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2007 Recaps

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(11/10) Widener 20 Wilkes 17
Widener University rallied from a 17-0 second quarter deficit to post a 20-17 Middle Atlantic Conference win over Wilkes University on Saturday afternoon at Ralston Field. 
            
The Pride, who clinched the MAC title a week ago, improved to 8-2 overall and finished with a perfect 7-0 record in conference play. Widener will learn their fate tomorrow when the NCAA announces the pairings for the Division III Championship. Wilkes ended their campaign with an overall record of 4-6 and a conference log of 4-3. 
            
Aireil Adams returned the opening kickoff 28 yards to give Wilkes possession at their own 40-yard line to begin the initial drive of the game. Quarterback Al Karaffa completed five-of-six pass attempts on the opening drive, including strikes covering 20 yards to Sean Madden and 11 yards to Gennaro Zangardi to help move the ball to the Widener 20. Karaffa would then find tight end Drew Letcavage for a 17-yard gain to advance the ball to the Pride three-yard line. Alex Pearson got the call from there and the rookie found his way into the endzone with 11:26 remaining in the stanza. Mario Della Fortuna tacked on the PAT and Wilkes had a 7-0 lead. 
            
Later in the first quarter Adams would return a punt 19 yards to give Wilkes the ball at their own 30. Karaffa hit Letcavage for a 15-yard gain and then went to the tight end once again for a 31-yard pick up to place the ball at the Widener 23-yard line. After a seven-yard Zangardi run and an eight-yard rush by Pearson moved the ball to the eight, Karaffa and Letcavage once again connected, this time for an eight-yard touchdown. Della Fortuna’s extra point provided the Colonels with a 14-0 lead with 4:24 left in the period. 
            
Widener could not move the ball on their next possession and had to punt, giving Wilkes the ball at their own 23-yard line. The Colonels had to punt from their own 29-yard line on a fourth-and-four play, however, Widener was guilty of a roughing the punter penalty that kept the drive alive. 
            
Immediately following the penalty Karaffa found Zangardi for a 23-yard pass completion to advance the ball to the Pride 33-yard line. After gaining only one yard on three plays, Wilkes was faced with a fourth-and-nine from the 32. Once again it was Karaffa hitting Letcavage for a gain of 18 yards to the Widener 14.    But, the drive would stall there and Della Fortuna kicked a 34-yard field goal on the third play of the second quarter to extend the lead to 17-0. 
            
Widener was able to move to the Wilkes 48 on their next possession. On a third-and-seven play Matt Campbell had his pass intercepted by Justin Friedel and Wilkes took over on their own six-yard line. After three rushes and a false start penalty set up a fourth-and-12 from the four, Nick Genuardi was set to punt from his own endzone. However, Genuardi could not get the punt off and was tackled in the endzone for a safety that made it 17-2 with 9:49 left in the half. 
            
A 27-yard return of the ensuing free kick gave the Pride good field position at the Wilkes 43 to begin their next drive. Campbell hit Mike Falkenstein for completions covering 12 and 13 yards to help the Pride work the ball to the Wilkes 13. But, that is as far as the drive would go thanks to three straight incompletions. Tom Laurich connected on a 30-yard field goal with 7:06 left to cut the lead to 17-5. 
            
Widener began the second half with a 38-yard kickoff return by Kevin Fisher that gave them the ball at the Wilkes 44. After the drive stalled, punter Robert McHugh killed a punt at the Colonels one-yard line. Wilkes was unable to advance past the six and also had to punt. Genuardi’s punt traveled only 24 yards and Fisher returned it three-yards to place the ball at the 27. 
            
Ian Decker picked up one-yard on a run on first down and Campbell hit Fisher for a two-yard gain on second down to make it third-and-seven from the 24. Campbell’s third down pass to Jamie Schild was broken up by Corey Gilroy, and his fourth down toss intended for Fisher was knocked away by Friedel to help Wilkes maintain their 17-5 lead. 
            
Once again, the Widener defense held Wilkes to three plays and out and the Pride offense began their next series at the Colonels 40-yard line following the punt. A 15-yard facemask penalty on Wilkes and a nine-yard pass from Campbell to Schild gave Widener a first down at the Wilkes 11. On fourth-and-three from the four, Campbell’s pass to tight end Tim Kilkenny fell incomplete and the Wilkes defense once again kept Widener out of the endzone. 
            
Wilkes would pick up three first downs on their ensuing possession. The Colonels final first down came at their own 31. On third-and-seven from the 34 Karaffa had his pass intercepted by Joe Favinger. Favinger would return the pick 28 yards to give the offense the pigskin at the Wilkes 21. 
            
It took only one player for Widener to take advantage of the turnover. Campbell threw a screen pass to Ian Decker, who went down the left side of the field for the 21-yard score with 3:12 left in the third quarter. Laurich booted the extra point to make it a 17-12 game. 
            
Widener came up with a big play on special teams, recovering a Wilkes fumble on a punt at the Colonels 19 early in the fourth quarter. But, the Colonels defense gave up only four yards and Laurich had his 32-yard field goal attempt blocked to keep Wilkes on top by five points. 
            
Wilkes was unable to pick up a first down on their next possession and were forced to punt. Genuardi’s 35-yard kick was returned 13 yards by Fisher to give Widener a first down at the Wilkes 41. 
            
After a holding penalty backed the Pride up to midfield, Wilkes was whistled for a pass interference penalty that provided Widener with a first down at the Colonels’ 35. Campbell and Falkenstein connected for a 15-yard gain to the 20. After Steve Cook was stopped in the backfield for a five-yard loss by Jason Acquaye to make it second-and-15 from the 25, Schild pulled in a pass from Campbell for 14 yards to set up a third-and-one from the 11. Cook got the call but fumbled the handoff. However, Kilkenny found the loose ball at the 11 to make it fourth-and-one. Cook would take a toss and gain three yards on the fourth down play to place the ball at the eight and give Widener a fresh set of downs. On second down from the nine Campbell hit Kilkenny in the back of the endzone for the go-ahead touchdown with 8:10 left in the contest. Schild would nab a pass from Campbell for the two-point conversion to give Widener a 20-17 lead. 
            
The final Wilkes threat came on their next possession when they were able to advance the ball to midfield. But, Orlando Brown stepped in front of a Karaffa aerial attempt to thwart the drive and secure the win for the Pride. 
            
Wilkes held a 341-267 advantage in total offense in the game and finished with 17 first downs to the Pride’s 15. Campbell was 17-of-43 through the air for 195 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Karaffa went 25-of-47 passing for 282 yards for Wilkes. He threw one TD toss and was picked off three times. 
            
Mike Falkenstein led the Widener receivers with 99 yards on six catches, while Cook rushed for 48 yards on 18 attempts. 
            
Letcavage had a eight receptions for 124 yards for Wilkes, while Zangardi finished with six receptions for 67 yards. Pearson was the leading ground gainer for the Colonels with 13 carries for 30 yards. 
            
Favinger had nine tackles and an interception to lead the way defensively for the Pride. TD Davis was next on the list with eight stops. 
            
Kyle Follweiler, who had an interception in the contest, racked up 16 tackles in his final game for Wilkes. Jason Acquaye chipped in with five tackles. 



