An early-season bye week can be good or bad.
It can give a team some rest after a physical game and could give a team more time to work on things that didn’t go as planned in the opener.
King’s coach Jeff Knarr is hoping the week off after a close loss to William Paterson in Week 1 is just what his team needed to get going as the Monarchs face Lebanon Valley this afternoon at 1.
“Whenever (the bye) is, you make the most of it and go from there,” Knarr said. “The positive for us is they say you make the most improvement from game one to game two, so we’ve had some extra practice time to make that come true.”
If getting better after the first game occurs for the Monarchs, they will be looking at their first victory.
Against William Paterson, King’s did a lot of things very well. If not for a few mistakes, he team would’ve earned a win two weeks ago.
The offense was balanced with 35 rushes and 26 passes. The passing yards outnumbered the yards on the ground by more than 100, but that’s not too far from the norm.
“We did leave some things on the field,” Knarr said. “We could’ve handled protection a little better. Clean up our technique. It was good balance, but now we have to be consistent and not miss opportunities when they’re out there.”
Defensively, the Monarchs will be going against a run-heavy Lebanon Valley offense, which uses the run to open up the throwing game. The Dutchmen have used four runners in the backfield at times and quarterback Brian Murphy is also a threat to take off instead of throw.
“We have to match their physicality so we’re off the ball and the guys in the secondary can’t get caught up in stopping run, stopping run, stopping run and then boom they’re behind us,” Knarr added.
King’s (0-1, 0-0) at Lebanon Valley (1-1, 0-1)
When: 1 p.m. today at Arnold Field, Annville
Last Week: The Monarchs are coming off a bye week. In Week 1, they lost to William Paterson 21-19. Lebanon Valley fell to Widener 35-28.
Last meeting: In 2012, the Dutchmen won 34-19. King’s hasn’t beaten Lebanon Valley since 2006 and hasn’t won in Annville since 2005.
King’s players to watch: The King’s defensive front was outstanding against William Paterson, allowing just 54 rushing yards and picking up five sacks.
Lebanon Valley players to watch: Receivers Jake Ziegler and Joey Miller were lauded as All-MAC last season as honorable mention and second-team, respectively. This season they’ve combined for 16 receptions for 239 yards.
Monarchs’ team leaders: RB Kyle McGrath 94 yards, TD; QB Tyler Hartranft 213 yards, TD; WR Dan Kempa 5 rec, 105 yards; LB Nick Kaijala 10 tackles; LB Chad Curtice 2 sacks; DL Pete Santorelli 1 int.
Dutchmen’s team leaders: RB Evan Fink 58 yards, TD; QB Brian Murphy 350 yards, 3TD, 1int; WR Joey Miller 6 rec, 121 yards, TD; DB Brian Kasper 20 tackles; DB Ryan Melley 1 int; LB Frank Gaffney 2 sacks.
King’s will win if: Quarterback Tyler Hartranft can pick apart the Lebanon Valley secondary like Widener did last week when it piled up nearly 400 yards through the air.
Lebanon Valley will win if: The four running backs — Evan Fink, Matt Richmond, Brendan Irving and Austin Hartman — get through the Monarchs’ front and into open fields to break open big runs.
What to know: Lebanon Valley kicker Sean Fakete is closing in on 100 career extra points. He currently has 96. If he reaches the century mark, he will be the first in school history to do so.