SPORT SNIPPETS by Bill Byham

Sport announcer and writer Bill Byham

Sport announcer and writer Bill Byham

Williamsport – In somewhat of a miracle story the Lycoming College football program has qualified for the post season NCAA D-3 National championship tourney. On the last day of regular season play the Warriors came out to play Lebanon Valley knowing they had to win. They also knew that front running Albright College had to lose.It was a warm but rainy, windy day in Williamsport as the two teams faced each other. The offensive minded Dutchmen took the opening kickoff and drove for a game leading touchdown, mostly on the passing arm of lefty Caleb Fick. Joe Brennan caught the 20 yard pass for the first score to complete the 11 play, 72 yard drive that took but 4:35. 5-9, 129 pound Brittany Ryan kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

Lycoming came back on a 12 play, 49 yard drive but had to settle for a Scott Erikson 28 yard field goal to make it a 7-3 score. The Warriors, working in their first of three interceptions of Fick, put together a 39 yard drive in eight plays to score on a Josh Kleinfelter 6-yd run. Erikson added the point
as Lycoming led for the first time at 10-7 at 14:19 in the second period.

At 9:23 of that same period Fick was on target with a 21 yard Td pass to Joe Brennan but the Ryan point after was blocked as Lebanon Valley took their second lead at 13-10. It was still in the second period when Erikson came out and kicked a game tying 24 yard field goal that sent the teams to the intermission all locked up at 13-13.

In the third period the Dutchmen had the Warriors pinned inside their own 10 yard line. Warrior QB Colin Dwyer, trying to get his team out of trouble, was being chased in his own end zone when he threw an errant pass. It was ruled an illegal attempt plus it was ruled a
Lebanon Valley now led 15-13 with 7:04 left in the third.

That score stayed until the final 15 minutes. Lycoming put on their longest drive of the game by running off 13 plays for 74 yards but ran out of downs. The call went out to Erickson once again and the senior kicker booted one home from 23 yards out to give Lycoming a tense 16-15 lead with 12:30 left in the game.

It stayed that way as the Dutchmen threw everything they could at the Warrior defense. Despite the bad weather and sloppy field the punters of both teams helped keep the other team backed up. It was such a punt by Lycoming that forced Lebanon Valley to gamble from inside their own 15-yard line. With 1:55 left, Fick threw a cross field pass that Lycoming’s Jim Daley intercepted and returned for a game sealing score. Erickson added the point (his 12th point of the game) to make the final score 23-15.

Highlight numbers showed that sophomore running back Josh Kleinfelter ran for 101 net yards and closed the regular season 1,00 plus yards. Junior QB Colin Dwyer ended up 16 for 31 and 220 passing yards without an interception. Ryan Wagaman was the top receiver with seven catches for 100 yards. Daley led the defense with 12 tackles, one for a loss and one TD interception.

When the day was over the MAC had Lycoming, Albright and Delaware Valley tied for the conference lead but since Lycoming had defeated both of those teams in regular season play it gained the lead off the tie breaker rules of the conference.

On Sunday, coach Mike Clark and his staff were called by the NCAA and were told they were in the playoff tourney with their first game played Saturday on Boswell Field in Geneva, New York versus Hobart College in a noon kickoff.

Hobart (6-1 in Liberty League play/ 8-1 overall) defeated Rochester this past Saturday by a 10-7 final score. Conner Callahan kicked the game winner field goal with just 1:01 left to play. Hobart lost only to Union (38-35) in league play but they had defeated Susquehanna (Pa) 27-14 after Lycoming had defeated the Crusaders 28-16 in Game 2 of the season.

Hobart’s win marks their fifth consecutive trip to the NCAA’s. Lycoming will be there for the 14th time including two times (1990/1997) playing their way to the national championship game. Clark, in his first year as a head coach, played at Lycoming for four seasons and coached as an assistant for two more. He played on the 1990 team that dropped a 21-14 title game in overtime to Allegheny (Pa) College. This 2008 Middle Atlantic championship means Clark is 7 for 7 in being part of Lycoming College Middle Atlantic Conference football championships.

MORE FROM LYCOMING SPORTS

The Warrior men’s basketball program opened the 2008-09 season as hosts of the Lycoming Tip Off Tourney’

With new coach Charles Guy Rancourt at the helm, the Warriors defeated PSU- Hazelton 77-46 on the opening night but the University of Scranton, who had defeated Hood College Friday night 90-59, fought off Lycoming for the tourney title with a 70-59 win on Sunday.

Two Lycoming players were All Tourney selections. Eric Anthony and Greg Sye gained those awards.

Lycoming does not play again until they travel cross city to Penn College on Tuesday, November 25th.

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