(11/3) Wilkes 27 Delaware Valley 24
Senior quarterback Al Karaffa threw for a career-high 322 yards and two touchdowns and also scored on a one-yard run to lift Wilkes University to a 27-24 win over Delaware Valley College on Saturday afternoon at James Work Memorial Stadium. 
            
The victory improved the Colonels to 4-5 overall and 4-2 in the Middle Atlantic Conference heading into their season finale at home against Widener University next Saturday. Delaware Valley, who slipped to 4-5 overall and 4-2 in conference play, will end their season next week when they visit Albright College. 
            
Wilkes would flex its muscles early, taking the opening kickoff and putting together a 16-play, 89 yard drive, that took over minutes off of the first quarter clock. Al Karaffa threw nine passes during the drive and completed eight of them for an impressive 85 yards. Karaffa’s 35-yard strike to tight end Kyle Regner moved the ball to the Delaware Valley 43. Karaffa would then complete passes covering 10 yards to Jason Prushinski and 15 yards to Sean Madden that helped place the ball at the Aggies seven. After a six-yard Karaffa to Drew Letcavage pass made it fourth-and goal from the one, Karaffa called his own number and bulled into the endzone for a touchdown with 6:51 left in the period. The extra point attempt by Mario Della Fortuna was blocked and Wilkes led 6-0. 
            
Later in the first quarter Delaware Valley put together their first scoring drive. After taking over on their own 40 following a Colonels’ punt, Mike Isgro sandwiched passes of five and 13 yards to Joel Foreman around a 24-yard Matt Mariano run to set up a first-and-10 from the Wilkes 18. The drive stalled there and Shane Toohey converted a 35-yard field goal with 1:44 left in the stanza to cut the lead to 6-3.
            
The score would stay that way until the second quarter when Wilkes added to their lead. This time the Colonels marched 80 yards in seven plays to reach paydirt. Karaffa hit Philip Cimilluca for a nine-yard gain and found Prushinski for 14 yards to advance the ball to the Wilkes 48. On third-and-nine from there Karaffa hit Sean Madden on a screen pass and Madden was able to out-race the Aggie defenders for a 52-yard touchdown with 8:22 remaining in the half. Della Fortuna tacked on the PAT to up the Wilkes lead to 13-3. 
            
Delaware Valley came up with a big play on special teams when Kyle Mancuso broke through to block a Wilkes punt and give the Aggies possession at the Wilkes 12-yard line with 5:46 left in the half. It took Delaware Valley three plays to cover the distance, with the pay off coming on a 10-yard TD pass from Isgro to Foreman with 4:55 showing on the clock. Toohey’s extra point was good and the Aggies had pulled to within 13-10. 
            
On the Colonels next possession the Delaware Valley defense got in on the scoring. Facing a third-and-nine from their own 26, Karaffa stepped back to pass and was hit by John Pursell as he attempted to throw. The pass found the hands of Greg Rissinger and he returned it 16-yard for a score with 3:54 left before halftime. Toohey’s extra point gave the Aggies’ their first lead, 17-13.  
            
Wilkes would get a special teams play of their own to help regain the lead prior to halftime. The play came when F.J. Campbell broke through to get a piece of a Delaware Valley punt that allowed the Colonels to take over possession on the Aggies’ 46. 
            
On the first play following the punt Karaffa found Prushinski for a 19-yard gain. A personal foul penalty the Aggies on the play further advanced the ball to the Delaware Valley 14. On third-and-ten from that same position Karaffa and Drew Letcavage hooked up on a screen pass that Letcavage was able to carry into the endzone with 43 seconds left in the half. Della Fortuna’s PAT was successful and Wilkes held a 20-17 lead at intermission. 
            
Delaware Valley went back on top late in the third quarter by putting together an eight-play, 72-yard drive following a Wilkes punt. The Aggies’ converted a pair of third down plays to keep their drive alive. The first came on third-and-13 from the Delaware Valley 25 when Isgro found Jimmy Smith for an 18-yard gain. After a 29-yard pass from Isgro to Foreman placed the ball inside Wilkes territory at the 28, the Colonels defense stiffened. However, on third-and-six from the 24 it was Isgro finding Dan Heiland for a 16-yard pickup to make it first and goal from the eight. Matt Cook would do the rest, going eight yards for a score with 1:06 left in the third. The extra point by Toohey put Delaware Valley ahead, 24-20. 
            
The Colonels would respond on their ensuing drive to once again take the lead. A 13-yard pass from Karaffa to Prushinski on a third down and six play move the ball to the Aggies 46. On the very next play the duo hooked up again, this time for a 31-yard gain that gave the Colonels a first down at the Delaware Valley 15-yard line. Three plays later Karaffa handed the ball to Alex Pearson and the freshman went six yards for a touchdown with 13:22 left in the game. Della Fortuna’s extra point gave Wilkes a 27-24 lead. 
            
Delaware Valley had a chance to tie the game on their next trip down the field. The Aggies were able to march to the Wilkes 21-yard line. But, on fourth and seven from that spot, Toohey’s attempt at a 38-yard field goal sailed wide left leaving the Colonels with a three-point lead. 
            
The Aggies would have three more possessions in the game, but each time the Wilkes defense was able to rise to the occasion. The first drive ended in a punt and the second was halted when David Grega intercepted an Isgro pass at the Wilkes 40. The Aggies final drive of the game was stopped when Corey Gilroy knocked down an Isgro pass as time expired. 
            
Karaffa finished the afternoon 28-of-47 through the air to help Wilkes amass 394 yards in total offense. Prushinski had seven catches for 100 yards and Madden ended the game with five catches for 81 yards. Pearson was the leading rusher for the Colonels with 57 yards on 25 carries.  
            
Isgro hit on 23-of-44 pass attempts for 227 yards and one score for Delaware Valley, who finished with 285 yards in total offense. Foreman had seven catches for 101 yards and Heiland pulled down five passes for 42 yards. Jake Sheffield led the Aggies on the ground with six carries for 28 yards.
            
The Wilkes defense was paced by Kyle Follweiler, who had 11 tackles and a pair of sacks. Grega and Rex Harris, who also had a sack in the game, both chipped in with five tackles. 
            
Pursell was the leading tackler for the Aggies with 10 stops. Kyle Mancuso had nine tackles and the blocked punt, while Kyle Reuter also had nine tackles. 



(10/27) Wilkes 35 King's 0
Wilkes University held King’s College to only seven yards in total offense and forced the Monarchs into five turnovers as the Colonels rolled to a 35-0 victory over their cross-town rivals in the annual Mayor’s Cup Game on Saturday afternoon at Betzler Fields. 
            
The win, the fifth straight for Wilkes over the Monarchs, improved the Colonels to 3-5 overall and 3-2 in the Middle Atlantic Conference. King’s saw its record slide to 0-8 overall and 0-5 in conference play.
            
