October 22, 2015

Lebanon Valley Football - Dutchman Look to Keep Rolling at Wilkes

Photo courtesy of LVC Athletics
Five Things You Should Know
  1. Lebanon Valley is 3-2 in Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) play and is coming off its bye after a 56-14 trouncing of FDU-Florham on Homecoming two weeks ago.
  2. Running back Brendon Irving was named the MAC Offensive Player of the Week following his 128-yard, two-touchdown performance against FDU-Florham.
  3. Middle linebacker Trevor St. Clair was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week thanks to his six tackles (3.5 TFL, 2.5 S), interception, and forced fumble against FDU-Florham.
  4. The Flying Dutchmen have won four consecutive games against Wilkes.
  5. LVC has won four games in a row coming off the team's bye week dating back to 2011.
Series History
Saturday's game is the 44th meeting all-time ... Wilkes holds a slim series lead at 23-20 ... Lebanon Valley has won four in row ... LVC head coach Jim Monos is 11-9 against the Colonels ... Seven of the last nine games in the series have been decided by one score or less … last year's 46-0 LVC win the team's first shutout victory since 2009 and biggest since a 49-0 blanking of Lincoln in 1949 ... The first meeting in the series was Oct. 3, 1959, a 15-6 LVC win.

Last Year
Lebanon Valley dominated in all phases of the game, shutting out Wilkes 46-0 at Arnold Field to earn its second straight win. Quarterback Brian Murphy threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns on 11-of-14 passing, including a 78-yard strike to Tyler George and a 43-yarder to Darryl Sweeper. George ended up with a career-high 166 yards on six catches, while Brendon Irvinghad a 148-yard, three-touchdown outing at running back. LVC racked up 547 yards of total offense, holding onto the ball for more than 37 minutes as the defense stuffed Wilkes all afternoon long. The Dutchmen defense had a fantastic outing, limiting Wilkes to 256 yards overall and only 53 yards rushing. Constant pressure on quarterback Ryan Dailey resulted in a 17-for-44 passing day for the Colonels, as LVC produced eight hurries, a sack, and interceptions by DJ Johnson and Mike Gilger. Frank Gaffney and Reid Pavlik owned the edges with six tackles apiece, and Andrew Livingston made five stops with two pressures.

Last Time Out
Lebanon Valley made it look easy on Homecoming as the Flying Dutchmen handled FDU-Florham 56-14 to get back above the .500 mark in Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) play. The LVC (3-3, 3-2 MAC) defense set the tone early when Zachary Adamsstrip-sacked Devils' quarterback Joseph McCain at the Florham 47-yard line. John Salcedo pounced on the loose ball and Ryan Finkcapped the ensuing drive with a one-yard touchdown run with 8:16 left in the first quarter. The Dutchmen added a second touchdown before the quarter was out when Jon Jones broke a 41-yard run up the gut and rumbled to pay dirt on the team's next possession. Marcus Brown's extra-point made it 14-0 LVC at the 4:33 mark. Lebanon Valley needed just one play on the team's first drive of the second quarter to add to the advantage as quarterback Tim Pirrone hit a wide-open Brendon Irving on a wheel route for 61 yards and touchdown. The next Dutchmen scoring drive was perfectly-executed smash-mouth football as LVC ran the ball eight consecutive times with Irving accounting for 30 yards and Jones racking up 28 and a touchdown from one-yard out with 6:11 left before halftime. The defense got into the scoring act on FDU-Florham's (2-3, 1-3 MAC) ensuing possession as strong safety Kevin Antol undercut a McCain pass, picked it off, and scampered untouched for a 56-yard touchdown with just over four minutes remaining in the first half. LVC's first drive of the second half was all Irving as the MAC's leading-rusher carried the ball ten times for 61 yards, including a one-yard touchdown run that finished off the possession. The Devils finally got on the board when McCain found wide receiver Dennis Sutton open across the midde for a 20-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter but Lebanon Valley responded with a 10-play, 49-yard scoring drive that ended with Ryan Fink punching the ball across the goal line on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line. FDU-Florham added a garbage-time touchdown when McCain hooked up with his favorite wideout Malik Pressley for a 60-yard score. Cyree Sutton-Ames' six carries and Tyler Cottle's kneel-down bled the clock and gave the Dutchmen their eighth win in a row on Homecoming.

Hall-of-Fame Pregame Speech
Less than 24 hours after his induction into the Lebanon Valley College Athletic Hall of Fame, former men's basketball and golf standout Jon-David (JD) Byers '05 met with the LVC football team prior to the squad's Homecoming outing against FDU-Florham. On Saturday morning, Byers gave an impassioned speech to the Flying Dutchmen players, covering everything from what it means to love your teammates to what it means to be a leader to the importance of coaching and enjoying one's time as a student-athlete. The two-time all-American's words seemed to inspire LVC as the team played its best game of the fall in a 56-14 victory a few hours later.

Irving Earns MAC Honor
Brendon Irving was named the MAC Football Offensive Player of the Week after he accounted for two touchdowns in LVC's 56-14 Homecoming victory over FDU-Florham on Saturday, Oct. 10. The junior tailback rushed 23 times for 128 yards and a touchdown, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. The MAC's leading rusher also hauled in a 61-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Tim Pirroneearly in the first half. Irving has rushed for 100-plus yards in 11 consecutive games dating back to last season. For the year, he's racked up 816 yards and four scores on the ground to go along with two receiving touchdowns.

