(11/25) NCAA Second Round
Rowan 21 Wilkes 14
Quarterback Mike Orihel scored on a pair of one-yard touchdown plunges in the final three minutes of the game to lift No. 14 Rowan University to a 21-14 win over No. 6 Wilkes University in an NCAA Division III second round playoff game on Saturday afternoon at Ralston Field.
The win improves the Profs to 9-2 and moves them into the quarterfinals for the third consecutive season. Rowan will meet St. John Fisher in next week’s quarterfinal round. Wilkes sees their season come to a close with an 11-1 mark.
Rowan would get on the board first late in the opening quarter. Taking over on their own 41-yard line following a punt, Orihel would lead the Profs down the field. He hit Val Terebizh for 11 yards and connected with Dustin Hatcher for a 14-yard completion on a third-and-10 play to move the ball to the Wilkes 30. The Profs faced a third-and-10 from the Colonels 20-yard line later in the drive, but once again Orihel came through with a clutch throw, hitting Will Barnes for a 15-yard gain to the Wilkes five. Davon Edwards then took a handoff and found his way into the endzone with 2:30 left in the initial stanza. Daniel Roberts added the PAT to give Rowan a 7-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter Wilkes would move to the Rowan 39-yard line before having to punt. Mario Della Fortuna boomed a perfect punt that rolled dead at the Profs one-yard line. Three plays later, faced with a third-and-five from the six, Orihel had his pass intercepted at the Rowan 21 by John Darrah. However, the Profs defense came up with a key sack and Wilkes was forced to turn the ball over on downs at the Rowan 30.
On the first play following the defensive stop, Orihel dropped to pass and found Jim Migliore for a 49-yard gain to the Wilkes 21. After gaining another first down the Profs had a first-and-goal situation from the nine. Edwards ran for one yard and Orihel hooked up with Jesse Eisenhart for a five-yard gain to make it third-and-goal from the three. John Impagliazzo carried on the next play and was able to advance the ball to the one. However, on fourth down, Orihel’s sneak attempt was stopped short by the Wilkes defensive front and the Colonels took over on their own one-yard line.
After taking the momentum into the halftime locker room, Wilkes came out to start the third quarter and immediately put together an 11-play drive to move to the Rowan 25. The drive would stall at that point and Ryan Yurewicz’s 42-yard field goal attempt was short to keep the Colonels off the board with 11:13 left in the third.
Once again the Wilkes defense came up with a big play to set up their first score. Mike Ferriero stepped in front of an Orihel pass and intercepted at the Colonels’ 36. On the first play following the pick Al Karaffa found Jim Jordan for a 53-yard completion that placed the ball at the Rowan 11. Three plays later Tom Andreopoulos went around right end for a six-yard scoring scamper and Yurewicz booted the point after to tie the game at 7-7 with 8:06 showing on the clock.
Rowan could not get anything going offensively on their next possession thanks to a pair of sacks and were forced to punt on a fourth-and-22 play from their own 19. Charles Bupp got off a 29-yard punt and Jordan returned it 11 yards to place the ball on the Rowan 37-yard line.
Keyed by an eight-yard strike from Karaffa to Matt Pizarro on a fourth-and-four play, Wilkes was able to advance the ball to the Profs’ 10-yard line, where they had a first down. But, the Rowan defense stood tall and held the Colonels to only two yards on three plays. This time, Kevin Keller was asked to try a 25-yard field goal that sailed wide right with 1:46 left leaving the game tied.
Despite the missed opportunity the Wilkes defense continued to do its part, including another sack of Orihel that left Rowan with a fourth-and-23 situation from their own seven on the first play of the fourth quarter. This time, Bupp was credited with a 33-yard punt and Jordan was able to pick up only one yard on the return to give the Colonels the ball at the Profs’ 39.
Karaffa hit Pizarro for 16 yards on the first play of the ensuing drive and then found Stephon Burgette for 18 yards to move the ball to the five-yard line. On second down from the same spot Andreopoulos got the call and went straight ahead for the five-yard scoring jaunt with 13:52 left in the game. Yurewicz was successful on the extra point and Wilkes had a 14-7 lead.
After neither team was able to score on the game’s next four possessions, Kelvin Bellamy returned a punt 15 yards with 5:54 left to give Rowan the ball at the Wilkes 49. Orihel called his own number on the first two plays of the drive and picked up 13 yards and a first down at the 36. Orihel then went to the air and hit Barnes for a 21-yard completion to the Wilkes 15. On third-and-four from the Colonels’ nine, Orihel tried to hit Emory Lester in the endzone, but the Colonels were flagged for a pass interference penalty that gave the Profs a first-and-goal from the two. On third down at the one Orihel pushed his way across the goal line with 3:00 left to cut the lead to 14-13. The snap from center on the extra point try was high and the pass for the two-point conversion by Sal Calciura failed to keep Wilkes on top by a point.
Wilkes would take over on their own 22-yard line with 2:47 remaining following the kickoff. However, on their first play from scrimmage, Karaffa was unable to handle the snap from center and Rowan’s Robert Niszczak recovered at the Wilkes 22.
Edwards was dropped for a two-yard loss on first down and Orihel found Migliore for an 11-yard gain on the second play to set up a third-and-one from the 13. Orihel once again did the work himself, going straight up the middle for six yards and a first down at the seven. Edwards rumbled for six yards before Orihel once again snuck in for the TD with 1:03 left. Orihel’s pass for the two-point conversion was good to Lester and the Profs had a 21-14 lead.
Wilkes would not go away quietly and picked up a first down at the Rowan 40-yard line with 27 seconds left. After a pair of incomplete passes, Karaffa tried to hit Jordan down the sideline. Jordan made the reception at the Rowan 11-yard line, but was ruled out of bounds. On fourth down Karaffa was hit by Keith Heimerl as he attempted to throw a pass and the ball fell incomplete with only two seconds left.
Rowan managed 280 yards in total offense in the game, while Wilkes had 312 yards in total offense. The Profs also had 17 first downs, while the Colonels were credited with 16 first downs.
Edwards had 52 of Rowan’s 66 yards on the ground. Orihel finished the afternoon 17-of-31 through the air for 214 yards. He was intercepted three times in the contest. Barnes had six receptions for 55 yards and Migliore had five catches for 93 yards to lead the Rowan receivers.
The Colonels had 101 yards rushing, including 70 by Andreopoulos on 21 carries. Karaffa was 18-of-34 passing for 211 yards and no interceptions. Jordan finished with six catches for 92 yards, while Pizarro hauled in four passes for 37 yards.
Andrew Yezzi had a game-high 10 tackles to lead Rowan defensively. Bellamy chipped in with nine stops, while Jabrill Joseph had seven tackles.
Kyle Follweiler was the top tackler for Wilkes with nine. Anthony Serafin had eight tackles, three tackles for loss and a half a sack. Jason Acquaye chipped in with seven tackles and a half a sack. Keith Cavallotti had two of the Colonels three sacks, while Ferriero, Darrah and Corey Gilroy had an interception each.
(11/18) NCAA First Round
Wilkes 42 Washington & Lee 0
Sixth-rankedWilkesUniversity raced out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and never looked back on their way to a 42-0 win over Washington & LeeUniversity in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Championship on Saturday afternoon at Ralston Field.