Wilkes took the opening kickoff and promptly put together a scoring drive. Starting at their own 45 following a 27-yard kickoff return by Kevin Gerhart, the Colonels used seven plays to march deep inside King’s territory. Quarterback Al Karaffa was a perfect three-for-three passing on the drive, including a pair of tosses to tight end Kyle Regner covering 17 and five yards. On fourth-and-two, Wilkes opted to try a field goal and the Colonels Mario Della Fortuna connected on a 36-yard attempt to give his team a 3-0 lead with 11:14 left in the first quarter. 
            
The Wilkes defense would get in on the scoring later in the first quarter. With King’s facing a third-and-three situation from their own 26, quarterback Jeff Searfass had his pass intercepted by Corey Gilroy at the Monarchs 28, and Gilroy returned it down the Wilkes sideline for a touchdown with 2:52 left in the stanza. Della Fortuna added the point after to give Wilkes a 10-0 lead.
            
The Colonels would begin their third scoring drive of the first half on the King’s 46 following a 17-yard punt return by Aireil Adams.  Karaffa hit Alan Frost for a 16 yard gain to advance the ball to the Monarchs 30. Alex Pearson would pick up nine yards on consecutive carries to make it a third-and-one from the 21 as the second period began. On the first play of the new stanza Karaffa went to the air and hit Rocky D’Aconti for a score with 14:51 showing on the clock. The PAT by Della Fortuna was good and Wilkes had a 17-0 advantage. 
            
The Wilkes defense held King’s on downs on their next possession. On fourth down from their own 26-yard line the snap from center sailed over punter Andrew DeRito’s head and into the endzone. DeRito out-raced the Wilkes defender and kicked the ball out of the back of the endzone for a safety that made it 19-0 with 13:49 left in the first half. 
            
Darius Harrison would set up the next Wilkes score when he intercepted a pass by Blaine Fox and returned it 17 yards to the King’s 6. However, the drive stalled at the Monarchs two and Della Fortuna was called on to attempt a 20-yard field goal. The try was good and the Colonels held a 22-0 lead with 7:45 left before intermission.
            
Special teams would lead to another Wilkes score early in the third quarter. King’s took the second half kickoff but was unable to move the ball and was forced to punt. The Colonels’ F.J. Campbell broke through and broke DeRito’s punt attempt that was recovered on the Monarchs three-yard line. Pearson would then find his way into the endzone on a three-yard run with 14:01 left in the quarter. Della Fortuna’s PAT was off the mark and Wilkes held a 28-0 lead.
            
King’s would hand Wilkes another scoring opportunity just moments later when a fourth-down snap on an attempted punt was off the mark and DeRito had to fall on it at his own 23-yard line. The Colonels would take advantage of the miscue as Pearson carried the ball on all five plays, including a one-yard TD plunge with 10:10 left in the third. Della Fortuna was successful on the point after and the lead moved to 35-0 and that is the way the game would end.
            
Wilkes used a balanced offensive attack to finish with 273 yards in total offense. The Colonels had 133 yards on the ground and 140 yards through the air. King’s managed to throw for 42 yards, but the Monarchs were held to minus-35 yards rushing in the game. 
            
Pearson led the Wilkes running backs with 72 yards and two touchdowns. Karaffa finished the afternoon by completed 8-of-14 passes for 132 yards and a score. Regner had three catches for 30 yards and Gennaro Zangardi contributed two receptions for 55 yards. 
            
Brandon Murray was the top ground-gainer for King’s with 22 yards. Searfass started at quarterback and hit on 1-of-5 passes for 13 yards and two interceptions. Blaine Fox came on to replace Searfass and finished the afternoon 3-for-17 through the air for 29 yards and three interceptions. 
            
Tim Yeagley was named the Most Valuable Player of the game for Wilkes after registering eight tackles, two sacks and four tackles for loss. Kyle Follweiler chipped in with six stops and three tackles for loss. Harrison had five tackles, 1.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss and an interception, while David Grega had five tackles and two interceptions.
            
Tore Alaimo earned Most Valuable Player honors for King’s after racking up a game-high 14 tackles and recovering a fumble. Matt Rhodes chipped in with 11 tackles, while Brian Mitros, who had an interception, and Justin Zlotek added eight tackles each.   



(10/20) Albright 35 Wilkes 25
Sophomore quarterback Tanner Kelly threw for 352 yards and four touchdowns to lead Albright College to a 35-25 win over Wilkes University in a Middle Atlantic Conference football game on Saturday afternoon at Ralston Field. 
            
The win improved the Lions to 6-1 overall. Albright also remained in a tie for the conference lead with Delaware Valley College and Widener University with a perfect 4-0 record. Wilkes saw their overall record slide to 2-5 and watched their MAC mark even at 2-2. 
            
After a scoreless first quarter Albright would get on the board on the second play of the second stanza. Kelly hooked up with Stephen Asay for a 16-yard touchdown to cap an eight play, 57 yard drive. John Whelan added the extra point to give the Lions a 7-0 advantage. 
            
Albright would force a Wilkes punt on the Colonels ensuing possession and took over on their own 17-yard line. After picking up a first down on the Wilkes 27, the Colonels defense stopped Nate Romig for a two-yard loss and forced Kelly into an incompletion to set up a third-and-12 from the 25. Kelly went to the air and found Nate Romig down the middle of the field for a 75-yard touchdown toss with 9:14 left in the half. Whelan’s PAT extended the lead to 14-0. 
            
Wilkes got a jolt of energy when Ray Taylor took the ensuing kickoff and raced 74 yards to the Albright 15-yard line. Alex Pearson would do the rest, weaving his way for five yards on first down and then picking his way for a 10-yard touchdown with 8:29 showing on the clock. The extra point by Mario Della Fortuna was off the mark and Wilkes trailed 14-6. 
            
Once again Albright would come up with a big play to add to their lead. The Lions got a 20-yard kickoff return from William Alston to begin their next drive on their own 36. It took only one play for Albright to reach the endzone thanks to Kelly’s 64-yard strike to Asay just 17 seconds after the Wilkes touchdown. Whelan was once again perfect with the extra point and the Lions held a 21-6 lead.
            
A short kickoff gave the Colonels the ball on their own 39-yard line to begin their next drive. Behind the running of Pearson, who carried the ball on the first six plays and gained 46 yards, Wilkes was able to march to the Albright 15. Quarterback Jonathan Stroup would keep the drive alive with a quarterback sneak on a fourth-and-one play that gave the Colonels a first down at the 11. On third-and-eight from the nine Stroup called his own number and went around right end for the touchdown jaunt with 4:25 left before halftime. Della Fortuna would convert the point after and Wilkes trimmed the lead to 21-13 at halftime. 
            
Both defenses would stiffen during the majority of the third quarter before a turnover turned the tide for Albright. Wilkes had a second-and-one from their own 28 when Matt Christ forced a fumble by Jamar Beverly and Jonathan Linn pounced on the loose ball at the Colonels 29 to give the Lions great field position. 
            
On the first play following the turnover Kelly went to the air and hit Asay on a fade route down the right sideline for a 29-yard touchdown with 5:23 left in the third quarter. The extra point by Whelan made it 28-13. 
            
Wilkes would take the kick following the score and gained a first down at their own 28. But, on third-and-eight from the 30-yard line Stroup had his pass intercepted by Christ, who went untouched for a 32-yard score at the 3:14 mark. Whelan’s extra point pushed the Albright lead to 35-13 heading into the fourth quarter.
            
