(11/19) NCAA First Round Game
Rowan 42 Wilkes 3
Ninth-ranked Rowan University took advantage of excellent field position in the first quarter and turned it into 21 quick points on their way to a 42-3 win over Wilkes University in an NCAA Division III first round playoff game at John Page Field.
Rowan, which earned a berth in last season’s national semi-finals, improves to 9-1 overall and advances to meet Union College in a second round affair next Saturday. Wilkes saw its seven-game winning streak snapped and ended their season with an 8-3 mark.
Davon Edwards took the opening kickoff for the Profs and raced 35 yards to place the ball at midfield. It took Rowan nine plays to cover the distance with quarterback Joe Rankin bulling his way into the endzone from one-yard out with 11:44 remaining in the opening quarter. Matias Spahn tacked on the point after to give Rowan a 7-0 lead.
The Wilkes offense was unable to gain a first down on their opening drive and had to punt from their own 28. Kyle Devlin got off a 42-yard boot, but Phil Silva returned the punt 34 yards to place the ball at the Wilkes 36.
Silva would haul in a 16-yard strike from Rankin and Joe D’Imperio would rumble 12 yards on a rush as the Profs advanced the ball to the Wilkes eight. After a false start penalty on Rowan pushed the ball back to the 13, Rowan found Silva in between two Wilkes defenders in the endzone for a touchdown and Spahn booted the point after to give the Profs a 14-0 lead at the 9:40 mark of the opening stanza.
The Rowan defense came up with a big play on the next Wilkes offensive series when Todd Trout intercepted an Al Karaffa pass and returned it 15 yards to the Colonels 27. Six plays later Ulysses Encarnacion scored on a run from two yards out with 6:27 showing on the clock. The extra point by Spahn was good and Rowan had a 21-0 advantage.
Wilkes would take the ensuing kickoff and march inside Rowan territory for the first time. Tom Andreopoulos carried on three consecutive plays for 25 yards and John Impagliazzo added a pair of runs for eight yards as the Colonels progressed to the Profs 26. On fourth-and-five from that spot, Devlin came on a drilled a 43-yard field goal to cut the lead to 21-3 with 2:46 left in the opening period.
Wilkes had a golden opportunity to cut further into the lead when Keith Cavallotti forced a fumble that was recovered by Jake Grande at the Rowan 35 with 1:27 left in the quarter. However, the offense was able to gain only three yards on three plays and Devlin’s 49-yard field goal try was short.
The Colonels would march inside of Rowan territory late in the first half. Starting at their own 20 following a punt, Impagliazzo picked up 12 and 33 yards on consecutive runs to move the ball to the Profs 35. Karaffa then found Jordan for a 16-yard gain to place the ball at the 19. The Rowan defense stiffened from there and Ryan Yurewicz’s 35-yard field goal try was wide left.
After holding Wilkes, Rowan put together a nine play, 80-yard drive on their next possession to tack on another score before intermission. Rankin and Silva combined for a 10-yard gain on a third-and-nine play from their own 21 to keep the drive alive. The duo then hooked up on a 46-yard completion that gave Rowan a first-and-goal at the Wilkes three-yard line. After a two-yard run by Edwards, Rankin pushed his way into the endzone for a score with 55 seconds left in the half. Spahn’s PAT made it 28-3 at intermission.
Wilkes would move inside Rowan territory on their first drive of the third quarter, but turned the ball over on downs at the Profs 38. From there Rowan used 14 plays to cover the 62 yards to reach pay dirt. The payoff came on a third-and-goal play from the one when Rankin scored for the third time with 6:51 left in the third period. Spahn kicked the extra point and Rowan had a 35-3 lead.
Jordan would come up with a big special teams play for Wilkes when he returned the ensuing kickoff 76 yards to the Rowan 10. After a six-yard pass from Karaffa to Ryan Gallagher and a one-yard run by Impagliazzo, the Colonels faced a third-and-goal from the three. This time Karaffa’s pass was intercepted at the goal by Jabrill Joseph and he raced down the sidelines 100 yards for a touchdown with 5:31 left in the quarter. Spahn’s extra point was the final tally of the game and made it 42-3.
