King's coach Jeff Knarr doesn't talk to his team much about the embarrassing 70-point loss last year to Widener.
While the coach thinks that game is in the past and that his team can compete with any team on the schedule, the players are still looking to that shutout defeat for motivation for Saturday afternoon's home game at McCarthy Stadium against the Pride in the MAC opener for both teams.
"Definitely," King's junior linebacker Jake Ksiazkiewicz said when asked about using that loss as incentive. "Obviously no one wants to get beat that bad. We want to come out and show them we're a better team this year."
Widener (1-0) returns one of the top quarterbacks in the nation from last year in Chris Haupt, who was a finalist for the Gagliardi Trophy Division III Player of the Year award in 2011. Last year, he ripped the Monarchs for 346 yards and five touchdowns. Haupt, who is 25-years-old, is a former professional baseball player – being drafted by the Marlins in 2005 – and has passed for more than 6,000 yards in his collegiate career.
"He's the real deal," Knarr said about Haupt. "He's not a kid, he's a man. So that's a challenge and why they've had the success they've had. He's a great athlete. He's a good solid quarterback and he's gotten better at running their offense."
The Monarchs (0-1) are coming off another tough setback to William Paterson, but took many positives and are moving on. One of the bright spots from the contest is that tailback Kyle McGrath became the first back to rush for 100 yards in a game in the team's last 19 games.
"For Kyle to get 100 yards that was good; it helped us sustain drives and get something going and that opens up the passing game," Knarr added. "If you get a younger line believing they can push people around and dominate and run, that gives them confidence."
Widener Pride (1-0)
at King's Monarchs (0-1)
When: 1 p.m. Saturday at McCarthy Stadium, Wilkes-Barre Twp.
Last Meeting: In 2011, the Pride handed King's its worst defeat in school history 70-0.
Last Week: King's dropped a heart-breaker 9-3, while Widener crushed Western Connecticut 63-17.
What to know: This is the MAC opener for both teams and one of four All-MAC games being played this week.
About the Monarchs: They will use a two-quarterback rotation again this week with Tyler Hartranft and Bryant Klein.
About the Pride: They are ranked 25th in the d3football.com poll and piled up 63 points and 352 passing yards in a win last week over Western Connecticut State.
Notes: King's committed two turnovers in a tough loss last week, while Widener had three in the win.
King's will win if it can force Haupt to make quick throws and shake his timing to make some mistakes. And if the Monarchs control the ball like they did last week against the Pioneers when they had an advantage of nearly 15 minutes in time of possession and ran 20 more plays.
Widener will win if Haupt continues to be himself, racking up passing yards and touchdowns with ease.
Up Next: King's travels to FDU-Florham for a Friday night contest, while the Pride will come back to the area for Misericordia's home opener.