Albright would march to the Wilkes 15 early in the fourth quarter, but had the drive thwarted when Jason Acquaye broke through to block a 32-yard field goal attempt by Whelan. 
            
The Colonels would carry that momentum on a 14 play, 75 yard drive to add to their point total. Rob Johnson, who came on to replace Stroup at quarterback, completed six-of-eight passes during the drive for 47 yards, including a 10-yard hookup with Rob Pietrucha on a second-and goal play from the Lions’ 11 that placed the ball on the one. Sean Madden would get the call from their and plowed his way into the endzone with 3:51 left in the game. Della Fortuna’s extra point sailed wide and Albright still led 35-19. 
            
On the Lions first play of their following drive Acquaye stripped the ball loose from Jason Mundie and the Colonels’ Augusto Lombana recovered at the Albright 39. A 35-yard pass from Johnson to Jason Prushinski would move the ball to the four-yard line. Johnson then connected with Rocky D’Aconti in the corner of the endzone for a four-yard touchdown with 3:04 left. Johnson’s pass attempt for the two-point conversion to Pietrucha came up short and Albright claimed the 35-25 win. 
            
Albright was held to just 12 yards rushing on 30 attempts. However, thanks to the arm of Kelly they were able to amass 364 yards in total offense. Asay caught 11 passes for 179 yards and three touchdowns, while Romig added seven receptions for 151 yards to pace the attack.
            
Wilkes finished with 345 yards in total offense, including 194 yards on the ground. Pearson carried the ball 33 times for 154 yards and a touchdown, his second 100-yard game of the season. Johnson completed 11-of-18 passes for 103 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Prushinski was the top target with four catches for 90 yards. 
            
Christ had 12 tackles, two interceptions, and one forced fumble to lead Albright defensively. Andrew Kibler was next on the list with eight tackles, while Taylor Ruddy, Sean Sullivan and Brett Gaul had seven stops apiece.
            
Kyle Follweiler went over the 400 tackle mark for his career by finishing with 11 tackles for Wilkes. The senior linebacker now has 401 stops during his four seasons. Corey Tucker chipped in with eight tackles, while Justin Friedel had six tackles. 



(10/13) Lycoming 19 Wilkes 17
Wilkes University was unable to capitalize on some key scoring opportunities as Lycoming College snapped the Colonels 18-game Middle Atlantic Conference winning streak with a 19-17 victory on Saturday afternoon at David Person Field. 
            
The win was the first of the season for the Warriors, who improved to 1-5 overall and 1-2 in the MAC. Wilkes, the defending MAC champions, fell to 2-4 overall and 2-1 in the conference. 
            
Wilkes would waste a golden opportunity to get on the board early in the game when F.J. Campbell broke through and blocked a punt on Lycoming’s first possession to give the Colonels the ball at the Warriors’ 18.
            
Wilkes would use a pair of runs by Alex Pearson and a six-yard pass from Al Karaffa to Ryan Gallagher to gain a first down at the Lycoming five. However, Pearson would fumble on the next play from scrimmage and the Warriors’ Chris Smith recovered at the five to thwart the drive. 
            
Campell would provide a spark once again later in the first quarter when he blocked another punt that Bob Sutjak picked up at the Lycoming 10 and returned to the six to set up the first Wilkes score. That payoff came on the first play following the block when Jamar Beverly scampered six yards for the TD with 2:03 left in the period. Mario Della Fortuna tacked on the extra point to give the Colonels a 7-0 lead.
            
Rex Harris would bust through and block another Lycoming punt that Kevin Gerhart recovered at the Warriors’ 34. However, the Colonels were unable to move the ball before turning it over on downs. 
            
Lycoming put together a seven play, 81 yard drive to get on the scoreboard. Tim Hook would hit Bill Margetich for a 10-yard pass, and a personal foul penalty on Wilkes helped move the ball to the Warriors’ 44. Hook and Margetich would connect two more times during the drive for gains of 15 and 19 yards to help set up a first down at the Wilkes’ 15. Josh Kleinfelter ripped off a 10-yard run to advance the ball to the five, before Hook found Ryan Wagaman for the TD pass with just 1:24 left in the half. Sean Teufel had his extra point attempt blocked to keep Wilkes on top, 7-6. 
            
Darnell Corbin’s 27-yard kickoff return gave the Colonels good starting field position at their own 45 for the final drive of the half. Behind four Karaffa completions Wilkes was able to take the ball down to the Lycoming 10-yard line with 22 seconds left.  After three incomplete passes set up a fourth down, Della Fortuna had his 28-yard field goal attempt blocked by Josh Dixon to send the game to halftime with the Colonels holding a 7-6 lead.
            
Lycoming’s first possession of the second half culminated when punter Brad Shellenberger watched the snap from center on fourth down sail over his head. Shellenberger recovered at his own 16, where Wilkes took over. The Colonels were unable to gain a first down and Della Fortuna drilled a 29-yard field goal to up the Wilkes lead to 10-6 with 7:16 left in the third quarter.
            
The Warriors would turn the table on Wilkes when Mark Rosa broke through and blocked a Colonels’ punt to set Lycoming up with a first down on their own 42-yard line. Hook and Margetich would connect for a 23-yard gain to move the ball to the Wilkes 35 on the first play following the block. On the next play Kleinfelter took a handoff and raced 35 yards for a score to give Lycoming their first lead. Scott Erickson added the PAT and the Warriors had a 13-10 lead with 4:17 left in the third quarter.
            
Wilkes had a chance to regain the lead just moments later. The Colonels had their ensuing drive stall at their own 46 yard line. However, Dixon fumbled the punt return at his own 21 and Chris Applegate pounced on it for Wilkes. Despite the good field position, the offense was able to gain only four yards before Della Fortuna’s 35-yard field sailed wide right. 
            
Lycoming’s punt return team will make a huge play early in the fourth quarter. Wilkes faced a fourth-and-15 from their own 23. Nick Genuardi’s punt was fielded by Dixon at his own 34 and he sprinted 66 yards for a score with 10:07 to play in the game. The extra point by Erickson was off target and Lycoming had a 19-10 lead.
            
Wilkes would take the ensuing kickoff and march to the Lycoming eight yard line with just over seven minutes to go. But, the drive once again would stall and Della Fortuna was asked to attempt a 29-yard field goal. Holder Jonathan Stroup was unable to handle the snap from center and Lycoming once again held the Colonels off the scoreboard. 
            
The Colonels defense would force a punt on the Warriors’ next set of downs and took over on the Lycoming 46 following a punt. It took Wilkes eight plays to cover the distance, with Karaffa hitting 4-of-6 passes for 45 yards, including a 10-yard toss to Jason Prushinski with 2:41 left in the game. Della Fortuna was perfect on the extra point and the lead was trimmed to 19-17. 
            
Lycoming would take over on their own 20 following a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff. Kleinfelter would gain three yards first down before an incomplete pass set up a third-and-seven from the 23. Hook hit Kleinfelter on a screen pass that came up a half yard short at the 29. The Warriors opted to go for it on fourth down and Kleinfelter was able to gain two yards to give his team a first down at the 31. 
            