The Colonels, who improved to 11-0 by winning their first NCAA playoff game in three tries, advance to take on RowanUniversity in a second round game next Saturday at 12:00 p.m. at a site to be determined. Rowan moved into the second round with a 20-18 win over HobartCollege on Saturday. Washington & Lee, making its first NCAA appearance, saw their season come to a close with a 7-4 record.
The Wilkes defense, which held the Generals to minus-28 yards rushing in the game, put the first points of the game on the board when Bryan Vivaldo stepped in front of an R.J. Varner pass attempt and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown just 1:40 into the first quarter. Ryan Yurewicz added the first of his six extra points to give the Colonels a 7-0 lead.
The defense would add another big play on the next Washington & Lee possession to set up the second Colonels touchdown. Faced with a third-and-nine from their own 26, Varner hit Stuart Sitterson with pass. However, Tyler Henninger forced Sitterson to fumble and John Darrah recovered for Wilkes at the Generals’ 30-yard line.
It took Wilkes seven plays to reach paydirt, with the big play coming on third-and-seven from the 14-yard line when Colonels quarterback Al Karaffa scrambled for a 13-yard gain to the one. On the next play Jason Nabba took a hand-off and bulled his way into the endzone to make it 14-0 at the 9:18 mark.
The Colonels would start their next drive on their own 35-yard line following a punt. Once again Wilkes used seven plays to cover the distance, including four rushes by Tom Andreopoulos that picked up 35 yards. The payoff came on a second down play from the Washington & Lee 21-yard line when Karaffa connected with tight end Matt Pizarro for a touchdown toss. Yurewicz’s PAT made it 21-0 with three minutes left in the opening stanza.
Washington & Lee would take the ensuing kickoff and put together an eight-play, 45 yard drive to move to the Wilkes 20. However, on fourth-and-ten from that spot, Ben Long was unable to convert a 37-yard field goal on the final play of the first quarter.
Early in the second period the Generals’ pinned Wilkes deep in their own territory following a 42-yard punt by Doug Sweeney that was downed at the Colonels nine-yard line. A one-yard run by Andreopoulos and an eight-yard pass from Karaffa to Jim Jordan set the stage for a third-and-one from the Wilkes 18. Once again Wilkes went to Andreopoulos and this time he found clear sailing as he raced 82 yards for score at the 11:21 mark to make it 28-0.
Washington & Lee had another opportunity to get on the scoreboard on their first drive of the third quarter. The Generals were able to march to the Wilkes 18 where they faced a fourth-and-nine. Long was called on to try a 35-yard field goal, but he slipped on the kick, which was no good.
The Colonels took over on their own 20-yard line following the missed field goal and put together an 11-play, 80 yard drive to add to their lead. Andreopoulos carried the ball three times for 39 yards during the drive, which culminated in a six-yard Karaffa to Ryan Gallagher touchdown pass with 6:02 left in the quarter. Yurewicz made it 35-0 with the extra point.
Wilkes tacked on their final points of the game late in the third period after taking over on the Washington & Lee 44-yard line following a punt. Nabba and Drew Letcavage did the majority of the damage as they combined to run the football eight times for 43 yards. Nabba got the final carry, going seven yards for a touchdown on a fourth-and-goal play, to make it 42-0 with 13 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Colonels had 387 yards in total offense, while holding Washington & Lee to just 141 yards in total offense. Wilkes did the majority of the work on the ground, rolling up 284 yards rushing.
Andreopoulos surpassed the 100-yard mark for the fifth consecutive week after carrying the ball 15 times for 169 yards. Karaffa finished the afternoon 8-of-14 through the air for 82 yards, with Jordan grabbing a team-high three passes for 29 yards.
Varner connected on 22-of-32 pass attempts for 151 yards for Washington & Lee. Sitterson had 10 catches for 82 yards, while Ward, who became the all-time leader in receptions at Washington & Lee with his fourth catch of the day, had nine receptions for 13 yards.
Wilkes was led defensively by linebacker Kyle Follweiler, who had eight tackles and two of the Colonels 14 tackles for loss. Keith Cavalotti had seven tackles and two stops behind the line of scrimmage. Jason Acquaye finished with five tackles, three tackles for loss, and 1.5 of the team’s six sacks.
Kyle Luby had a game-high nine tackles to pace the Generals on defense. Andrew Simms, who had one sack, and Walker Williams, who had a pair of sacks, had seven stops each.
(11/11) Wilkes 28 King's 7
Junior quarterback Al Karaffa threw three touchdown passes to help seventh-ranked Wilkes University wrap up their first undefeated regular season since 1993 with a 28-7 Middle Atlantic Conference win over King’s College in the annual Mayor’s Cup Game at Betzler Fields.
The Colonels, who secured the MAC title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs last week, improved to 10-0 overall and finished conference play 9-0. Wilkes, ranked first in the latest NCAA East Region rankings, will learn their fate in the NCAA playoffs when the pairings are announced on Sunday at approximately 2:00 p.m. on ESPNews. King’s, who lost to Wilkes for the fourth consecutive year, concludes their campaign with an overall record of 6-4 and a 6-3 mark in the conference.
King’s would put the only points on the board in the first quarter. The Monarchs took over on their own 32-yard line following a Wilkes punt and put together a six-play drive to reach paydirt. The key play came on the first snap of the drive when quarterback Jeff Searfass connected with Bob Cirko for a 49-yard gain to the Wilkes 19. Five plays later John Ortiz went around left end for a five-yard touchdown with 1:33 left in the stanza. Tim Lust added the PAT to give King’s a 7-0 lead.
The Wilkes defense forced a punt early in the second quarter and the Colonels would begin from their own 40-yard line. After picking up a first down Wilkes was faced with a third-and-eight play from the King’s 45. Karaffa went to the air and found tight end Matt Pizarro along the right sideline. Pizarro was able to fight off a King’s defender and find his way into the endzone for a 45-yard score at the 9:08 mark. Ryan Yurewicz tacked on the extra point to tie the game at 7-7.
The Colonels would pull away by scoring twice late in the third quarter. Their first scoring drive began at the King’s 47 and featured three straight rushes from Tom Andreopoulos that placed the ball at the Monarchs’ 31. From there, Karaffa hit Jim Jordan down the sideline with a perfectly timed ball that resulted in a 31-yard touchdown with 5:55 left in the third period. The extra point by Yurewicz was good and Wilkes had a 14-7 lead.
The Colonels defense, which allowed no first downs and only 19 yards in total offense in the third quarter, forced another three and out on the next King’s possession. Jake Grande returned the 30-yard punt 27 yards to place the ball on the Monarchs’ 20-yard line.
On third-and-ten from the 20 Karaffa hit Andreopoulos out of the backfield and he was able to scamper ten yards to set up a first-and-goal situation from the 10. On the very next play, Karaffa lofted a ball to the corner of the endzone and Jordan was able to out-race the defender to the ball for a touchdown with just 1:46 remaining in the stanza. Yurewicz’s extra point gave Wilkes a 21-7 lead heading into the final period.
King’s would march inside Wilkes territory late in the fourth quarter. But, on a fourth-and-two play from the Colonels’ 45, Searfass’ pass fell incomplete to give the ball back to Wilkes with 4:49 left.
Behind the running of Andreopoulos and fullback Ryan Gallagher the Colonels were able to pick up a first down at the King’s 43. On fourth-and-four from the 37 Andreopoulos took a handoff and went off left tackle all the way to the endzone for the game’s final touchdown with just 54 seconds remaining. The extra point by Yurewicz made it 28-7.
