King's is looking to get past a few obstacles this afternoon when it takes to the field to play William Paterson in the first game of the season.
The Monarchs and Pioneers have squared off the last three seasons. Paterson has won all three, but the last two years have been by a total of 13 points. King's is trying to get over that hump and break that streak against a familiar opponent.
"The big thing for us to get over (the close losses) is to come out and score early," King's coach Jeff Knarr said. "Then we have to not kill ourselves with penalties and take advantage of opportunities."
A good start for the Monarchs could also lead to more confidence, something the team has lacked in the Knarr's first two seasons when they won a total of just two games. They started to gain some optimism after playing a scrimmage last week against quality opponent Muhlenberg and making key plays and big hits all over the field.
Knarr is hoping to get off to a quick start this afternoon for several reasons. Not only, will it lead to more confidence, but it's something the team has had a problem accomplishing in the past. And with a young team, it could only lead to bigger things.
"It's something where they will say that we're a good, young football team with potential to grow this season," Knarr added.
at William Paterson (0-0)
When: 1 p.m. today at Wightman Stadium, Wayne, N.J.
Last Meeting: The teams have met the last three years. Last year, Paterson won 13-6.
What to know: This is one of eight games being played in the MAC vs. NJAC Challenge.
About the Monarchs: They're a young team coming off a 1-9 record a year ago, with just four returning starters on offense. Their strength is on defense with six starters back, including standout linebackers in Ryan Cordingly and Ryan Kelly, who are both four-year starters.
About the Pioneers: They return a total of 17 starters from the squad that won four games. They also return a 1,000-yard rusher in Dawys German, who ran for 1,020 yards and eight scores in 2011.
Notes: The Monarchs will play a two-headed quarterback in sophomores Bryant Klein and Tyler Hartranft…Pioneers quarterback Ryan Gresik returns to the lineup after missing most of the 2011 season due to an injury.
King's will win if it can contain German, who was a first-team All-NJAC selection last year at the position. If there's a team that can stop him it is the Monarchs with their experience at linebacker.
William Paterson will win if it can take advantage of the Monarchs' youth. The Pioneers have the experience in the showdown. But a drawback to the experience is that makes King's more familiar with its opponent.