Lycoming was able to run three more plays before having to punt with 10 seconds to go. Wilkes would get the ball at the Warriors 48-yard line with just three ticks remaining and Karaffa’s desperation pass was incomplete to end the game.
            
Kleinfelter carried the ball 28 times for 98 yards in the game to lead the Warriors, who managed only 53 yards rushing and 188 yards in total offense. Hook finished the afternoon 14-of-25 through the air of 135 yards, including four strikes to Margetich for 67 yards. 
            
The Colonels finished with 288 yards in total offense, including 75 rushing yards on 16 carries by Beverly. Karaffa hit on 25-of-48 passes for 217 yards. Prushinski had eight receptions for Wilkes and gained 80 yards. 
            
Mike Diplacido had 14 tackles, three tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks to pace the defensive effort for Lycoming. Vreeland Wood finished with nine stops, while Smith had seven tackles and a fumble recovery.
            
Kyle Follweiler racked up 14 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack and an interception to lead Wilkes on the defensive side of the ball. Justin Friedel chipped in with seven tackles, while Augusto Lombana had six tackles and a sack.   



(10/6) Wilkes 47 FDU-Florham 0
Senior quarterback Al Karaffa had two touchdown passes and added a pair of rushing scores to lead Wilkes University to a 47-0 rout of Middle Atlantic Conference foe FDU-Florham on Saturday afternoon at Ralston Field. 
            
Wilkes upped their overall record to 2-3 and moved to 2-0 in the conference. The Colonels, the defending MAC champions, have now won 18 straight games in conference play. FDU-Florham, who suffered their 17th straight loss to Wilkes, saw their records drop to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
            
The Colonels were able to march into FDU-Florham territory on each of their first three offensive possessions only to see the Devils step up defensively and thwart the drives. 
            
With the score 0-0 heading into the second quarter the Wilkes defense came up with a big play on the first play of the second stanza. Jason Acquaye stripped the ball free from FDU-Florham running back Adam LaValley, and the Colonels’ Jacob Roberts recovered at the Devils 15-yard line. Jamar Beverly would do the rest for Wilkes, picking up eight yards on his first run following the turnover, and then scampering seven yards for a score with 14:03 remaining in the period. The extra point by Mario Della Fortuna was off target and Wilkes led 6-0.
            
After forcing an FDU-Florham punt on their next possession, Wilkes took over on their own 49-yard line. Karaffa hit tight end Drew Letcavage for an 18-yard gain to advance the ball to the Devils 33. The Wilkes ground attack then took over. Beverly had four carries for 16 yards, Sean Madden added one run for seven yards, and Karaffa rumbled twice for 10 yards, including a five-yard TD jaunt with 8:45 showing on the clock. Della Fortuna tacked on the PAT and Wilkes had a 13-0 advantage.
            
The Colonels defense forced another punt on FDU-Florham’s next set of downs. Following the punt Wilkes would begin their final scoring drive of the half from their own 20.
            
Karaffa completed four-of-six passes during the 11-play drive, including a 34-yard strike to Jason Prushinski that placed the ball at the Devils 21. Six plays later, on a third-and-goal from the one, Karaffa called his own number and bulled his way into the endzone for his second TD run. Della Fortuna’s extra point extended the Wilkes lead to 20-0 at intermission.
            
Wilkes took the opening kickoff of the second half and Kevin Gerhart’s 25-yard return placed the ball at the Colonels’ 37-yard line. Alex Pearson rushed for three yards on first down before the Colonels turned to some trickery. Pearson took a handoff from Karaffa and then flipped the ball back to his signal-caller. Karaffa would then launch a pass that found Prushinski behind the Devils defense for a 60-yard touchdown just 52 seconds into the third quarter. The extra point by Della Fortuna made it 27-0.
            
Later in the third period the Colonels would put together a six play, 59-yard scoring drive. Karaffa was successful on all three of his pass attempts during the drive, including a 36-yard toss to Gil Flores with 3:55 left. The extra point by Della Fortuna was perfect and the lead grew to 34-0 after three quarters.
            
The next Wilkes scoring drive began late in the third under the direction of backup quarterback Jonathan Stroup. Stroup would lead the team on a eight play, 67-yard drive by connecting on two passes for 20 yards. Beverly also carried the ball three times for 24 yards before Zack Latourette came on to replace him. Latourette got the call on the final three plays of the drive, gaining 20 yards and scoring on a 13-yard sprint on the second play of the final quarter. Della Fortuna’s extra point gave the Colonels a 41-0 lead with 14:29 left. 
            
The final Colonels touchdown came courtesy of the defense. On a second-and-13 play from the FDU-Florham 39, quarterback Louis Pietrangelo had his pass intercepted by Wilkes defensive back Ray Taylor. Taylor would weave his way down the field for a 54-yard touchdown return with 2:25 remaining. The extra point by Brett Feeger was no good and Wilkes had a 47-0 lead.
            
Karaffa finished the afternoon 15-of-23 through the air for 256 yards for the Colonels, who amassed a season-high 486 yards in total offense. Prushinski hauled in four passes for 131 yards, while Letcavage had four catches for 54 yards. Beverly had 57 rushing yards, Pearson finished with 47 yards running the ball, and Latourette had 46 yards rushing for Wilkes.
            
Starting quarterback Bill Winters hit on 15-of-26 passes for 132 yards for FDU-Florham. David Nemeth led the receivers with four catches for 41 yards. The Devils, who were limited to 178 yards in total offense, had only nine yards rushing in the game. 
            
Kyle Follweiler finished with 10 tackles and a sack to pace the Wilkes defensive effort. Kevin Gerhart chipped in with six stops. Taylor had two interceptions and 120 yards in returns. 
            
Derek Gregory had a game-high 11 tackles for FDU-florham. The Devils also got six tackles apiece from Jason Stopper and Robert Bailey. 



(9/29) Wilkes 29 Lebanon Valley 22 (ot)
Freshman running back Alex Pearson rushed 33 times for 169 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime to lead Wilkes University to a 29-22 victory over Lebanon Valley College in the Middle Atlantic Conference opener for both teams on Saturday.
            
The Colonels, who are the defending conference champions, improved to 1-3 overall and extended their MAC winning streak to 17 straight games. Lebanon Valley, which slipped to 1-3 overall, dropped their 13th consecutive game to Wilkes dating back to 1993.
            
Lebanon Valley took the opening kickoff and used a pair of 11-yard passes from Caleb Fick to Adam Brossman to advance the ball to the Wilkes 14. But, on second-and-three from that spot Fick had his pass intercepted at the 15-yard line by Darius Harrison. Harrison would then race 85 yards for a touchdown with 10:14 left in the first stanza. Mario Della Fortuna’s extra point try was blocked and the Colonels had a 6-0 lead.
            
The Flying Dutchmen would waste little time answering the Wilkes score. After taking over on their own 12 following the ensuing kickoff, Fick hit Brossman for a 42 yard gain to the Wilkes 46 on the first play of the drive. A pair of runs would pick up seven yards before Fick again went to the air. This time he hooked up with Clint Vinju for a 39-yard touchdown with 8:14 left in the quarter. Dan DiBona added the point after and Lebanon Valley led 7-6. 
            
