October 30, 2015

Lebanon Valley Football - Dutchman Clash With Red-Hot Aggies Preview

A LVC Athletics Photo
Five Things You Need To Know
  1. Lebanon Valley is 4-2 in Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) play and is in the midst of a three-game win-streak.
  2. Kicker Marcus Brown was named the MAC Special Teams Player of the Week after converting two field goals and six extra-points at Wilkes last week.
  3. Running back Brendon Irving ranks fourth on LVC's all-time rushing list with 3,014 yards. He leads the MAC in rushing with 925 yards.
  4. The Flying Dutchmen have averaged 48.3 points per game in their last three outings. They rank second in the conference in scoring.
  5. Delaware Valley is ranked no. 24 in the D3football.com top 25 poll after a win over previously unbeaten Albright last weekend.
GoDutchmen.com Store Sale
Fans can wear the same authentic Nike merchandise worn by Lebanon Valley's athletic teams thanks to the official online store of LVC Athletics at GoDutchmen.com/store. Be sure to take advantage of LVC's special sale running through Nov. 30 by using the promo code "WELCOME" to get $15 off all orders of $75 or more. Check out 100 percent customizable shirts, hats, outerwear, and more.

Series History
Saturday's game is the 33rd meeting all-time ... Delaware Valley leads the series 20-12 ... The Aggies topped the Dutchmen 59-41 at Arnold Field last fall … LVC's 2013 overtime victory snapped a 10-year DVC winning streak ... Coach Jim Monos is 7-15 against the Aggies ... This is the 31st consecutive season they have met dating back to 1985 ... The two teams first met on Nov. 13, 1965, a 34-18 LVC win.

Last Year
Lebanon Valley dropped a wild shootout with Delaware Valley, combining for more than a thousand yards of offense in a 59-41 decision. The Dutchmen (0-4) and Aggies (3-0) together rolled out 1,049 yards of offense, 14 touchdowns, and 100 points, including 69 points in the first half alone. Brendon Irving ran for 153 yards and a touchdown, Darryl Sweeper caught a pair of scores with 150 yards overall, and Brian Murphy threw for 264 yards and three scores to lead a resurgent Lebanon Valley offense. DVC's Aaron Wilmer threw for 383 yards and four touchdowns, all of them to Rasheed Bailey, who ended up with 186 yards for the Aggies. Fullback Billy Powanda dove in for a pair of LVC scores, and Tyler George snagged a leaping touchdown in the second quarter. LVC rallied back from 49-27 down to make it a one-score game in the fourth quarter, but the Aggies capped the game with 10 unanswered points on a field goal and touchdown to secure the win. It was the first time in program history that Lebanon Valley had lost a game in regulation but still scored 40 or more points.

Last Time Out
Lebanon Valley used a huge fourth quarter effort to roll Wilkes 48-17 at Schmidt Stadium last Saturday. The victory was the Flying Dutchmen's third in a row. LVC (4-3, 4-2 MAC) opened the scoring thanks to an impressive 17-play, 7:50 drive capped by Tim Pirrone's seven-yard touchdown pass to Travis Saylor with three minutes left in the first quarter. The Colonels (1-6, 1-5 MAC) responded with a 28-yard field goal at 13:59 of the second quarter following a 12-play drive but the scoring would stall for the next ten minutes. The Dutchmen finally added to their advantage when Marcus Brown booted home a 29-yard field goal with 3:12 left in the first half before Wilkes answered with a quick, eight-play scoring drive capped by a 41-yard touchdown pass. But as quickly as the home team drew even, Lebanon Valley had an answer, going 64 yards on eight plays in just 48 seconds. Pirrone finished off the possession with his second seven-yard touchdown pass of the game, this time to Jeremy De La Cruz with 22 seconds left before halftime. The Dutchmen added the first score of the second half when Brown converted a career-long 38-yard field goal attempt following Zachary Adams' interception and eight-yard return on the Colonels' first possession of the third quarter. Wilkes cut the defict to 20-17 with a 13-play, 74-yard scoring drive that featured seven PJ Inremona rushes, including a two-yard punch in to cap the march with 7:02 remaining in the third. But again, the Dutchmen had an answer. They put together a 14-play, 67-yard scoring drive that chewed up nearly six minutes of clock. Pirrone jaunted 18 yards for a touchdown to close out the possession with 1:07 left in the quarter. The start of the fourth quarter spelled the end of any hope of a Wilkes' comeback as Lebanon Valley went 72 yards on 10 plays, adding another touchdown when Pirrone hit Corey Keen from 22 yards out to make it 34-17 LVC. Brendon Irving rushed five times on the team's ensuing possession and capped the offense's final scoring drive of the game with a seven yard touchdown run with 3:51 left to play, but it was the defense that put an exclamation point on the proceedings when Blake Lutz picked off a pass and returned it 46 yards to the end zone with 1:55 remaining.

