October 3, 2015

King's Football - King's Football Unable to Overcome Adversity in Close 13-7 Loss at MAC Leader Stevenson

Photo courtesy of King's Athletics
OWINGS MILLS, MD — The King's College football team faced a wealth of adversity en route to its Saturday afternoon game at Middle Atlantic Conference front-runner Stevenson University. The Monarchs entered the game without two starting offensive linemen, its second-leading pass catcher, and its starting quarterback. To compound matters, one of King's two team buses was vandalized, having its tires slashed overnight in Baltimore, forcing the squad to be shuttled from its hotel to the Stevenson campus in separate bus trips, complicating the team's pre-game preparation. The result was a gutty 13-7 defeat at the hands of unbeaten Stevenson.

With the loss, King's slipped to 1-4 overall and 1-3 in the MAC while Stevenson improved to 5-0 and 4-0 in the MAC.

The Monarchs played without starting quarterback Tom Hehre who was unable to take the field after suffering an injury last week against Delaware Valley. Starting receiverMatt Demarco, a Division I-AA transfer from Monmouth, was unable to play due to a ROTC military commitment. The Monarchs also had two offensive lineman Tyler Maxwell and Joe Imbasciani making their first career starts due to injury.

After a scoreless first quarter, King's took a 7-0 lead in the second stanza when the Monarchs put together an 11-play, 61-yard drive, capped by a four-yard run by Whitehead. The big play was a 19-yard pass from Whitehead to Mike Palmer, giving the Monarchs a first-and-goal at the Mustang four.

Stevenson got on the board when Austin Tennessee intercepted a Whitehead pass at the King's 30 and returned the offering 13 yards to the Monarch 17. The KIng's defense held firm and Stevenson settled for a 45-yard field goal from Tim Sternfield with 2:49 left in the half, a score that would hold up at the break.

Late in the third quarter King's missed out on a scoring chance when the Monarchs advanced to the Mustang 32. But two plays later a Whitehead pass to Tyler Marroniwas deflected into the air and into the hands of Mustang defender Billy Lewis to end the King's threat.

Stevenson would then march to the KIng's two-yard line where the drive stalled and Sternfield added a 23-yard field goal to cut the Monarch lead to 7-6 with 13:36 remaining in the contest.

Two possessions later, following a King's punt Stevenson assumed possession at its own 38. After two plays picked up 15 yards, quarterback Jeff Farrah dropped back and found Devin Salisbury for a 47-yard touchdown. Sternfield's kick gave the Mustangs a 13-7 lead with 10:44 to play.

King's, however, would be forced to fight poor field position on its final three possessions, advancing no further than its own 36-yard line the rest of the way as the Mustangs held on to remain in first place in the MAC.

Stevenson finished the game with a 341-171 advantage in total yards and held a 18-9 lead in first downs. The Monarchs rushed for just 60 yards on 28 attempts in the game. The Mustangs rushed for just 77 yards in the first half but controlled the game in the second half with 157 yards on the ground to finish the contest with 234 rushing yards.

Whitehead completed 13-of-26 yards for 11 yards and three interceptions with one rushing touchdown in his first career start. Zack Funk was King's leading rusher with 34 yards on 12 carries while Gabe Brown followed with 26 yards on six attempts. Marquis Miller topped the receivers with four catches for 26 yards while Tyler Marroni had two receptions for 23 yards. Danny Lynch added two catches for 16 yards while the Monarchs leading receiver Mike Palmer was held to one catch for 19 yards. The Monarchs leo hurt itself greatly with four turnovers in the game on three interceptions and one fumble.

For Stevenson Jeff Farrah completed 15-of-29 passes for 137 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Kiandre Burrell rushed for 151 yards on 21 carries while Paki Brown picked up 61 yards on 17 attempt. Seth Jordan and Cortez Taylor had three catches each while Devin Salisbury posted two catches for 56 yards and one score.

Bobby Russell led King's defense with nine tackles while Anthony Marrtuccio followed with eight stops. Chaad Curtice and Jake Manetti added seven tackles apiece.

King's will look to heal up as the Monarchs will enjoy a much-needed bye-week before returning to the field October 17 with a 1:00 p.m. Home game against Lycoming College.

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