Wilkes would put together a 10 play, 80 yard drive to regain the lead late in the first. Corey Carter gained 12 yards on two carries to start the drive, before Alex Pearson ripped off runs of 12 and 13 yards to move the ball to the Lebanon Valley 28. Pearson appeared to pick up another first down at the Flying Dutchmen five, but a holding call would set the ball back on the 19 and make it third-and-11. Al Karaffa would find tight end Drew Letcavage down the middle of the field for a 19-yard touchdown with 1:38 showing on the clock. Della Fortuna’s extra point extended the Wilkes lead to 13-7.
            
Lebanon Valley used a 12 play, 88 yard drive before the half to go back on top. Starting at their own 12-yard line following a Wilkes punt, Fick did the majority of the work with his arm, completing all six of his pass attempts for 71 yards. The payoff would come on a third-and-one play from the Colonels 17 when Fick connected with Scott Klein for a touchdown with 2:04 left in the half. DiBona’s extra point was good and the Flying Dutchmen had a 14-13 lead at halftime.
            
Wilkes took the opening kickoff of the second half and promptly put together a scoring drive to take the lead. Keyed by a 24-yard Karaffa to Letcavage pass on a third-and-five play, Wilkes was able to move to the Lebanon Valley four. This time Karaffa fired a strike to Kyle Regner for the touchdown with 11:11 left in the quarter. Della Fortuna missed the extra point and the Colonels lead was 19-14. 
            
Lebanon Valley once again bounced right back, taking the kickoff following the score and marching 74 yards. Brossman pulled down a 19-yard pass on a third-and-11 to keep the drive alive. He also had a 20-yard catch that placed the ball on the Wilkes two. Ryan Brennan would pick up one yard on first down and would bull his way into the endzone on the next play to give the Flying Dutchmen the advantage. The two-point conversion pass from Fick found Brossman and Lebanon Valley had a 22-19 lead with 7:17 left in the third quarter.
            
Wilkes got a break later in the third when Charlie Parker fumbled at his own 22 and the Colonels’ Augusto Lombana pounced on the pigskin to set up good field position. Wilkes was able to advance the ball to the four, but Karaffa was sacked for an eight-yard loss on third down to make it fourth down from the 12. Della Fortuna came on and booted a 30-yard field goal with 2:30 showing on the clock to knot the count at 22-22.
            
The Colonels had another golden opportunity to regain the lead when a snap from center on a Lebanon Valley punt attempted sailed over the head of Brossman and was recovered at the five-yard line by Bob Sutjak. However, the Flying Dutchmen defense stiffened and held Wilkes to only three yards on three running plays. On fourth down Wilkes opted to go for it, but Karaffa’s pass fell incomplete and Lebanon Valley had held.
            
Russell DeStefano intercepted a Karaffa pass at his own 25 yard line and returned it 18 yards to give Lebanon Valley the ball at their own 43 with 6:43 left in the game. The Flying Dutchmen would push the ball to the Wilkes five, where they had a first down. An incomplete pass on first down was followed by a pass interference call on the Colonels that gave Lebanon Valley a first-and-goal at the three. Brennan gained two yards on first down, but was held to nothing on second down. The Bryan Lynch was stopped for a four-yard loss on third down and the Flying Dutchmen called on DiBona to try a 23-yard field goal with 1:13 left. However, DiBona’s try hit the left post and fell into the endzone leaving the game even at 22-22 and setting up overtime.
            
Wilkes had the ball first in the extra session. Pearson would run for two yards on first down and a pass to Gennaro Zangardi netted nothing. But, on third down Karaffa hit Jason Prushinski for 17 yards to the Lebanon Valley six. The Flying Dutchmen were also whistled for a personal foul on the play giving the Colonels a first down at the three.  Pearson would do the rest, going over left guard and into the endzone. Della Fortuna’s PAT was perfect and Wilkes led 29-22. 
            
Lebanon Valley had their chance to force a second overtime. Fick tossed incomplete passes on the first two plays. On third down his toss was intercepted by Kyle Follweiler at the ten-yard line to end the game.
            
The Flying Dutchmen had 426 yards of total offense in the game, compared to 293 yards for Wilkes. Lebanon Valley also held a 38:16 to 21:44 time of possession advantage.
            
Karaffa finished the afternoon 11-for-26 passing for 115 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Letcavage had two catches for 43 yards and Prushinski had two receptions for 31 yards for the Colonels. 
            
Lebanon Valley, which entered the game as the top rushing offense in the conference, managed 122 yards on the ground. Parker came into the contest leading the MAC averaging 129 yards per tilt, but was held to just 65 yards on 19 carries. 
            
Fick hit on 24-of-42 pass attempts for 304 yards and a pair of scores. He was intercepted three times in the game. Brossman led the receivers with 12 catches for 180 yards. 
            
Follweiler had a game-high 19 tackles to pace Wilkes defensively. He had 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack. Corey Gilroy contributed eight stops for the Colonels, while Jason Acquaye had seven tackles and two tackles for loss. 
            
Kevin Krause led Lebanon Valley with eight tackles. Brian Cottone, Will Keylor and Jeff Ochoa chipped in with seven tackles apiece.  



(9/15) Rowan 14 Wilkes 13
Freshman quarterback Tim Hagerty came off the bench to throw one touchdown and rush for another to lead 21st-ranked Rowan University to a 14-13 non-conference football win over Wilkes University on Saturday afternoon at Ralston Field. The win evened the Profs record at 1-1, while the Colonels dropped their third straight to start the campaign. 
            
The loss was the Colonels second this season by a single point. Wilkes dropped their season-opener to William Paterson by a score of 17-16. It also marked the third straight season that Rowan has gained a win over the Colonels. Each of the previous two victories came in the NCAA Division III playoffs, including last season’s 21-14 second round win for the Profs at Ralston Field.
            
Rowan had the lone scoring threat in the first half. After pinning Wilkes at their own two-yard line, the Profs defense forced a punt. Mario Della Fortuna’s kick into a strong wind traveled only 30 yards and a two-yard return by Kelvin Bellamy set the ball on the Colonels 30. On fourth-and-five from the 25 starting quarterback Joe Rankin found John Impagliazzo out of the backfield for a seven-yard gain to give Rowan a first down at the 18. The drive would stall at the 15 and Dan Roberts came on to attempt a 32-yard field goal. However, the kick sailed wide left and the game remained scoreless. 
            
Wilkes took the opening kickoff of the second half and put together their first scoring march. Starting on their own 23 the Colonels would need nine plays to cover the distance. Wilkes converted a third-and-five from their own 28 when quarterback Al Karaffa connected with Drew Letcavage for an eight-yard completion. Two plays later Karaffa found Gennaro Zangardi for 13 yards to advance the ball to the Rowan 47. On the next play from scrimmage Karaffa and Zangardi hooked up again, this time for a 40-yard gain set up a first-and-goal from the seven. On third down from the three Karaffa found Rocky D’Aconti in the back of the endzone for the touchdown toss with 10:35 left in the period. The extra point attempt by Della Fortuna was no good and Wilkes had a 6-0 lead.
            