Brown Earns Second MAC Honor
For the second time this season, Lebanon Valley's Marcus Brown is the MAC Special Teams Player of the Week. The freshman kicker accounted for 12 points in LVC's 48-17 win at Wilkes on Saturday afternoon. He converted two field goals; a career-long 38-yarder in the second half and a 29-yarder in the second quarter. He was also a perfect 6-for-6 on extra-point attempts.

Running Down History
Brendon Irving continues to climb the ranks of LVC's all-time rushing leaders. The junior running back is currently fourth on the program's all-time rushing list thanks to his 109-yard performance last week. That total put him over the 3,000-yard mark for his career and he needs just 75 yards to pass the 1,000-yard mark on the season for the second straight year. If able to do so, he would join Guiles as just the second player in school history to rush for 1,000 yards or more in back-to-back seasons. Guiles was the first player to accomplish the feat when he racked up a program-record 1,330 yards on the ground in 2010 and followed it up with a 1,226-yard campaign in 2011. His 3,014 career rushing yards ranks behind only Ben Guiles with 3,924, Charlie Parker's 3,707, and Rick Coleman's 3,106 career total. He currently ranks atop the MAC and 21st in the nation with 925 rushing yards this fall.

The Pirrone Effect
Sophomore quarterback Tim Pirrone continues to impress since taking over as the team's starter under center against Lycoming four weeks ago. He threw for a career-high four touchdowns and rushed for another in an overtime win over the Warriors before following it up with a 102-yard, one-TD performance in a victory over FDU-Florham one week later. He threw for 160 yards, tossed three touchdowns, and ran for another in LVC's 48-17 win at Wilkes last weekend. In just four games at quarterback this fall, he's thrown for 668 yards and nine touchdowns with a 54.2 completion percentage and a 150.4 efficiency rating to go along with his 137 yards and four scores on the ground.

From Arnold Field to MetLife Stadium
Former Lebanon Valley football player Brett Keller '06 remains close to the game he played for four years as a Flying Dutchman. Now, however, he mans the sidelines at MetLife Stadium as a Sports Medicine Fellow for Atlantic Sports Health, working in particular with the New York Jets. The former LVC offensive lineman and linebacker has been working as a member of the field in the years since his graduation. Now, he's living out this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with doctors and players of one of the NFL's most storied franchises. Keller was kind enough to discuss his journey from Annville to New York and explain his role as a member of the 2015-16 Jets' medical staff. His responses to a number of questions submitted to him by GoDutchmen.com can be viewed here.

LVC Accolades
A number of LVC players have been recognized by various organizations for their individual performances so far this season:

Freshman K Marcus Brown – MAC Football Special Teams Player of the Week (9/7)
Senior SS Kevin Antol – D3football.com Team of the Week (9/8)
Sophomore QB Tim Pirrone – MAC Football Offensive Player of the Week (10/4)
Sophomore QB Tim Pirrone – ECAC South Football Offensive Player of the Week (10/5)
Junior RB Brendon Irving – MAC Football Offensive Player of the Week (10/11)
5th-year LB Trevor St. Clair – D3football.com Team of the Week (10/12)
Freshman K Marcus Brown – MAC Football Special Teams Player of the Week (10/18)

Aggies Heating Up
Delaware Valley has won five straight since dropping its 2015 MAC opener to Wilkes on Sept. 12. The Aggies most recent victory was also their most impressive as DelVal traveled to Reading and knocked off previously unbeaten and nationally-ranked Albright 28-23 last Saturday. Thanks to that victory, the Aggies are currently in the driver's seat in the conference standings.