Karaffa finished the day 14-of-21 through the air for 205 yards. Jordan, who was selected as the Player of the Game for Wilkes, had six receptions for 104 yards and two scores, while Pizarro added two catches for 63 yards and a touchdown.
Andreopoulos, who entered the game needing 112 yards to surpass the 1,000 yard mark for the season, toted the pigskin 30 times for 158 yards as the Colonels amassed 393 yards in total offense.
Searfass hit on 10-of-24 aerial attempts for 172 yards. Cirko was his top target with two catches for 85 yards. The Monarchs managed only 46 yards on the ground and 218 yards in total offense against a Wilkes defense which entered the game ranked among the nation’s leaders in both categories.
Tyler Henninger led Wilkes defensively with 10 tackles. Anthony Serafin contributed seven tackles and a sack. Kyle Follweiler and Grande, who intercepted a pass, both finished with six tackles.
Matt McGovern earned Player of the Game honors for King’s after registering a game-high 12 tackles. Tom Tulaney chipped in with 11 tackles, while Mike Lovett finished with six tackles and two sacks. The Monarchs also received six tackles and an interception from Craig Haywood, his Division III leading 12th pick of the season.
(11/4) Wilkes 35 Susquehanna 7
Senior Tom Andreopoulos rushed for 186 yards and three touchdowns to lead 8th-ranked WilkesUniversity to their first Middle Atlantic Conference championship since 1993 with a 35-7 win over SusquehannaUniversity on Saturday afternoon at Ralston Field.
The Colonels, who secured the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA playoffs, improved to 9-0 overall and 8-0 in the conference. Susquehanna slipped to 2-7 overall and 2-6 in conference play.
Wilkes would score on their first two possessions of the game to take command. After a Susquehanna punt on the game’s initial drive, the Colonels would put together a 10-play, 62 yard drive to get on the board. Quarterback Al Karaffa connected with Andreopoulos for a 13-yard gain on a third-and-12 play, and Susquehanna was called for a personal foul penalty to help advance the ball to the Crusaders 36. Rushes of seven yards by Karaffa and eight yards by Andreopoulos secured another first down at the 21.
Faced with a third-and-nine from the 20, Karaffa hooked up with Jim Jordan for an 11-yard gain to make it first-and-goal from the nine. Andreopoulos would then scamper the final nine yards for a touchdown with 10:38 left in the opening quarter. Ryan Yurewicz tacked on the point after to make it 7-0.
The Wilkes defense would force another three-and-out on the Crusaders next drive and the Colonels would begin at their own 31. Andreopoulos picked up two yards and five yards on the first two plays of the drive. On the third play he took another handoff, found a seam on the left side, and raced 62 yards for a score at the 7:22 mark of the first period. Yurewicz made it 14-0 with the extra point.
Wilkes freshman punter Mario Della Fortuna would help set up the next scoring opportunity for the Colonels when he knocked a 37-yard punt that was downed at the Susquehanna five. The Crusaders were able to advance only a yard on their three plays and were also forced to kick the ball away. Jake Grande fielded the punt at the Susquehanna 40 and returned it eight yards to give the Colonels the ball at the 32.
It took eight plays for Wilkes to reach paydirt following the punt. Andreopoulos carried the ball three times for 19 yards and Jason Nabba added three rushes for six yards. On a second down play from the Crusaders’ seven-yard line, Karaffa lofted a ball to the corner of the endzone and Jordan was able to out-jump the defense back for a touchdown with 4:01 left in the second quarter. Yurewicz’s extra point gave Wilkes a 21-0 lead at halftime.
The Colonels wasted little time tacking on a touchdown in the third quarter. Starting on their own 27 following the second half kickoff, Wilkes used 11 plays to cover the 73-yard distance. Andreopoulos carried the ball six times for 34 yards to help keep the drive going. Karaffa also played a pivotal role hitting Stephon Burgette for eight yards and Ryan Gallagher for a 21-yard gain. However, it was Karaffa’s feet that made the biggest impact. After picking up a key first down on a 13-yard third down run, Karaffa would carry the ball into the endzone from three yards out on a fourth down play to extend the Wilkes lead with 10:30 left in the quarter. Yurewicz again nailed the extra point to make it 28-0.
Susquehanna would get their only score of the day in the third quarter courtesy of their defense. Rob McGarrigle forced a fumble by Andreopoulos that was picked up by Shawn Rafferty and returned 32 yards for a touchdown with 7:15 remaining in the third quarter. Brian Wimmer’s extra point was prefect, and the Crusaders were within 28-7.
The Crusaders drove to the Wilkes 39-yard line, where they faced a fourth-and-four situation on the first play of the fourth quarter. Quarterback Justin Wutti hit Charlie Henry in the flat area, where he was tackled by Anthony Serafin and Tyler Henninger for a one-yard loss to end the threat.
Wilkes carried the momentum following the fourth down stop to the offensive side of the ball and put together their final scoring drive. The big play in the drive was a 53-yard pass from Karaffa to Andreopoulos that placed the ball at the Susquehanna 10-yard line. After a one-yard run by Andreopoulos on first down, he once again got the call and went the final nine yards for his third TD of the day. Yurewicz’s extra point with 10:56 left was the final point in the 35-7 Colonels win.
Andreopoulos finished with 252 yards in total offense after rushing 30 times for 186 yards and catching two passes for an additional 66 yards. Karaffa ended the day by completing 12-of-22 passes for 166 yards. Jordan had four receptions for 43 yards and Burgette had three catches for 28 yards for the Colonels, who finished with 392 yards in total offense.
Dave Paveletz was the leading rusher for Susquehanna with 31 yards on 12 carries as the Crusaders managed a mere 160 yards in total offense. Wutti got the start at quarterback and hit 7-of-15 through the air for 65 yards. He was replaced by Dennis Robertson, who converted 5-of-13 aerial attempts for 25 yards.
Leading the way defensively for Wilkes was Kyle Follweiler with seven tackles, two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a sack. Serafin, Henninger, Jason Acquaye and Bryan Vivaldo added four tackles each. Vivaldo and Tim Yeagley each had one interception, while John Darrah had a pair of fumble recoveries.
Susquehanna’s Tim Sela took game-high honors with 12 tackles. Eddie Jones, Rob Hauke and McGarrigle finished with eight tackles each.
(10/28) Wilkes 30 Albright 6
Nationally-ranked WilkesUniversity used a balanced offensive attack and a stingy defensive effort to remain unbeaten with a 30-6 Middle Atlantic Conference win at AlbrightCollege on Saturday afternoon.
The Colonels, ranked 11th in the AFCA Top-25 and 15th in the D3football.com Top-25, improved to 8-0 overall and 7-0 in the MAC. They can claim the MAC title next Saturday with a victory against SusquehannaUniversity. Albright sees their records fall to 1-7 overall and 1-6 in the conference.
Albright took the opening kickoff and drove deep into Wilkes territory to put the first points of the game on the board. The key play in the drive was a 39-yard scramble by quarterback Tanner Kelly on a third-and-eight play from the Lions’ 25-yard line. Albright would pick up a first down at the Wilkes 17 on a ten-yard pass from Kelly to Rich Maunz. However, they were unable to advance past the Colonels’ 12, and Ryan Juisti came on to kick a 28-yard field goal that made it 3-0 with 11:30 left in the first stanza.