The Colonels defense forced a three and out on Rowan’s next possession and Wilkes took over on their own 14-yard line following a punt. Behind the passing of Karaffa, who went 9-for-12 on the drive, the Colonels would march the distance in 16 plays to extend their lead. Karaffa completed three third down passes that resulted in Wilkes first downs, including a nine-yard strike to Jason Prushinski on a third-and-four from the Profs 27 that give the Colonels a first down at the 18. After an incomplete pass and a three-yard run by Sean Madden, Karaffa dropped back and found Prushinski crossing the endzone for a 15-yard touchdown with 3:26 remaining in the third quarter. Della Fortuna’s extra point was on target and Wilkes pushed their lead to 13-0. 
            
Rowan started their ensuing drive on their own 29 and used a busted play to get into Wilkes territory. Hagerty, who came on to replace Rankin in the third quarter, dropped the snap from center. He was able to regain control and moved to his right where he found Davon Edwards ten yards down the field. Edwards hauled in the pass, made a few nifty moves, and raced 58 yards to the Wilkes 13. Once again the Colonels defense would stiffen and force Roberts into a 35-yard field goal try. The kick was low from the start and Wilkes’ Augusto Lombana blocked it and recovered the ball at the 21. 
            
The Wilkes offense was able to gain only three yards on their possession following the missed field goal. Della Fortuna’s punt carried 31 yards, but a 33-yard return by Edwards gave Rowan great field position at the Colonels 22. 
            
The Profs were whistled for an illegal procedure penalty that pushed the ball back to the 27 and Impagliazzo was able to gain only one yard on first down. But, on second down, Hagerty lofted a pass into the corner of the endzone that was pulled in by Val Terebizh for a 26-yard touchdown. Roberts tacked on the extra point to cut the Wilkes lead to 13-7 with 22 seconds remaining in the third period.
            
The Rowan defense came up with a big play early in the fourth quarter when Bellamy intercepted a Karaffa aerial attempt to give the Profs the ball at the Wilkes 37. That play led to the go-ahead score for Rowan. Hagerty was tackled in the backfield for a loss of four yards by Rex Harris on the first play following the turnover, but a personal foul penalty on the Colonels negated the play and give Rowan a first down at the Wilkes 22. Hagerty was sacked for a four-yard loss by Harris and Corey Tucker on the next play, and then fired a pass incomplete to set up a third-and-14 from the 26. Vinnie Graff would find some space in the Colonels secondary on the next play and pulled in a 19-yard toss from Hagerty to keep the drive going and give the Profs a first down at the seven. Three straight rushing plays advanced the ball to the one, where on fourth down, Hagerty called his own number and bulled his way into the endzone with 10:17 left. The extra point by Roberts was good and Rowan had a 14-13 edge. 
            
Wilkes was unable to seriously threaten in their final four opportunities with the ball thanks to a swarming defensive effort by Rowan. The Colonels had only one first down in those four series, and the Profs were able to hold on for the win.
            
Both teams finished the game with 257 yards in total offense. Hagerty was five-for-nine through the air for 118 yards in relief of Rankin. Rankin had connected on just 8-of-27 passes for 59 yards. Terebizh was the top receiver for the Profs with three catches for 49 yards, while Jonathan Downes led the rushing attack with 51 yards on nine carries. 
            
Karaffa completed 25-of-47 passes for 249 yards and two touchdowns. Zangardi had six catches for 86 yards and Prushinski finished with six receptions for 60 yards. The Wilkes ground attack was limited to just eight yards by the Rowan defense. Sean Madden was the top producer out of the backfield with 26 yards on 15 carries. 
            
Bellamy had nine tackles, two tackles for loss, one sack and an interception to lead Rowan defensively. Chris Niszczak chipped in with eight tackles, while Matthew Bailey had seven tackles and 1.5 sacks. 
            
Kyle Follweiler paced Wilkes on defense with a game-high 20 tackles. Follweiler had six tackles for loss, one sack and one interception. Tucker added eight tackles and a forced fumble, while Tiim Yeagley had six stops and a forced fumble. 



(9/8) Montclair State 14 Wilkes 7
Ryan McCoach rushed for 102 yards and both Montclair State University touchdowns to lead the Red Hawks to a 14-7 non-conference win over Wilkes University on Saturday afternoon at Ralston Field in a game that was delayed 1 hour and 16 minutes in the fourth quarter due to lightning. Montclair State was making its season debut, while Wilkes saw their overall record fall to 0-2.
            
The Colonels had the first scoring opportunity of the game thanks to a big play by their special teams in the first quarter. Ray Taylor busted through the line and blocked a Mike Lajterman punt to give Wilkes the ball at the Red Hawks 35-yard line. A run by quarterback Al Karaffa on a third-and-seven play was good enough for a first down at the Montclair State 25. However the Colonels were able to pick up only one yard on their next three plays and were forced to settle for a 41-yard field goal attempt by Mario Della Fortuna. The field goal came up short and Montclair State took over.
            
Montclair State began their first scoring drive at their own 35 with 5:15 remaining in the second quarter following a Wilkes punt that traveled only 10 yards. Quarterback Mike Jump found A.J. Letizia for a 23-yard gain and the Colonels were flagged for a five-yard facemask penalty to place the ball at the Wilkes 37. After gaining another first down at the Wilkes 22, Jump had a pass fall incomplete and was sacked by Jason Acquaye for a three-yard loss to set up a third-and-13 from the 25. This time Jump found Brandon Fronjian with a 20-yard strike to give Montclair State a first-and-goal at the five. It took only one play to reach the endzone from their as McCoach went over the right side of the line for a score with 2:08 left in the half. Marco Capozzoli tacked on the point after to give the Red Hawks a 7-0 lead at intermission. 
            
A Wilkes special teams miscue late in the third quarter nearly led to more Montclair State points. The Colonels were punting from their own 48 when the snap sailed over Della Fortuna’s head. He was able to pick up the ball and squib a punt that was downed at the Wilkes 20-yard line. A run for McCoach on first down moved the ball to the 16-yard line, however, Jump had his pass intended for Jeff Koscil intercepted in the endzone by Ray Taylor to thwart the chance. 
            
Mario McLean would return a Wilkes punt 15 yards to the Colonels 38-yard line to set up another scoring chance for Montclair State with 9:45 to play in the fourth quarter. The Red Hawks got a 23-yard pass completion from Jump to Letizia and a three-yard run by McCoach to place the ball on the Wilkes 12. Once again the Colonels defense came up with a big play when Bob Sutjak stepped in front of a Jump pass at the five and returned it 52 yards to the Montclair State 43.
            
A 13-yard Karaffa to Jason Prushinski pass advanced the ball to the Red Hawks 30. Corey Carter would then bust off an 18-yard run to move the ball to the 12-yard line. After Carter picked up seven yards on the next play to give Wilkes a second-and-three from the five-yard line, lighting struck and the game was halted at 3:14 p.m. with 7:03 remaining in the contest.
            
Both teams were sent back to their locker rooms before the officials deemed the weather playable. After a ten-minute warm-up period, the two teams were ready to resume play at 4:30 p.m.
            