Noting LVC's Offense
LVC has posted 40-plus points in each of its last three games, averaging 48.3 points per game during that span. The Dutchmen are averaging 35.7 points per contest this fall, good enough to rank second in the MAC. Lebanon Valley has leaned on a solid offensive line and racked up 258.6 rushing yards to go along with 149.9 yards through the air per outing. Brendon Irving has been strong on the ground, averaging 132.1 yards per game with 12 consecutive 100-yard rushing performances dating back to 2014. He is the MAC's leading-rusher with 925 yards on the ground and five touchdowns. Tim Pirrone has emerged as the team's top quarterback, throwing for 668 yards and nine touchdowns to go along with four rushing touchdowns and a 150.4 efficiency rating.Travis Saylor, Jeremy De La Cruz, Kyle Zimnik, and Irving have pulled in two touchdown receptions apiece. LVC has taken better care of the ball in recent weeks and holds a plus-two edge in turnover margin.

Noting LVC's Defense
The Dutchmen defense is allowing 23.1 points and 375.7 yards per game to this point in the season. Opponents have averaged 153.4 rushing yards and 222.3 passing yards per contest with just six of the 18 touchdowns the unit has surrendered coming on the ground. Linebacker Trevor St. Clair is the team's leading-tackler with 47, including 6.5 tackles-for-loss, and has added three interceptions, 3.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery. Safety Kevin Antol has made 34 stops with four for loss to go along with a sack, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. Reid Pavlik, Tom Gallagher, and Tommy Garner join fellow linebacker St. Clair as top-five tacklers on the team, while defensive end Andrew Livingston has added 2.5 sacks. St. Clair and defensive back Ricky Fegginsrank tied-for-seventh in the MAC with three interceptions, while fellow corner Bryan Ek has picked off two passes, Spencer Moserand Zachary Adams have one each, and Blake Lutz returned an interception 46 yards for a touchdown last week. The unit has forced 20 turnovers on the year; 12 interceptions and eight fumbles.

Noting LVC's Special Teams
LVC's special teams has been nearly perfect this season, with one kickoff return for a touchdown and a missed field goal as the unit's most egregious blemishes to this point. Spencer Moser is averaging more than 37 yards per punt after recording a long of 56 yards against FDU-Florham three weeks ago. He's also pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line on 12 occasions, including twice against the Colonels last weekend. Kicker Marcus Brown is 5-for-6 on field goals, including a career-long of 38 yards he converted last week, and Nick Newton's kickoffs are traveling an average of 52.7 yards. He's also recorded three touchbacks.

Scouting DelVal
Delaware Valley is one of three MAC teams with a 6-1 record and 5-1 mark in league play, along with Albright and Stevenson. After opening conference play with a 12-7 loss to Wilkes, the Aggies have put together a five-game win-streak. The DelVal defense ranks second in the MAC in points allowed and is surrendering just 14 per outing. Defensive back Danny Wynee leads the unit with 52 tackles, including two for loss, while Rashaad Lighty is the team's leader in sacks with five. The squad is averaging 24.9 points, 296.7 rushing yards, and 122.6 yards through the air per contest. Devauntay Ellis is the team's leading-rusher with 536 yards and five touchdowns, while quarterback Danny Farley has thrown for 614 yards but no scores. Wideouts Tyler Bing, Eric Shorter, and James Norton have all passed the century mark in receiving yards and Shawn Miller has made a team-high two interceptions. The Aggies are minus-one in turnover margin after forcing 12 and committing 13.

Who's Next?
The Dutchmen return to Arnold Field for their 2015 home finale and Senior Day on Saturday afternoon, Nov. 7. Kickoff against King's is set for 1 p.m.
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