September 26, 2015

Late Surge Lifts FDU-Florham Over Wilkes Football 29-26

Photo courtesy of Wilkes Athletics
MADISON, NJ – Despite a season-high 216 yards on the ground including three rushing touchdowns, visiting Wilkes University could not hold on to a late lead falling 29-26 at FDU-Florham Friday night in Middle Atlantic Conference play at Robert T. Shields Field.

Wilkes drops to 1-3 overall and 1-2 in MAC games following the defeat while FDU-Florham improves to 2-1 overall and evens its conference mark at 1-1 on the year.

Wilkes built its lead thanks to its ground attack as the Colonels first three scores came via the handoff. PJ Incremona put Wilkes on the board first rumbling in from three yards out to give the Colonels a 6-0 lead after a Carl Von Glahn extra point attempt was no good.

After FDU-Florham answered with a 20-yard touchdown pass of their own, the Colonels went back to the ground game as Brandon Latierno became the second different Wilkes rusher to find the end zone putting Wilkes ahead 13-7 just before the half.

The Colonels extended their lead to start the third quarter as Devon Fink became the Wilkes front man on the ground during the drive. Fink used three rushes to move the ball down to the FDU 5 before scampering home the Colonels third score of the night putting Wilkes ahead 20-7 following the extra point with 10:33 left in the quarter.

FDU-Florham used a seven play, 54-yard drive capped by another Devils touchdown pass to cut the advantage down to 20-14 with 4:01 left in the third.

Wilkes came right back on the offensive wasting little time to up the lead back to double digits when Ryan Dailey hit Aaron Coyne for a nine-yard touchdown pass capping a nine play, 67-yard drive over the final four minutes of the third stanza. Wilkes led 26-14 heading into the final frame.

From there, FDU-Florham scored early in the fourth on a 19-yard touchdown pass that trimmed the Wilkes lead to 26-21 before scoring the go-ahead touchdown with four minutes to go in the contest. A two-point conversion put the Devils ahead by three giving Wilkes one last chance for a tie or win.

The Colonels responded moving the ball to their own 44 before a Garrett Armstrong fumble was recovered by FDU-Florham ending the chance of a Wilkes rally late.

Dailey finished 24-for-40 for 267 yards and one score, the fourth straight game throwing over 200+ yards. William Deemer topped the Wilkes receivers with nine catches for 121 yards. Incremona led the ground game with 80 yards on 14 carries, while Latierno finished with 57 yards on 19 attempts and Fink 50 yards on nine rushes.

Nick LaVecchia, filling in for the Devils starting quarterback who was out with an injury, finished 26-for-33 for 229 yards and four touchdowns to lead the offense for FDU-Florham.

Neojoe Lughas and Tanner Stengel topped the Wilkes defense with 12 tackles each. Jared Powell and Isaiah Robinson each recorded an interception in the secondary.

Wilkes (1-3, 1-2 MAC) returns home to face Widener University next Saturday on Homecoming 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at Schmidt Stadium.