A 14-yard punt return by the Colonels’ Jake Grande later in the quarter would place the ball at the Wilkes 36. A 25-yard pass completion from Al Karaffa to Matt Pizarro would help advance the ball to the Lions 29. After two Karaffa runs gained another first down at the 17, the Colonels faced a third-and-6 from the 13. Karaffa found fullback Drew Letcavage in the flat for an eight-yard gain to set up a first-and-goal from the five. Tailback Tom Andreopoulos would go around right end for the touchdown on the ensuing play to get Wilkes on the board. Ryan Yurewicz added the point after to give the Colonels a 7-3 lead with 3:51 remaining in the first period.
The Albright special teams came up with a big play early in the second quarter when Brett Gaul broke through and blocked a Wilkes punt at the 20-yard line. Vincent Andrews would pick up the loose ball and return it 5 yards to the Colonels 16. The Lions were unable to gain a first down and Juisti connected on his second field goal of the game, this time a 25-yard attempt, to cut the lead to 7-6 with 10:27 left in the second quarter.
The Wilkes defense would pin Albright at their own one-yard line late in the second period and Grande would return a punt 16 yards to give the Colonels good field position at the Lions’ 24. A 14-yard pass from Karaffa to Jordan and a two-yard run by Karaffa helped off-set a Wilkes penalty and give them a first down at the 13. On third-and-seven from the ten-yard line, Jordan took a handoff on a reverse play and found his way into the endzone at the 1:59 mark. Gaul would block his second kick when he batted down Yurewicz’s extra point attempt and Wilkes would head to the locker room with a 13-6 lead.
The Colonels would add to their lead on their second drive of the third quarter. Wilkes started at their own 31-yard line following a punt and used a pair of runs by Jason Nabba that picked up nine yards, and an 11-yard rush by Karaffa to pick up a first down at midfield. Karaffa then went to the air and hit Jordan with a 46-yard toss to move the ball to the Lions’ four. Karaffa again dropped to pass, rolled out and found tight end Matt Pizarro alone in the endzone for the touchdown. Yurewicz converted the point after to up the Wilkes lead to 20-6 with 11:14 left in the quarter.
On the second play of the fourth quarter the Colonels would score again. This time they put together a short drive after starting on the Lions’ 38 following a punt. A 20-yard pass to B.J. Fusco helped give Wilkes a first down at the eight. However, they were unable to put the ball in the endzone. On fourth down from the two, Yurewicz drilled a 19-yard field goal to make it 23-6 with 14:17 left in the game.
The Wilkes defense set up the final Colonels score when Justin Friedel stepped in front of a Kelly pass and returned it 75-yard for what appeared to be a touchdown. An illegal block on the return elminated the score and place the ball at the Lions’ 37. Andreopoulos and Nabba did the rest as the duo combined for all 37 yards, including a one-yard scoring run by Nabba. Yurewicz connected on the extra point to make it 30-6 with 9:33 left.
Wilkes amassed 383 yards in total offense, rushing for 192 yards and throwing for 191 yards. Andreopoulos led the ground attack with 118 yards on 22 carries. Karaffa ended the day 12-for-20 through the air for 179 yards, including six passes to Jordan covering 107 yards.
Kelly was the leading rusher for Albright with 31 yards on 10 carries, as the Lions managed only 80 yards rushing and a mere 181 yards in total offense. Kelly also completed 12-of-29 passes for 100 yards and two interceptions. Stephen Asay was the top receiver with three catches for 35 yards.
Kyle Follweiler paced the Wilkes defense with eight tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack. Anthony Serafin, who had two sacks, and Mike Ferriero, who had an interception, both contributed five tackles.
Gaul and Andrew Kibler had nine tackles apiece for Albright. Josh Kosinski had eight tackles and a sack.
(10/21) Wilkes 17 Moravian 0
Junior quarterback Al Karaffa and senior wide receiver Jim Jordan hooked up on a pair of scoring passes and the Wilkes University defensive their first shutout of the season as the Colonels posted a 17-0 Middle Atlantic Conference win over Moravian College on Saturday at Ralston Field.
With the win, and Widener’s 25-20 win over previously-unbeaten King’s, Wilkes moved into sole possession of first place in the MAC. The Colonels, who are ranked 12th in the AFCA Top-25 and 15th in the d3football.com Top-25, are 7-0 overall and 6-0 in conference play. Moravian saw their overall and conference marks fall to 3-4.
Moravian had the first scoring opportunity of the game. The Greyhounds took over on their own 38-yard line following a Wilkes turnover and marched all the way to the Colonels’ six. But, after Tom McCambridge picked up no yards on a run on first down, quarterback Ryan Rempe was sacked on consecutive plays to force the Greyhounds into a fourth-and-goal from the 14. Wilkes’ Mike Ferriero broke through the Moravian line and blocked Brian Reckenbeil’s 31-yard field goal attempt to thwart the drive with 4:02 left in the first period.
Wilkes would respond following the block with a drive that resulted in the game’s first points. Karaffa hit Stephon Burgette for a 16-yard completion on the first play and Tom Andreopoulos followed with a 53-yard run to move the ball to the Moravian 11. The drive would stall, but Ryan Yurewicz converted a 30-yard field goal for the Colonels to give them a 3-0 lead with 1:59 left in the first.
The Colonels had another golden opportunity to add to their lead in the second quarter. Behind Karaffa, who hit three passes for 36 yards, Wilkes would advance to the Moravian six, where they had a first-and-goal. Once again the Greyhounds defense would not break and Yurewicz was called on to try a 23-yard field goal. This time Edward Savoth blocked the try and Brad Bodine recovered at the 15 to end the chance.
The Wilkes special teams set up the next score. Moravian was forced to punt from their own 39-yard line. Bob Sutjak blocked Mike Voskian’s punt and Wilkes recovered at the Greyounds’ 29-yard line. It took only one play for the Colonels to score the game’s initial touchdown as Karaffa hit Jordan on a 29-yard toss with 4:35 remaining in the first half. Yurewicz added the point after to give Wilkes a 10-0 lead at intermission.
After neither team seriously threatened in the third period, the Colonels struck quickly early in the final period. After taking over on their own 20-yard line following a punt, Karaffa went deep and hit Jordan in stride behind two Moravian defenders for an 80-yard touchdown with 10:09 left in the game. Yurewicz tacked on the extra point to make it 17-0.
Wilkes rolled up 340 yards in total offense, while limiting the Greyhounds to only 204 yards. Karaffa completed 13-of-20 passes for 203 yards, including six to Burgette for 61 yards and five to Jordan for a game-high 134 yards and both touchdowns. Andreopoulos led the Colonels rushing attack with 128 yards on 20 carries.
Ryan Rempe got the start at quarterback for Moravian and was successful on 6-of-12 passes for 66 yards and one interception. Marc Braxmeier relieved Rempe and completed 4-of-11 tosses for 52 yards. Kris Bisci was the leading receiver for the Greyhounds with four catches for 35 yards, while McCambridge was the team’s leading rusher with 72 yards on 22 carries.
Kyle Follweiler led Wilkes defensively with 10 tackles. Tyler Henninger added nine tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks. Jason Acquaye, who had two tackles for loss and one sack, and Jake Grande had six stops each.
Cliff Garr had eight tackles and a fumble recovery to earn top honors for Moravian on defense. Jayson Williams was credited with seven tackles and two sacks.