Rankin completed 13-of-19 passes for 168 yards for Rowan. Silva had four catches for 85 yards, while Sakeen Wright had three receptions for 36 yards. Edwards led the Profs ground attack with a game-high 107 yards on 27 carries.
Karaffa finished the day 9-for-25 through the air for 74 yards. Jordan was the top receiver with four receptions for 46 yards. Impagaliazzo finished the day with 92 yards on 21 carries, while Andreopoulos added 46 yards on eight carries.
Zach Garren and Trout led the Rowan defense with eight tackles apiece. Robert Niszczak chipped in with six tackles.
Wilkes was led by Kyle Follweiler, who registered a game-high 17 tackles. Cavallotti added 10 tackles, while Tyler Henninger had nine stops.
(11/12) Wilkes 36 King's 13
Junior tailback Tom Andreopoulos rushed for 147 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries and the Wilkes University defense limited King’s College to a season-low 112 rushing yards as the host Colonels posted a 36-13 victory in the annual Mayor’s Cup Game Saturday at Ralston Field.
In winning their seventh consecutive game, Wilkes concluded the regular-season with an 8-2 overall mark and an 8-1 record in the Middle Atlantic Conference. The Colonels, who have won three straight Mayor’s Cup games over King’s, will now await word on a possible NCAA Division III playoff bid. King’s finished its campaign at 5-5 and 5-4 and saw its ECAC hopes likely come to an end.
Wilkes began the first drive of the game at its own 36-yard line. Andreopoulos kicked off the drive with a nine-yard run on second down to the 45, then added four more yards for a first down at the Colonel 49. After an offside penalty on Wilkes moved the ball back tot 44, Andreopoulos would pick up 14 yards to set up a third-and-one play from the King’s 42. On the next play Andreopoulos would pick the first down with a one-yard gain to the Monarch 41. Quarterback Al Karaffa would then find Jim Jordan down the left sideline for 24 yards to the 17.
Karaffa would add a seven-yard run to the 10 before Andreopoulos followed with a nine-yard carry to the King’s one. Wilkes was flagged for illegal procedure, moving the ball to the six, but Andreopoulos would get back five yards on the next play. The Wilkes junior would then score from a yard out for the game’s first score. Ryan Yurewicz added the conversion kick as Wilkes took a 7-0 lead with 11:35 left in the first period.
King’s would force a Wilkes punt later in the opening period and took over at its own 28-yard line. Two plays later Chris Barnic would connect with Blake Letchford, but Bryan Vivaldo would force the ball loose and John Darrah would recover for the Colonels at the King’s 31. It was just the seventh offensive turnover for the Monarchs all season.
An 11-yard pass from Karaffa to Matt Pizarro moved the ball to the King’s 20. After Andreopoulos carried for six yards, Karaffa would score on a 14-yard bootleg to extend the Colonel lead. Yurewicz would miss the point-after as Wilkes lead grew to 13-0 with 4:57 remaining in the first period.
King’s would look to respond when Barnic hit Letchford for 47 yards to the Wilkes 19-yard line. After a loss of two on a screen-play, Barnic would throw two incomplete passes to set up a fourth-and-12 play. But the Colonel defense would hold when Barnic hit Letchford for just five yards as Wilkes took over its own 16.
King’s would come up with a big defensive play when Craig Haywood forced an Andreopoulos fumble and Monarch cornerback Antonio Robinson recovered the loose ball at the Colonel 35. King’s would move to the 26 where it faced a fourth-and-one play. Barnic would attempt a pass to Letchford but Brick Snyder would intercept the offering to end the Monarch threat. Wilkes would take over at its own 41 following a King’s punt.
Andreopoulos would carry for three yards before Karaffa found Jim Jordan for 15 yards to the Monarch 41. A 14-yard run by Andreopoulos on a draw play would advance the ball to the King’s 27. King’s was then flagged for a roughing the quarterback penalty moving the all to the King’s 13. Andreopoulos would carry twice to give the Colonels a first down at the King’s three. On the next play, Karaffa found Pizarro in the back of the end zone for a three-yard scoring play. Lesan Chernet would block the extra point kick as Wilkes led 19-0 with 4:21 left in the half.
