October 5, 2014

Special Teams Account For All 10 Points in 31-10 Road Loss at No. 25 Lycoming

Photo Courtesy of Stevenson Sports Information
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Stevenson football sophomore Devonte Williams became the first player in school history to return a kickoff for a touchdown as he went 83 yards in the first quarter, but it was enough to overcome one of the nation's top defenses at home as Lycoming posted a 31-10 victory Saturday afternoon at David Pearson Field.

Stevenson (4-1, 3-1 MAC) had its three-game road winning streak snapped and suffered just its second conference loss in the last six games.

Wiliams, the top kick returner in the Middle Atlantic Conference this season, tied the game at 7-7 just 12 seconds after the Warriors took the early lead on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Jenny to Pat Whalen, capping a 7-play, 81-yard drive on the game's first possession.

The Mustangs faced a huge opportunity on their second possession after junior Rasheed Lashley sacked Jenny, forcing a fumble that was recovered by senior Scott Lange at the Lycoming 29-yard line.

However, Stevenson could not capitalize as it was held out of the end zone of four-straight runs on first-and-goal from the one-yard line.

Although not as good as the second, the Mustangs had a third consecutive opportunity to score on its next possession, but a 47-yard field goal attempt by junior Tim Sternfeld was wide left. While it had the distance, the windy conditiions pushed it just outside the left upright.

Undaunted by what could have been a 17-7 lead, the Stevenson defense, who entered the game with the nation's 12th-ranked scoring offense and 14th-ranked rushing defense, remained strong, holding the Warriors scoreless on its next two possessions, including a stop on 4th-and-1 from the Mustang 25.

Unfortunately, the Mustang offense was also limited by the nation's 8th-ranked total defense while the Lycoming offense final broke through, scoring on its final two drives of the half to take a 21-7 lead.

After the Warriors' final drive, Williams returned the kickoff 39 yards to the Lycoming 41, but despite getting the 24, Stevenson turned the ball over on downs.

The two teams would exchange field goals in the second half before Craig Needhammer found the endzone for the second time on a 2-yard run with 7:02 remaining in the fourth quarter. He finished the game with 122 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.

The Lycoming defense held the Mustangs to just 184 yards of total offense and nine first downs while total seven sacks. The Warriors now have 23 in five games this season. Meanwhile, the Lycoming offense scored on five of seven trips inside the red zone against the nation's 8th-ranked red zone defense.

Sophomore Trey Lee finished with 52 yards on 16 carries while freshman Brian Matthews made his debut, totaling 38 yards on seven carries.

Following a bye next week, Stevenson will return home for just the second time this season on Saturday, October 18 when the Mustangs welcome Delaware Valley to Mustang Stadium for a 3:00 p.m., kickoff.

The Aggies (4-0, 3-0 MAC) are one of three remaining unbeaten teams in the conference following today's 56-24 victory over Albright at home. Lycoming and Widener are now tied atop the standings with identical 5-0 overall records, including a mark of 4-0 in the MAC.