When play began again Carter took a handoff and went four yards to the Montclair State one to give Wilkes a first-and-goal. After losing a yard on a pair of running plays, Karaffa called his own number and went around the left end for a two-yard touchdown with 5:53 left. Della Fortuna kicked the point after to knot the game at 7-7.
            
The Red Hawks responded on the ensuing kickoff when McLean fielded the ball at his own 17 and weaved his way for 45 yards to the Wilkes 38. A run by McCoach netted four yards on first down, and the Colonels were flagged for pass interference on the next play to give Montclair State a first down at the Wilkes 19. McCoach would again carry for four yards on first down. But on the next play he was able to sprint 15 yards for a touchdown with 4:39 left. The extra point by Capozzoli was good and Montclair State had a 14-7 lead.
            
Wilkes would have one final shot to tie the game after taking over on their own 38 following the kickoff. The Colonels were able to pick up a pair of first downs, including one on a four-and-seven play when Karaffa hit Randy Donato for 11 yards that pushed the ball to the Montclair State 32. But, the Red Hawks defense stiffened and Nick Giangrande sacked Karaffa on third down to set up a fourth-and-16 from the 38. Karaffa looked to go deep on the next play, but his pass was intercepted at the three-yard line by Derek DePascale to seal the victory.
            
Montclair State had 249 yards in total offense, including McCoach’s 102 rushing yards on 22 carries. Jump finished the afternoon 14-of-28 through the air for 150 yards and a pair of interceptions. Letizia led the Red Hawks receivers with four catches for 84 yards.
            
Wilkes managed 200 yards in total offense in the contest. Karaffa was 21-of-33 passing for 145 yards and two interceptions. Prushinski hauled in eight of those passes for 71 yards. Carter was the top rusher for the Colonels with 55 yards on 17 carries. 
            
Cornell Hunt had a game-high 12 tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage, to pace Montclair State defensively. Dominique Dixon added 10 tackles, an interception and a forced fumble, while John Valkos had nine stops. 
            
Kyle Follweiler finished with 11 tackles for Wilkes on defense. The Colonels also received 10 tackles from Justin Friedel and five tackles and a sack from Tim Yeagley.  



(9/1) William Paterson 17 Wilkes 16
William Paterson University rallied from a 16-7 deficit late in the second quarter to stun 15th-ranked Wilkes University, 17-16 in the season opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon at Ralston Field.
            
The loss snapped the Colonels 17-game regular season winning streak. It also marked only the second time in their last 14 games at Ralston Field that Wilkes has tasted defeat.
            
Kevin Drakeford returned the opening kickoff 40 yards to give William Paterson good field position at the Wilkes 49-yard line. The Pioneers would get a 14-yard completion from Dan Lamego to Bruce Katkowski to move the ball to the Wilkes 35. Ira Guilford picked up seven and five yards on his first two carries to advance the ball to the 23. He then took another handoff and scampered 23 yards for a touchdown with 13:08 left in the opening quarter. Ricky Krautman added the extra point to give William Paterson a 7-0 lead.
            
Later in the first quarter the Wilkes defense forced a Pioneer punt that placed the ball at the Colonels 46. Quarterback Al Karaffa would connect with Drew Letcavage for a pair of completions that covered 13 yards, and would then race 10 yards to give Wilkes a first down at the William Paterson 36. A 13-yard Karaffa to Gennaro Zangardi pass play would push the ball to the 13. However, Wilkes was able to gain only one yard on their next three plays and were forced to attempt a field goal. Brad Woznisky came on and booted a 29-yard kick that made it 7-3 with 3:34 showing on the clock.
            
Wilkes put together an 11 play, 81-yard drive to reach the endzone early in the second stanza. Karaffa hit Kyle Regner for eight yards and Jamar Beverly for a 21-yard gain as the Colonels marched to the William Paterson 47. Corey Carter would carry on three straight plays, ripping off 19 yards to advance the ball to the 34. After a three-yard run by Sean Madden, Karaffa took off around left end on a bootleg play for a 20-yard gain that placed the ball on the five. Madden would carry three times from there, including a one-yard touchdown plunge with 6:42 left in the half. The extra point attempt by Woznisky was no good and the Colonels led 9-7.
            
The Wilkes defense forced a three and out on William Paterson’s next possession to force a punt. After Krautman’s punt was downed at the Wilkes 28, Karaffa immediately went to the air and found Zangardi for a 46-yard gain to the Pioneer’s 26. Karaffa then hit Jason Prushinski for a 13-yard strike to give Wilkes a first down at the 13. A one-yard run by Beverly and a seven-yard rush by Carter made it third-and-two from the five. Beverly would get the call and would go over right tackle for the touchdown with 3:24 left in the half. Woznisky tacked on the point after and Wilkes had a 16-7 lead.
            
The Pioneers special teams would come up with a big play later in the quarter. Facing a fourth-and-eight from the Wilkes 41, William Paterson opted to punt. The punt hit a Wilkes return man and went into the endzone, where Brian Stone recovered for a touchdown with 1:00 to play in the half. Krautman’s extra point pulled the Pioneers to within 16-14 at intermission.
            
William Paterson would drive to the Wilkes 11-yard line midway through the third quarter. However, the Colonels defense stiffened and Krautman’s 29-yard field goal attempt was blocked by Jason Acquaye to keep Wilkes on top.
            
Late in the third quarter Harold Green stepped in front of a Karaffa aerial attempt at the Colonels’ 34 and returned it 23 yards to give William Paterson possession at the Wilkes 11-yard line. Shaun Puluse was able to gain only two yards on three rushing attempts and Krautman was called on to attempt a 27-yard field goal. This time he sent the kick through the uprights to put William Paterson on top, 17-16 with 1:29 left in the third quarter.
            
The Colonels tried to mount a rally late in the game after taking over on their own 10-yard line following a punt with 2:20 left in the game. Karaffa hit on six-of-eight pass attempts, including four straight to Prushinski that picked up 35 yards, as Wilkes marched to the Pioneers’ 44-yard line with just over one minute to play. On second-and-six from that point, the snap from center eluded Karaffa and Dominick Brown recovered for William Paterson at his own 48 to end the threat and give the Pioneers the victory.
            
Wilkes dominated the game statistically, holding a 290 to 132 edge in total yards and picking up 19 first downs to the Pioneers eight. But, the Colonels were guilty of five turnovers in the game, while William Paterson did not commit one. 
            
Lamego finished 7-of-19 through the air for 69 yards, while Karaffa was 23-of-43 for 221 yards and a pair of interceptions. Katkowski was the leading receiver for the Pioneers with four catches for 46 yards. Letcavage hauled in eight passes for 50 yards for Wilkes and Prushinski added six receptions for 68 yards. 
            
Guilford paced the William Paterson ground attack after carrying the ball 12 times for 37 yards. Puluse added 36 yards on 20 carries for the Pioneers. Carter had 48 rushing yards on 13 attempts for Wilkes.
            
Mike Lamego and Leer Biddle had team-high honors with nine tackles each for the Pioneers, who also got five tackles, including three sacks, from Dan Nunez. 
            
Kyle Follweiler had a game-high 13 tackles to lead Wilkes. Corey Tucker chipped in with eight stops. 
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