On the next possession, Barnic threw a swing pass to Jeff Field which was incomplete but the play was ruled a lateral pass which resulted in a fumble. Wilkes’ Mike Ferriero would recover the ball at the King’s 10.
After two short runs, and an incomplete pass, Wilkes’ Kevin Keller would boot a 22-yard field goal to give the Colonels a 22-0 lead with 3:10 left in the half.
King’s would later assume possession at its own 43 after taking over on downs. Barnic would scramble for 10 yards to the Colonel 47. A 15-yard pass to Letchford would eventually move the ball to the Colonel 1-yard line with 0:05 left in the half. On the next play, Barnic would find Julian Walker on a slant play and the Monarch senior receive broke a tackle at the one to reach the end zone to get King’s on the board. Tim Lust would miss the extra-point kick as Wilkes took a 22-6 lead in the halftime break.
Wilkes would extend the lead in the third period when the Colonels forced the Monarchs to punt. Bo Tkach would come up huge for Wilkes when he followed a wave of blockers down the right sideline for a 56-yard touchdown return. Yurewicz would add the extra-point kick to build a 29-6 led with 8:23 left in the third quarter.
Wilkes would force another punt and took over at its own 41. A 13-yard pass to Jordan was followed by a seven-yard run by Andreopoulos. On a fourth-and-two play from the King’s 37, Karaffa found fullback Ryan Gallagher for a first down at the Monarch 35. After a two-yard run and an incomplete pass, Karaffa found Andreopoulos on a third-and-eight play for 24 yards to the King’s nine. On the next play, Andreopoulos would race into the zone off right tackle for another Wilkes score. Yurewicz converted the point-after as Wilkes extended the lead to 36-6 with 3:16 remaining in the third period.
On the Monarchs ensuing drive, Barnic would find Letchford for 35 yards to the Colonel 42. Two plays later, Barnic was picked off at the Wilkes 29 by a diving Darrah as the Colonels thwarted King’s only scoring chance of the third quarter.
Midway through the fourth quarter, King’s would fail to cash in on another scoring chance when the Monarchs drove to the Wilkes 10. Three plays would move the ball to the one-yard line, but on fourth-and-goal King’s was flagged for a delay of game penalty, moving the ball back to the six. From there, Barnic’s pass into the end zone was batted away by Jake Grande to end yet another King’s scoring chance.
King’s would finally get on the scoreboard with 1:20 left in the contest when Jeff Field scored from a yard out to cap an eight-play, 66-yard drive. Lust added the point-after to bring the score to 36-13.
Andreopoulos, who added a pair of catches for 26 yards, was named the Mayor’s Cup “Player of the Game for Wilkes. Letchford was named King’s “Player of the Game” after making seven receptions for 152 yards and returning four punts for 46 yards.
Karaffa completed 11-of-23 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown while Jordan hauled in four passes for 65 yards. For King’s, Barnic was 21-of-44 in passing for 252 yards and one score. Nicodemus made five catches for 30 yards while Walker added four receptions for 44 yards.
Field led the King’s rushing attack with 74 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. The Colonel defense held Ortiz, the MAC’s top rusher at 133 yards per-game, to just 41 yards on 11 carries.
King’s would out gain Wilkes 367-to-320 in total yards on the day, but the Colonel defense was outstanding in forcing the Monarchs into four turnovers. Tyler Henninger led Wilkes with 12 tackles while Kyle Follweiler added seven. Grande also played a solid game with five tackles and three passes defended. Wilkes sacked Barnic three times in the game after the Monarch signal-caller had been sacked only four times all season long.
Antonio Robinson led King’s with 10 tackles and a fumble recovery while Craig Haywood and Tore Alaimo added nine.