Running Down History
Irving needs 95 yards on the ground to become just the fourth player in program history to rush for 3,000 for his career. The junior's 2,905 career rushing yards ranks behind only Ben Guiles with 3,924, Charlie Parker's 3,707, and Rick Coleman's 3,106 career total. Irving needs just 184 rushing yards to pass the 1,000-mark for the second straight season. 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.

St. Clair Named to D3football.com Team of the Week
Thanks to his strong performance in LVC's 56-14 win over FDU-Florham on Oct. 10, Trevor St. Clair was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week. The senior inside linebacker did a little bit of everything for the Flying Dutchmen, making a team-high six tackles, including two solo stops, despite leaving the game with the score well in hand in the third quarter. The team captain had three and a half tackles for loss totaling minus-14 yards, including two and a half sacks. He added a first-quarter interception which he returned for 15 yards, and forced a fumble. St. Clair leads the team with 42 tackles, 6.5 TFL, and 3.5 sacks. He's also tied for the team-lead with three interceptions.

Antol's Pick-Six Voted MAC Play of the Week
Kevin Antol's 56-yard interception return for a touchdown against FDU-Florham during Lebanon Valley's 56-14 win on Saturday, Oct. 10 was voted the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Play of the Week. Late in the second quarter of LVC's Homecoming contest, the senior strong safety undercut a pass from Devils' quarterback Joseph McCain just across the Flying Dutchmen side of midfield, made a move to get outside the right hash mark, and raced untouched down the sideline and into the end zone to increase the team's first half lead to 35-0.

Off the Bye
The week after the bye has been good to Lebanon Valley the past few seasons. The Dutchmen have won their last four contests following their bye week dating back to the 2011 campaign. Last season, LVC shut out Wilkes 46-0 after topping Misericordia 31-14 in 2013. In 2012, the Dutchmen defeated Wilkes 21-13 after besting longtime rival Albright 24-17 in 2011. A no. 13-ranked Delaware Valley squad was the last team to beat LVC following the bye. The Aggies earned a 38-6 victory over Lebanon Valley in 2010.

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)

Noting LVC's Offense
LVC posted its highest single-game point total of the season in a 56-14 victory over FDU-Florham two weeks ago. The Dutchmen are averaging 33.7 points and 414 yards per game so far this fall. Lebanon Valley has leaned on a solid offensive line and racked up 265.8 rushing yards to go along with 148.2 yards through the air per outing. Brendon Irving has been strong on the ground, averaging 136 yards per game with 11 consecutive 100-yard rushing performances dating back to 2014. He is the MAC's leading-rusher with 816 yards on the ground and four touchdowns. Tim Pirrone has emerged as the team's top quarterback, throwing for 508 yards and six touchdowns to go along with three rushing touchdowns and a 146.6 efficiency rating. Travis Saylor is averaging 17 yards per reception, Jeremy De La Cruz has the team's lone 100-yard receiving effort this season, while Kyle Zimnik, Gary Wise, and Steven Salcedo all pulled in their first career touchdown receptions within the past three weeks. With a minus-two turnover margin, LVC is looking to cut down giveaways.

Noting LVC's Defense
The Dutchmen defense is allowing 24.2 points and 383 yards per game to this point in the season. Opponents have averaged 164.5 rushing yards and 218.5 passing yards per contest with just five of the 14 touchdowns the unit has surrendered coming on the ground. Linebacker Trevor St. Clair is the team's leading-tackler with 42, including 6.5 tackles-for-loss, and has added three interceptions, 3.5 sacks, and a fumble recovery. Safety Kevin Antol has made 27 stops with three for loss to go along with a sack, a forced fumble, 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 Feggins rank tied-for-fourth in the MAC with three interceptions, while fellow corner Bryan Ek has picked off two passes and Spencer Moserhas one. The unit has forced 16 turnovers on the year; 11 interceptions and five fumbles.

Noting LVC's Special Teams
LVC's special teams has been nearly perfect, allowing just kickoff return for a touchdown three weeks ago. Spencer Moser is averaging more than 37 yards per punt after recording a long of 56 yards against FDU-Florham two weeks ago. He's also pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line on 10 occasions, including twice against the Devils. Kicker Marcus Brown is 3-for-4 on field goals with a long of 28 yards and Nick Newton's kickoffs are traveling an average of 52.4 yards. He's also recorded three touchbacks. Special teams ace Tim Schumacher leads the team with two fumble recoveries while Darian Feick, Blake Lutz, andChris Santana are among those consistently contributing on special teams.

Scouting Wilkes
Wilkes is off to a bit of a rough start as the Colonels are 1-5 and 1-4 in MAC play. After opening league play with an impressive win over Delaware Valley, Wilkes has dropped its last four outings, including a 62-9 decision to Albright two weeks ago. The team is averaging just 14.2 points per contest, but is allowing more than 34 per game. The Colonels are averaging just 83.5 yards per outing on the ground but have averaged 245.3 passing yards through six games. PJ Incremona is the team's leading-rusher with 297 yards, while quarterback Ryan Dailey has already passed the century mark through the air this fall with 1,469 yards and seven touchdowns. Seven Colonels have crossed the century mark in receiving yards with William Deemer leading the way 336 while Aaron Coyne has pulled in a team-high four touchdowns. Tanner Stengel is the team's leading-tackler with 70, including 9.5 tackles-for-loss and three sacks. Jordan Stiles has picked off two passes and Wilkes is minus-two in turnover margin, having forced ten and committed 12.

Who's Next?
The Dutchmen play their second straight road game next Saturday afternoon, Oct. 31 when LVC heads to Delaware Valley. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.