(10/14) Wilkes 13 Lebanon Valley 10
The 15th-ranked Wilkes University football team overcame a 10-7 halftime deficit to squeeze out a 13-10 Middle Atlantic Conference win over Lebanon Valley College on Saturday afternoon at Arnold Field in Annville. The win keeps Wilkes unbeaten as they improved to 6-0 overall and 5-0 in the conference. Lebanon Valley sees their records move to 3-4 overall and 2-4 in the conference.
The win was the Colonels 12th straight over the Flying Dutchmen dating back to a 26-20 Lebanon Valley win in 1992. It also marked the 13th straight regular season victory for Wilkes.
The Wilkes defense held Lebanon Valley on their first possession and forced a punt. Adam Brossman’s punt traveled only 17 yards to give the Colonels the ball at the Flying Dutchmen’s 40-yard line to begin their opening drive.
It took Wilkes only three players to cover the distance, with running back Tom Andreopoulos doing all the work. Andreopoulos scampered for 20 yards on the first play from scrimmage, and picked up six yards on his next carry. On the next play Andreopoulos took another handoff and went 14 yards for a touchdown with 11:48 left in the opening quarter. Ryan Yurewicz tacked on the point after to give Wilkes a 7-0 lead.
Lebanon Valley would answer right back after the score, putting together a 15 play, 71-yard drive, that ate up 7:29 off the game clock. Charlie Parker picked up 36 yards on seven carries and quarterback Dan Kelly hit all three of his pass attempts for 29 yards. The drive culminated in a one-yard TD run by David Ochoa. Josh Evans converted the extra point to knot the game at 7-7 with 4:19 remaining the opening quarter.
The Flying Dutchmen would get a break early in the second quarter when Colonels running back Jason Nabba fumbled and Daryl Buck recovered for Lebanon Valley at the Wilkes 36. Lebanon Valley would advanced to the Colonels’ three-yard line before settling for a 20-yard field goal by Dan DiBona that gave them a 10-7 lead with 6:27 showing on the clock in the first half.
Wilkes had an opportunity to tie the game on their second possession of the third quarter. However, Ryan Yurewicz’s 22-yard field goal try hit the right up-right and was no good with 9:09 left in the stanza.
Following the missed field goal, the Colonels’ defense would step up and hold Lebanon Valley to get the ball back. Starting on their own 37 following a punt, Karaffa rumbled for 12 yards on first down and then on a third-and-seven play connected with Stephon Burgette for 23 yards to help move the ball to the Lebanon Valley 25. On fourth-and-10, Wilkes opted to go for it. Karaffa stepped back to pass and lofted an aerial towards the corner of the endzone. Jim Jordan caught the pass in stride for the touchdown with 4:59 left in the third. Yurewicz missed the point after and Wilkes had a 13-10 lead.
The Colonels would drive to the Lebanon Valley 28 on their final drive of the third stanza. However, on a third-and-one play the Flying Dutchmen’s Dan Stauffer intercepted a Karaffa pass at the six-yard line to keep his team close with only 26 seconds left in the period.
Wilkes would have another chance to put more points on the board on their next possession. Keyed by completions of 21 and 11 yards to Jordan, and a 16-yard strike to Matt Pizarro, the Colonels were able to move to the Lebanon Valley 20. However, the drive stalled and Lebanon Valley took over on their own 28.
The Flying Dutchmen took advantage of the momentum they gained following the stop. Kelly found Sean Donovan for 12 yards and hit Brossman for gains of 14 and 10 yards to advance the ball to the Wilkes 16. After three plays netted only two yards, Lebanon Valley faced a fourth-and-eight play from the 14. DiBona was called on to try a 31-yard field goal. But, the kick sailed wide right with 5:43 left in the game to allow Wilkes to maintain the lead.
The Colonels would then put their offense to work. Wilkes picked up four critical first downs and ran the final 5:43 off of the clock to preserve the victory.
Karaffa finished the afternoon 17-of-23 through the air for 229 yards. Jordan had four catches for 129 yards to lead the Wilkes receivers, while Andreopoulos paced the ground attack with 84 yards on 16 carries.
Kelly was 14-of-19 passing for Lebanon Valley for 137 yards. Brossman was his favorite target, hauling in seven catches for 87 yards. Parker was the leading rusher for the Flying Dutchmen, toting the ball 24 times for 74 yards.
Linebacker Kyle Follweiler had 15 tackles, including 12 solo stops, to lead the Colonels. Jake Grande chipped in with eight stops. Brian Cottone had a game-high 17 tackles and Terry Kaufman finished with nine tackles for Lebanon Valley.
(10/7) Wilkes 37 Lycoming 7
Wilkes University used a smothering defense and a balanced offensive attack to roll past Middle Atlantic Conference rival Lycoming College, 37-7 on Homecoming Day at Ralston Field. With the victory the 16th-ranked Colonels improved to 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the MAC. Lycoming sees their overall and conference marks fall to 3-2.
The Wilkes special teams unit provided a major lift on the game’s first play. The Colonels were set to kickoff after winning the toss and deferring to the second half. The kick was taken by Lycoming’s Scott Lipschutz at his own nine. Wilkes’ Corey Tucker knocked the ball loose from Lipschutz and the Colonels Sean O’Neill recovered at the Lycoming nine.
Jason Nabba would do the work following the turnover. He picked up six yards on first down, before bulling his way into the endzone from three-yards out just 52 seconds into the first quarter. Ryan Yurewicz added the point after to give Wilkes a 7-0 lead.
The Colonels would use a nine-play, 53-yard drive to increase their advantage. The drive began late in the first quarter with a 13-yard run by fullback Ryan Gallagher. Quarterback Al Karaffa then found Stephon Burgette for another 13-yard gain to place the ball at the Lycoming 47. A facemask penalty later in the drive provided Wilkes with a first down at the Warriors 23. However, the drive would stall there, and Yurewicz came on to boot a 37-yard field goal on the second play of the second stanza to up the lead to 10-0.
Lycoming had their best opportunity to score in the first half late in the second quarter. After taking over on the Wilkes 34 following a Colonels’ punt and six-yard return by Matt Murdock, signal-caller Glenn Smith found Tony Kopp for an 11-yard gain to the Wilkes 23. Smith then connected with Jeremy Ebert for seven yards to place the ball at the 16. On second down Smith was sacked by Keith Cavallotti for a seven-yard loss to make it 3rd-and-10 from the 23. Smith attempted to throw a pass into the endzone, but Corey Gilroy intercepted for Wilkes in the endzone to thwart the drive and help the Colonels take a 10-0 lead into intermission.
John Darrah would step in front of a Smith aerial attempt on the Warriors first drive of the second half to give Wilkes good field position at the Colonels’ 44. Nabba was stopped for a one-yard loss on first down, but Karaffa found Burgette for a key 51-yard pass that put the ball at the Lycoming six-yard line. On fourth-and-goal from the one, Karaffa perfectly executed a bootleg and scampered into the endzone for the touchdown with 10:37 left in the third. Yurewicz converted the extra point and Wilkes had a 17-0 lead.
Lycoming would put together their lone scoring drive on their next possession following the Wilkes score. The Warriors marched 61 yards in only six plays to reach pay-dirt. Smith hit Kopp for 14 yards and Ebert for a 27-yard gain to help Lycoming advance to the Wilkes 21. After rushing for seven yards on first down, Smith handed the ball to John Seese on what appeared to be a sweep play. However, Seese pulled up and found Brad Shellenberger open in the endzone for a 14-yard touchdown with 7:41 left in the third. Mike Monastra split the uprights with the point after and the Colonels lead was down to 17-7.
