WILKES-BARRE TWP. — Having lost two games this season in heart-breaking fashion, the King’s College football team was due to have one go its favor.
And that happened on Saturday afternoon at McCarthy Stadium.
Quarterback Zach Whitehead capped a solid all-around performance by scoring a 1-yard touchdown with 20 seconds left in the game as the Monarchs defeated FDU-Florham 18-15.
“Our kids will follow him to the ends of the earth and they followed him to the end zone on that last drive,” King’s coach Jeff Knarr said about his QB, who threw for 219 yards and ran for a team-high 53 yards.
King’s (3-4 MAC, 4-4 overall), which had offensive problems for most of the afternoon with dropped balls, turnovers or costly penalties, kicked it into high-gear on the final scoring drive, getting the ball back trailing 15-10 with 2:12 remaining and the ball on the 48 yard line.
The leadership of Whitehead took over as well. The senior completed two passes for 26 yards to begin the drive then followed with an 18-yard first-down run.
After an intentional grounding penalty pushed the offense back, the Devils (1-6, 2-6) were called for pass interference on a third down.
Whitehead then picked up nine more yards on the ground, including the go-ahead score. Right before the game-winning score Whitehead told Knarr and the whole offense during a timeout that he was going to get in the end zone no matter what.
“He’s a gamer. He battles and he competes. He’ll tell you this wasn’t his best game,” Knarr said. “But he keeps battling and competing, and that’s all you can ask from any of your kids.”
When FDU got the ball back, Malcolm Johnston sacked Tommy Galante, who coughed up the ball and it was recovered by the Monarchs’ Chris DeGaetano on the 4 to seal the win.
“We wanted to keep guys up front to chase the (quarterback) around,” Knarr said about his defense’s final stand. “We practice those things all the time and it was good to get pressure and cause the fumble and get the ball that way. It was real good to end the game like that for our defense, who I thought played outstanding all day. ”
In a battle featuring two of the top three passing offenses in the conference and two of the bottom three teams in passing defense in the league, the contest was supposed to be a shootout.
But it took a while for both units to get going.
After the Monarchs took a 7-3 lead with 46 seconds left in the first quarter, on a 43-yard touchdown strike from Whitehead to Tyler Marroni on an eight-play, 75-yard drive, they didn’t get another sustained possession like that until the fourth quarter when a 13-play, 50-yard drive ended with a career-long 40-yard field goal by Mike Tumminello.
That score with 13:39 left on the clock pulled King’s within 12-10, but the Devils answered with the third field goal of the game by Nick Maciejewski to extend the lead to 15-10 with 8:43 to go.
A strong gusty wind pelted the field throughout the entire game, which could have impacted the offense’s slightly as well.
“Whether it was the wind or the timing or what, our passes were just off a little bit,” Knarr said. “They were playing a little tighter coverage on our guys than what we saw on film. It was a combination of things and we just weren’t sharp. But kept working it at and found a way.”
Albright 26, Wilkes 23
Wilkes University lead by four points late against Albright College, but the Lions used a touchdown pass with 15 seconds remaining in regulation to complete the comeback. The Colonels fell to 0-8 on the season.
Wilkes took a 23-16 lead when Ian Brown sacked Albright quarterback Alec Vignola knocking the ball loose. Vinnie Warner was able to recover in the end zone for the Colonels touchdown with 13:29 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Albright scored 10 unanswered points to end the game.
Wilkes quarterback Nicholas Geimer finished 12-for-22 for 140 yards and one score through the air, and used his legs for a career-high 171 yards on 30 carries. He scored a rushing touchdown as well.
Garrett Armstrong was the top target for the Colonels, catching four balls for 57 yards.
The Wilkes defense played its best game all year limiting the Albright offense to 341 total yards including a season-low -20 on the ground. Bud Moyer led the defense with nine tackles and 2.0 coming for a loss.
Lycoming 35, Misericordia 17
Leading 14-3 at halftime, the Lycoming scored three unanswered touchdowns in the third quarter.
Misericordia added two scores in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.
Misericordia’s Aaron Barry was 21-for-33 for 133 yards and an interception in his first career start at quarterback. Clayton Vleck gained 60 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.
Isaiah Williams had 10 receptions for 56 yards.
Damian Diaz led the MU defense with six tackles while Tom Anderson, Jordan Aquino and Fredo Santorelli all had five stops.
Canterbury School 21, Wyoming Seminary 19
Wyoming Seminary fell to the Canterbury School in Conn., 21-19.
King’s 18, FDU-Florham 15
FDU – Maciewjewski 27 field goal 4:00
KC – Marroni 43 pass from Whitehead (Tumminello kick) :46
FDU – Maciejewski 29 field goal 6:37
FDU – Blackmon 40 run (run failed) 3:43
KC – Tumminello 40 field goal 13:39
FDU – Maciejewski 28 field goal 8:43
KC – Whitehead 1 run (Flynn pass from Whitehead) :20
Sacks by-yards lost`4-20`2-19
PASSING – FDU, Green 10-21-0-82, Galante 4-12-1-46. KING’S, Whitehead 17-35-1-219, Manetti 0-1-1-0.
RUSHING— FDU, Iannone 20-154, Blackman 11-86, Blakely 1-1, Galante 4-(minus-18), Green 2-(minus-4). KC, Whitehead 21-53, Nelson 8-31, Downes 14-44, Nelson 8-31, TEAM 1-(minus-2), Costantino 1-(minus-7).
RECEIVING— FDU, Pressley 5-85, Panzarino 3-23, McCain 4-10, Iannone 1-12, Camillo 1-(minus-2). KC, Marroni 11-150, Campbell 4-46, Flynn 1-15, Nelson 1-8.
INTERCEPTIONS – FDU, Turner 1-1, Jenkins 1-0. KC, Butler 1-0.
MISSED FG’S – FDU, Maciejewski (35, WL); KC, Tumminello (29, WL)