(11/5) Wilkes 59 Susquehanna 38
Wilkes University raced out to a three touchdown lead at halftime and cruised to a 59-38 win over Susquehanna University in a Middle Atlantic Conference game on Saturday afternoon.
The victory was the sixth straight for Wilkes and improves the Colonels to 7-2 overall and 7-1 in the MAC. The last time Wilkes won at least six consecutive games came in 1993 when the Colonels rolled to a 10-0 regular season mark and won the MAC title. Susquehanna sees their records fall to 2-7 overall and 1-7 in the conference.
The 59 points scored by Wilkes was a new Nicholas A. Lopardo Stadium record. It also tied the mark for the most points the Colonels had scored in a game against the Crusaders. Wilkes also scored 59 points in a win over Susquehanna in 2003.
Susquehanna would get on the board on their first drive of the game. After holding Wilkes on downs to open the contest, the Crusaders took over on their own 39-yard line following punt. It took Susquehanna eight plays to reach the endzone. Quarterback Dennis Robertson completed all four of his pass attempts on the drive for 40 yards. He also capped the drive with a five-yard run at the 9:55 mark. Dwight Swaney tacked on the PAT to give Susquehanna a 7-0 lead.
Wilkes wasted little time tying the contest. A 52-yard return on the ensuing kickoff following the score by John Impagliazzo gave the Colonels the ball at the Susquehanna 34. Tom Andreopoulos did the rest for Wilkes, picking up seven yards on his first carry and then bolting over the right side untouched for a 27-yard touchdown just 53 seconds after the Crusaders had taken the lead. Ryan Yurewicz’s extra point was good and the game was tied at 7-7.
After giving up the opening score, the Wilkes defense came up with a big play to set up another Colonels touchdown when Mike Ferriero intercepted a Robertson pass at the Susquehanna 34. On third-and-seven from the 31, Al Karaffa hooked up with Stephon Burgette on a touchdown toss with 7:19 still left in the initial stanza. Yurewicz added the point after to give Wilkes a 14-7 lead.
Susquehanna’s defense would even the game later in the first quarter. Wilkes had good field position following a 41-yard punt return by Bo Tkach that placed the ball at the Crusaders 37. However, on first down Karaffa had his pass intercepted by Rob Hauke at the 30 and he returned it 70 yards for a touchdown. Swaney’s extra point knotted the count at 14-14 with 5:51 remaining in the period.
Wilkes answered right back to take the lead after the first quarter was complete. Starting on their own 29 following the kickoff, the Colonels put together a nine-play drive that advanced the ball deep in Susquehanna territory. Andreopoulos did much of the work, carrying four times for 49 yards. However, the drive stalled at the Crusaders five-yard line and Yurewicz was able to nail a 23-yard field goal to provide the Colonels with a 17-14 lead with 2:14 showing on the clock.
A 13-play drive following the Wilkes field goal would allow Susquehanna to tie the game once again. Anthony Edwards carried the ball five times for 33 yards to pave the way for the Crusaders. Swaney would hit a 24-yard field goal with 11:28 left in the second quarter to tie the game at 17-17.
Tkach would give Wilkes good field position to start their next drive when he returned the kickoff 57 yards to the Susquehanna 38. Behind a 10-yard scramble by Karaffa and an 18-yard reception by Andropoulos the Colonels were able to move to the Susquehanna nine. However, two runs by Andreopoulos would lose three yards and Wilkes was faced with a third-and-goal from the 12. Karaffa went to the air again and hit Tkach on a slant for the touchdown with 8:23 showing on the clock. Yurewicz was successful on the extra point and the Colonels had a 24-17 advantage.
The Wilkes offense would put together a seven-play, 61-yard drive to reach paydirt on their next possession. The key play on the drive came on third-and-four from their own 45 when Karaffa hit Jason Prushinski for a 25-yard gain down to the Susquehanna 30. But, Wilkes was able to pick up only one yard on their next three plays and faced a fourth-and-nine from the 29. Karaffa dropped back to pass and lofted the ball towards Burgette. The junior went up and split two Susquehanna defenders to make the catch in the endzone with 1:56 left in the half. The extra point by Yurewicz gave the Colonels a 31-17 lead.