Wilkes responded immediately to the Lycoming score with a touchdown of their own. Burgette returned the ensuing kickoff 26 yards to put the ball at the Colonels’ 35. Behind the running of Nabba, Tom Andreopoulos and Drew Letcavage, Wilkes was able to move into Lycoming territory. A 10-yard completion from Karaffa to Jim Jordan set the ball at the 18. Andreopoulos would get the carry on the next play and would weave his way into the endzone for the score with 3:10 showing on the clock in the third quarter. The extra point was wide left and the Colonels had a 23-7 lead.
The Colonels would take over on their own 40 following a Lycoming punt to start their next possession. A 16-yard Karaffa to Matt Pizarro completion helped Wilkes advance to the Lycoming 28. Karaffa again went to the air and this time hit Jordan in the endzone for the 28-yard touchdown toss with 11:33 remaining in the game. Yurewicz’s extra point gave Wilkes a 30-7 advantage.
Wilkes would put the final points of the game on the board later in the final stanza. The Colonels used nine plays to go 54 yards to reach the endzone. Kevin Drakes scored the final six-pointer on a four-yard touchdown jaunt with 5:39 left. Yurewicz would again boot the extra point to make it 37-7.
The Colonels offense rolled up 352 yards in the game, 151 on the ground and 201 through the air. Karaffa was successful on 13-of-26 pass attempts for 168 yards. Jordan had four catches for 47 yards and Pizarro finished with three catches for 33 yards. Burgette had two receptions that accounted for 64 yards. Andreopoulos and Nabba did the bulk of the damage on the ground. Andreopoulos carried the pigskin 16 times for 58 yards, while Nabba had 18 carries for 54 yards.
Lycoming was limited to 120 yards in total offense, including a mere 14 yards rushing on 28 attempts. Smith hit on 10-of-22 passes for 92 yards. Ebert had three catches for 41 yards and Kopp contributed three receptions for 39 yards.
Cavallotti, Tyler Henninger and Kyle Follweiler had five tackles apiece to lead Wilkes on defense. Cavallotti finished with four tackles for loss and three of the Colonels eight sacks. Anthony Serafin had four tackles, including a pair of sacks, while Jason Acquaye also had two sacks.
Mike DiPlacido, Ryan Repko and Dustin Heintzelman finished with eight tackles each for Lycoming.
(9/23) Wilkes 30 FDU-Florham 16
Al Karaffa threw three touchdown passes to lead 16th-ranked Wilkes University to a 30-16 Middle Atlantic Conference win over FDU-Florham on Saturday afternoon. The win improves the Colonels to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in MAC play. FDU-Florham fell to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
After a scoreless first quarter, it took Wilkes only three plays in the second stanza to point the initial points of the game on the board. The Colonels put together a nine-play drive to march into FDU-Florham territory. After gaining a first down at the Devils 24 on a 13-yard run by Drew Letcavage, the drive would stall. However, Ryan Yurewicz came on to boot a 37-yard field goal at the 14:09 mark to give Wilkes a 3-0 lead.
FDU-Florham would answer right back by putting together a 10-lay, 46-yard drive. Mike Lotwich returned the kickoff after the Wilkes score 29 yards to place the ball at the Devils 45. A 24-yard completion from quarterback Dan Huff to Ray Kwiatkowski and a 10-yard toss from Huff to Mike Smeja helped FDU-Florham march to the Wilkes 15. However, on third-and-three from the eight, Keith Cavallotti sacked huff for a one-yard loss to halt the drive. Michael Barnard would connect on a 26-yard field goal at the 8:29 mark to tie the game at 3-3.
The FDU-Florham defense would hold Wilkes on their first three plays on their next drive. The Colonels then pulled a bit of trickery to keep the drive alive. With punter Mario Della Fortuna set to boot the ball away, Wilkes snapped the ball to the up man, Kyle Follweiler. Follweiler would race for a 22-yard gain to place the ball at the FDU-Florham 46. Ten plays later it was quarterback Al Karaffa finding a wide open Stephon Burgette in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown. Yurewicz tacked on the extra point with 2:11 showing on the clock to give the Colonels a 10-3 lead at intermission.
The Devils would have an opportunity to cut into the Wilkes lead on their first drive of the third quarter. Aided by a roughing the punter penalty on a fourth-and-15 from their own seven-yard line, FDU-Florham would march to the Wilkes 37. On fourth-and-5 the Devils tried to run a fake punt of their own. But, the play was stopped short of the first down and the Colonels took over on their own 32.
Wilkes would take the momentum from their defensive stand and use it to add to their lead. After three runs by Jason Nabba earned 14 yards, and a Tom Andreopoulos rush picked up an additional four yards, the Colonels had the ball on their own 49. Karaffa then went to the air and hit Matt Pizarro, who out-raced an FDU defender, for a 51-yard touchdown with 3:32 left in the third. Yurewicz’s extra point was no good, and the Colonels led 16-3.
After Wilkes drove to the FDU-Florham 17 on their next drive, Andreopoulos fumbled and the Devils recovered at the 17. But, on the second play following the turnover, David Grega stepped in front of a Huff aerial and returned it down the right sideline for 29 yards and a touchdown at the 10:33 mark of the fourth quarter. Yurewicz booted the extra point to give the Colonels a 23-3 lead.
FDU-Florham took over on their own 33 following the ensuing kickoff. On the initial play of the drive Huff connected with Keven Martin for a 43-yard gain to the Wilkes 24. Huff then rumbled 14 yards and Wilkes was whistled for an offsides penalty to give the Devils a first-and-goal at the five. After three straight incompletions, Huff found Kwiatkowski for a touchdown pass and Barnard tacked on the extra point to cut the lead to 23-10 with 8:55 remaining.
An 11-yard punt return by Bo Tkach gave Wilkes the ball at the FDU-Florham 49 later in the final period. A 22-yard pass from Karaffa to Andreopoulos and a roughing the passer penalty on the Devils helped advance the ball to the FDU-Florham 11. From there, Karaffa again went to the air and hit Pizarro for his second touchdown of the game. Yurewicz’s point after was good and the Colonels had a 30-10 lead with 3:06 left.
FDU-Florham would add a touchdown on the final play of the game to cap a four-play, 49-yard drive. Huff dropped to pass and lofted a ball into the endzone. Smeja went up high and pulled in the reception for a 25-yard TD. No extra point was attempted and the game ended.
Karaffa was 10-for-16 through the air for 129 yards. Burgette had four receptions for 22 yards, while Pizarro had the two touchdown catches totaling 62 yards. Jason Nabba led the Wilkes ground attack, which amassed 180 yards in the game, with 73 yards on 16 carries.
Huff ended the afternoon by hitting on 21-of-39 passes for 278 yards. Kwiatkowski had six catches for 72 yards and Martin finished with five receptions for 84 yards. Harrison was also the leading rusher for the Devils with 17 yards on seven attempts. As a group, FDU-Florham managed only 18 yards rushing in 26 tries.
Kyle Follweiler paced the Wilkes defensive effort with eight tackles. Jake Grande had seven stops and Anthony Serafin had five tackles and a sack. Keith Cavallotti chipped in with four tackles, three of which came behind the line of scrimmage, including two sacks.
