Last updated: February 17. 2013 2:15AM - 55 Views

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Every coach in the MAC knows that any team can be beaten by any other in the conference no matter what the records.

Just look at the series between Widener and Wilkes, which resumes 1 p.m. Saturday in Chester.

Last year, the Pride (3-0, 2-0 MAC) won nine games and qualified for a postseason berth. But one of their two losses came to the Colonels, who only had four wins in 2011 and enter tomorrow's contest with a 1-1 record and an 0-1 mark in the league.

Then there was two years ago, when Widener ruined Wilkes' chance of a share of the conference championship with a win. Coach Frank Sheptock told his team earlier in the week that last year's result is still not settling for the Pride.

"Widener, they want us. They're going to be so pumped up for us because of last year," Sheptock said about his talk with his team.

Another aspect that Wilkes has to deal with is that Widener's offense, which is high-powered, is exceptionally potent at home as it has averaged 35 points per game in the first half of its last seven home games.

"They're going to come out with guns blazing and try to bury us early like they've done with their other seven opponents at home," Sheptock said. "Defensively we have to figure out a way to get stops. If we can get eight, we're going to have a great shot. If we can get nine, we'll be right there in the fourth quarter."

The Colonels will deal with an offense that's first in the nation in scoring, averaging 57 points per game, and was first in that category in 2011 as well. Quarterback Chris Haupt has been the conductor both seasons and he's one of the top passers in the nation again this season. Sheptock has a defensive plan to slow down the Pride, and if that works to perfection Wilkes could be headed to another win over one of its conference rivals.

Widener's offense wants to throw the ball vertical and inside so that's what we're going to defend," the coach noted. "If we can defend those two things we think we have an opportunity to play very well on defense."




1 p.m.


Wilkes (1-1, 0-1 MAC) at Widener (3-0, 2-0)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday at Leslie C. Quick Jr. Stadium, Chester

Last Meeting: Wilkes defeated the Pride 35-27 last season.

Last week: The Pride pasted Misericordia 67-0, while the Colonels lost 27-13 to Albright.

What to know: The Pride are ranked No. 18 in the AFCA Poll and No. 21 in the d3football.com ranking. …Wilkes coach Frank Sheptock is looking for career win No. 100.

About the Pride: Quarterback Chris Haupt, who leads the nation with 14 TD passes, keeps piling up the accolades. In addition to being named preseason All-American by Lindy's Magazine and Beyond Sports Network, he was named to the MAC Weekly Honor Roll the first three weeks of the season. The team is also first in the nation in points per game, averaging 57.0 in three contests.

About the Colonels: Their offense has sputtered early on this season, going more than seven quarters before cashing in on a touchdown. But when they scored, they tallied two in a four-minute period.

Notes: Last year, the Colonels handed Widener one of just two losses. Two years ago when Widener won in Chester, the defeat kept Wilkes from winning a share of the MAC championship.

Widener will win if it continues to pile up offensive numbers and gets in a shootout with the Colonels.

Wilkes will win if it forces Haupt to make mistakes and keeps the ball away from the high-powered offense as much as possible.

Up Next: The Colonels return home to face FDU-Florham, while Widener finally doesn't play a team from the Wyoming Valley when it travels to Lebanon Valley.

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