense ... Frank Gaffney is the team's leading tackler, compiling 49 stops (31 solo) with 1.5 sacks through five games ... Andrew Livingston, the reigning MAC Defensive Player of the Week, has been a big addition to the defense line at end with 33 tackles and team-highs in sacks (4.0) and tackles for loss (6.5) ... LVC linemen have batted down six passes this year, with three each by Livingston and Joe Scerbo ... Despite missing a game, Scerbo has 3.0 sacks and 4.0 TFL among only 16 tackles ... Five different Dutchmen have interceptions this year, led by Zach Wierman's two ... Trevor St. Clair snagged his first last week, and Tyler Laudeman, DJ Johnson, and Bryan Ek also have picks ... LVC has been plagued by injuries at linebacker, moving Frank Gaffney to the strong side and converting safety Reid Pavlik to the weak side to start last week ... Tahlim Daniels, last week's Will starter, is out vs. Misericordia, but LVC anticipates getting back freshman Tommy Garner, who started at Sam against Stevenson and Del Val ... Scerbo and Wierman will make their 20th career starts this weekend.

Noting LVC's Specialists
Ricky Feggins took over punt return duties last week and had a good game, averaging 13.0 yards on two takes ... Spencer Moser and Tim Pirrone have been a solid duo on kick returns, each averaging just over 19.0 yards per return ... Jeff Hacker is averaging 35 yards per punt with only one touchback this season ... Nick Newton and Matthew Smoluk have split kickoffs, with Newton averaging 51.1 yards per kick ... Smoluk is 1-of-2 on field goals with his bid at King's blocked.

Scouting Misericordia
The Cougars (1-4, 1-3 MAC) love to run the ball, taking nearly five rushes per passing attempt this season. They average 209 yards per game on the ground to only 67 yards passing. Quarterback Jeff Puckett is their leading rusher, accounting for 575 yards and six touchdowns while also throwing two more. Defensively, MU allows 35.2 points and 415 yards of offense per game.

Next Time
LVC will enjoy the bye week before returning Oct. 25 against Wilkes at Arnold Field.