KC Ogbonna had a game-high 10 tackles to lead FDU-Florham on defense. Brandon Matano contributed eight tackles and a fumble recovery.
(9/16) Wilkes 14 Delaware Valley 7 (OT)
Tight end Matt Pizarro hauled in a 25-yard touchdown toss from Al Karaffa in the first overtime, and the Wilkes defense held Delaware Valley College on downs, as the 19th-ranked Colonels snapped the 12th-ranked Aggies 22-game regular season winning streak with a 14-7 Middle Atlantic Conference victory at Ralston Field.
Wilkes improved its record to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the MAC while the two-time defending conference champion Aggies fell to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
The Colonels victory put an end to the Aggies winning streak, that ironically started after their last trip to Ralston Field. The last time Delaware Valley suffered a regular season defeat was on November 8, 2003, when Wilkes notched a 36-19 victory.
It was a defensive battle from the beginning as the two teams combined for just 64 yards of total offense, one first down and six punts in the first six possessions .
Delaware Valley did not reach the Wilkes side of the field until just under the 10-minute mark of the second quarter when quarterback Mike Isgro hit wideout David Carmon for a 45-yard diving catch down to the Colonel 35. Later in the drive, Isgro found another wideout, John Kiphorn, for a five-yard pass to the 28-yard line on a fourth-and-three play.
On the next play, Isgro rolled out to the right on a broken play and threw the ball into the end zone where Don Marshall leaped over a Wilkes defender for a touchdown. Bill Miller added the extra-point for a 7-0 Aggie lead with 7:31 remaining.
Meanwhile, the Delaware Valley defense continued its dominance as the Colonels managed just 84 yards and did not record a first down in the half against the unit.
Wilkes got their first, first down of the game with 14:29 remaining in the third quarter on an Aggie penalty that offset a turnover. It took another seven minutes until the Colonel offense earned a first down when quarterback Al Karaffa hit Jim Jordan for a 12-yard pass. Wilkes picked two more first downs on the drive, but it stalled at the Delaware Valley 33-yard line and the punt went in the end zone for a touchback.
Wilkes’ defense held and, following an Aggie punt, took over on the Delaware Valley 34-yard line. Tom Andreopoulos ran for a six-yard gain on the first play and Delaware Valley was penalized for a late-hit, putting the ball on the 14. Andrepoulos got the call again and he took it the right and into the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown. Ryan Yurewicz added the extra-point to tie the game at 7-7 with 31.8 seconds to go in the third quarter.
Delaware Valley went three-and-out again and the Colonels took over on the Aggie 46-yard line. Wilkes then faced a fourth-and-one at the 37, but linebacker John Pursell stopped Andrepoulos just shy of the first down and Delaware Valley regained possession with 12:15 remaining.
However, Wilkes’ defense forced another punt and took over on its own 20-yard line with 9:04 to go. The Colonels moved the ball down to the Aggie 39. Two penalties moved the ball back 10 yards and, on third down, Karaffa’s pass was intercepted by senior cornerback Kevin Bliss at the Delaware Valley 14 with 5:13 left on the clock.
A sack moved the ball to the Aggie 8-yard line, but Jake Sheffield gained 16 yards on a draw for a Delaware Valley first down. On the next play, Isgro threw deep downfield and Carmon jumped over a defender for a 43-yard catch at the Colonel 33-yard line. Isgro then scrambled, broke tackles and netted 14 yards to the 19 for another first down.
Delaware Valley then faced third-and-eight from the Wilkes 17-yard line with 1:42 remaining. Isgro’s pass to Carmon in the end zone was broken up by Mike Ferriero, setting up fourth down. Miller, who had the game-winning, 30-yard field goal with three seconds left against Wilkes last year, had his 34-yard field goal attempt blocked by Bryan Vivaldo with 1:28 to go.
Wilkes had the ball first in overtime and, on second down, Karaffa hit tight end Matt Pizarro at the Aggie eight-yard line. Pizarro bounced off two defenders and raced into the end zone. Yurewicz’s extra-point made it 14-7.
Delaware Valley’s possession saw an incomplete pass on first down, and a sack by Erik VanGilst on the next play left the Aggies with a third-and-14 at the 29-yard line. Sheffield gained six yards on a draw leaving a fourth-and-eight situation at the 23. Isgro’s fourth down pass bounced short in front of Marshall and Wilkes had the victory.
Wilkes finished with 210 yards in total offense, while Delaware Valley had 238 yards in offense. Karaffa completed 16-of-27 passes for 116 yards, including six to Stephon Burgette for 38 yards. Andreopoulos was the Colonels leading rusher with 60 yards on 15 carries.
Isgro connected on 11-of-24 passes for 143 yards. Carmon led the Aggie receivers with five catches for 108 yards. Sheffield carried the ball 18 times for 64 yards to lead the Delaware Valley ground attack.
Kyle Follweiler led the Wilkes defense with 10 tackles. Tyler Henninger added nine tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack. Jake Grande had seven stops, while Keith Cavallotti contributed six tackles, including four behind the line of scrimmage. The Coloenls finished the game with five sacks.
Pursell had 10 tackles for Delaware Valley, which did not have a sack in the game. A.J. Neal contributed nine tackles, while Anthony Silver chipped in with eight stops.
(9/9) Wilkes 23 Widener 20
Ryan Yurewicz booted a 23-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining to lead 23rd-ranked Wilkes University to a thrilling 23-20 come-from-behind win over Widener University in a Middle Atlantic Conference game on Saturday afternoon at Quick Stadium. The Colonels improved to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the conference, while the Pioneers were making their season debut.
The field goal by Yurewicz capped a fourth-quarter rally for Wilkes after they fell behind 20-13 after three periods. The Colonels would tie the game with only 5:08 remaining in the contest to start the comeback.
Wilkes defensive lineman Jason Acquaye forced and recovered a fumble by Khalee Prothro at the Widener 28 with 6:35 left to give his team the ball back. Tom Andreopoulos ripped off gains of five and 22 yards to move the ball to the Widener one. Andreopoulos would then scoot around right end for the touchdown and Yurewicz added the extra point to knot the game at 20-20.
The Wilkes defense would step up on the next possession by forcing three straight incompletions by Widener quarterback Adam Parcell. A 32-yard punt by Robert McHugh gave Wilkes the football at their own 32.
Andreopoulos would key the final drive by toting the ball six times for 40 yards to help the Colonels march into field goal position. Another key play came on a 15-yard run on an end around by Jim Jordan. After gaining a first down at the Widener 11 the drive would come to a halt when Andreopoulos was stopped for a one-yard gain on a third-and-six play from the seven. Yurewicz stepped on the field and calmly nailed the 23-yard field goal attempt to give Wilkes their only lead of the game.
After a scoreless first quarter Widener got on the scoreboard first thanks to a big play by their defense. The Colonels had moved the ball to the Pioneer’s 33 where on a third-and-five play Al Karaffa hit Stephon Burgette with a pass. Burgette was hit by Orlando Brown and fumbled the ball. Brown scooped up the loss pigskin and raced 68 yards for a TD with 8:34 left in the second. Tom Laurich kicked the extra point to make it 7-0.
The Wilkes defense got in on the scoring act later in the second stanza. Widener was pinned at their own six yard-line and faced a third-and-five situation. Parcell dropped back to pass and was sacked in the endzone for a safety by Jason Acquaye with 4:56 showing on the clock. The safety pulled Wilkes to within 7-2.
A 16-yard return by Burgette on the ensuing free kick placed the ball at midfield to start the next Wilkes drive. A 34-yard pass from Karaffa to Jordan advanced the ball to the 16. After a holding penalty later in the drive helped halt the march, Yurewicz drilled a career-long 43-yard field goal at the 3:49 mark to pull the Colonels within 7-5 at halftime.
Widener took the opening kickoff of the second half and proceeded to go 63 yards in only four plays to extend their lead. The payoff came when Prothro broke through the Wilkes line and out-raced the defense for a 54-yard touchdown run just 1:54 into the third quarter. Laurich’s extra point was no good and the Pioneers had a 13-5 advantage.
Wilkes would answer right back following the touchdown. Starting on their own 40 following a 30-yard kickoff return by Burgette, the Colonels put together a nine-play drive to reach pay-dirt. Wilkes converted a pair of key third down plays during the drive, one coming on a pass interference penalty on Widener and another coming on a 15-yard scamper by Karaffa on a third-and-five play. After gaining a first down at the nine on an 11-yard pass from Karaffa to Matt Pizarro, Jason Nabba ran for a yard to set up a second-and-goal from the eight. Karaffa again went to the air and found Burgette for the scoring toss with 9:18 left in the period. The Colonels opted to go for two and Karaffa rifled a dart to Philip Cimilluca for the two-point conversion that tied the game at 13-13.
Wilkes had an opportunity to take the lead later in the third after moving deep inside Widener territory. This time, however, a 42-yard field goal try by Yurewicz was no good and Widener took over on their own 25.
The Pioneers took advantage of the momentum following the missed field goal. Parcell hit Mike Schmidt for a 13-yard gain and then took a quarterback draw 21 yards to place the ball on the Wilkes 41. On the next play Parcell hit Elliott White for a 41-yard scoring toss with 3:17 showing on the clock. Laurich squeezed in the point after to give Widener a 20-13 lead and set the stage for the final Wilkes rally.
Wilkes had 282 yards in total offense in the game, while Widener finished with 246. The Colonels defense forced Widener into seven turnovers, picking off five passes and recovering a pair of fumbles. Wilkes was guilty of turning the ball over three times.
Karaffa went 15-of-29 through the air for 108 yards and two interceptions for Wilkes. Jordan had eight catches for 72 yards, while also rushing once for 15 yards and completing his only pass attempt for 29 yards. Andreopoulos was the leading rusher in the game after carrying 23 times for 128 yards.
Parcell hit on 9-of-23 passes for 103 yards and three interceptions, while Matt Campbell, who also saw ample time at quarterback for the Pioneers, completed 3-of-5 passes for 21 yards and two interceptions. Jamie Schild led the way for Widener with four catches for 23 yards, while White had three receptions for 58 yards. Prothro paced the Pioneers ground attack with 19 carries for 95 yards.
Linebackers Kyle Follweiler and Tyler Henninger had nine tackles apiece to lead Wilkes defensively. Acquaye finished with eight tackles, including two tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He also forced and recovered a fumble. The Colonels also received two interceptions from Corey Gilroya and one pick apiece from Jake Grande, Mike Ferriero and Justin Friedel.
Brown had 10 tackles and the fumble return for a score. Todd Fairlie, who had an interception, and Mike McFadden chipped in with eight tackles apiece for Widener.
(9/2) Wilkes 31 William Paterson 3
Junior quarterback Al Karaffa rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another to lead 23rd
-ranked Wilkes University to a 31-3 win over William Paterson in a non-conference football game on Saturday afternoon. The contest was the season opener for both teams.
William Paterson received the opening kickoff, but on a third down play running back Calvin Johnson was stripped of the ball and Wilkes defensive lineman Anthony Serafin recovered at the Pioneers’ 42-yard line to give his team good field position.
The Colonels would not waste the opportunity, putting together an eight-play, 42 yard drive that culminated in the game’s first score. Tom Andreopoulos keyed the drive with four runs for 27 yards. His final carry, which picked up three yards, set up a six yard Karaffa touchdown scamper with 9:35 remaining in the opening stanza. Ryan Yurewicz tacked on the point after to give Wilkes a 7-0 lead.
Wilkes held William Paterson on their next series and forced a punt, which was downed at the Colonels 35. A pass interference penalty on the Pioneers and a 12-yard completion from Karaffa to Jason Prushinski placed the ball at the William Paterson 33. Andreopoulos would then rip off runs of 16 and seven yards to move the ball to the 10. However, an illegal procedure penalty would help stall the drive and Yurewicz came on to boot a 33-yard field goal that upped the Wilkes advantage to 10-0 with 2:40 showing on the clock in the first quarter.
Midway through the second quarter Jim Jordan would return a punt 21 yards to give Wilkes the ball at the Pioneers’ 46-yard line. Karaffa hit Stephon Burgette for 10 yards and then found Prushinski for a 35-yard gain to move the ball deep inside William Paterson territory. Karaffa would cap the drive himself when he bulled his way into the endzone from two yards out with 6:22 remaining in the second quarter. Yurewicz’s extra point pushed the Wilkes lead to 17-0.
Just 34 seconds later the Wilkes defense got in on the scoring act. William Paterson quarterback Sean Ryan tried to dump a ball into the flat area, however Colonels defensive back Mike Ferriero read it perfectly. He intercepted the ball in stride and returned it 45-yard for a score at the 5:48 mark. The lead was 24-0 following the extra point by Yurewicz.
William Paterson put together their lone scoring drive late in the second period. Taking over on their own 42-yard line following a Wilkes punt, Ryan completed passes of 16 yards to Patrick Cobourn and 11 yards to Kareen Moon to move the ball inside Wilkes territory. Later in the drive Ryan would run for 20 yards to give his team possession at the Wilkes 18 with one second left in the half. Ricky Krautman entered and connected on a 37-yard field goal as time expired to close the deficit to 24-3 at intermission.
Wilkes got the only score of the second half early in the final period. The Colonels took over on their own 31-yard line after Keith Cavallotti forced a fumble and Tyler Henninger recovered to stop a William Paterson drive. On the first play following the turnover Karaffa went deep and found Jordan for a 69-yard touchdown at the 12:43 mark. Yurewicz tacked on the final point of the game and Wilkes led 31-3.
Wilkes rolled up 332 yards of total offense, while the Pioneers were limited to just 137 yards. William Paterson also committed four turnovers, while the Colonels did not turn the ball over in the game.
Karaffa ended the afternoon 13-of-19 through the air for 170 yards. Burgette had four catches for 30 yards, Jordan chipped in with three receptions for 87 yards and Prushinski hauled in two passes for 47 yards. Andreopoulos was the game’s leading rusher with 87 yards on 15 carries.
Ryan went 7-for-16 through the air for 72 yards and one interception before being injured in the third quarter. His backup, Dan Lamego, hit on 2-of-6 aerial attempts for 11 yards. Mike Vicci had four receptions for 18 yards and Moon had two catches for 31 yards for the Pioneers. Johnson rushed for 50 yards on 12 carries to lead his team on the ground.
Serafin enjoyed an outstanding day defensively for Wilkes, racking up seven tackles, 1.5 sacks, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble. Kyle Follweiler chipped in with seven tackles and a half sack. Harold Green was the game’s top tackler after leading William Paterson with 13 stops and two sacks. Kyle Harkins was also in double-figures in tackles for the Pioneers with 10.