The Wilkes defense got in on the scoring act just 48 seconds later when Tyler Henninger stepped in front of a Robertson aerial attempt and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown with 1:08 showing on the clock. Yurewicz’s converted his fifth PAT of the half to provide the Colonels with a 38-17 lead at halftime.
The first drive of the second half for Wilkes resulted in another touchdown. Andreopoulos ripped off a 69-yard run on the Colonels first play from scrimmage in the third quarter to key a seven-play, 86-yard drive. Andreopoulos would also finish off the drive with a five-yard scoring run. Yurewicz’s extra point gave Wilkes a 45-17 lead with 8:40 left in the quarter.
Susquehanna would score on the first play of the fourth quarter to cut into the deficit. The Crusaders marched 82 yards in 15 plays, with the payoff coming on a three-yard run by Jon Adams. Robertson would hit Macia with the two-point conversion pass to make it 45-25 with 14:57 left.
The Wilkes special teams would add to the Colonels point total midway through the fourth quarter when Tkach fielded a punt at his own 36-yard line, made one defender miss and then sprinted 64-yards for touchdown with 8:46 left. The point after by Yurewicz extended the Wilkes lead to 52-25.
Susquehanna would get back into the endzone with 4:22 remaining in the game on a 23-yard Robertson to Lavon McKoy touchdown pass that capped a 10-play, 73-yard drive. Robertson’s pass for the two-point conversion failed and the score was 52-31.
It took Wilkes only 16 seconds to respond to the Susquehanna score. After Jake Grande recovered the on-side kick at the Crusaders 45-yard line, Jake Remmel took a handoff and rumbled 40 yards to the Susquehanna five. On the next play Remmel scored from five-yards out with 4:06 left. The extra point by Yurewicz pushed the Wilkes advantage to 59-31.
The Crusaders would tack on their final score with 1:27 left in the game. McKoy capped a five-play, 43-yard drive with a four-yard scoring jaunt. Swaney tacked o the extra point to make 59-38.
Andreopoulos led Wilkes offensively with 173 yards rushing on 20 carries. Jake Remmel added six carries for 54 yards for the Colonels, who finished with 246 rushing yards and 430 yards in total offense. Karaffa was 10-for-23 through the air for 184 yards and three scores. Burgette had three catches for 65 yards, while Andreopoulos contributed two catches for 38 yards.
Edwards rushed 25 times for 115 yards for Susquehanna, which managed 208 yards on the ground and 387 yards in total offense. The Crusaders ran 91 plays, to just 54 for Wilkes, while also gaining a sizeable 37:16 to 22:44 advantage in time of possession.
Robertson ended the day 20-for-44 through the air for 179 yards. Matt Koziol led the receiving unit with eight catches for 73 yards.
Grande led the Wilkes defense with 11 tackles. Ferriero had nine stops and Anthony Serafin finished with eight tackles, including 1.5 for loss. Rob McGarrigle was the leading tackler for Susquehanna with nine.
(10/29) Wilkes 48 Albright 21
Junior tailback Tom Andreopoulos rushed for a career-high 196 yards and two touchdowns to lead Wilkes University to an impressive 48-21 Middle Atlantic Conference football win over Albright College on Saturday afternoon at Ralston Field.
The victory was the fifth straight for the Colonels and allowed them to improve their overall record to 6-2 and their conference mark to 6-1. Albright saw their overall record fall to 4-4. The Lions are now 3-4 in the conference.
Wilkes took advantage of good field position to score on its first possession. The Colonels defense forced a three-and-out by the Albright offense on their first drive and Nick Brightbill’s punt traveled only 25 yards to give Wilkes the ball at the Albright 47. A 12-yard pass from Al Karaffa to Jim Jordan would help set up the first Colonels score. That came with 12:02 left in the initial period when Karaffa found Matt Pizarro on a screen pass that covered the final 33 yards. Ryan Yurewicz booted the PAT to give Wilkes a 7-0 lead.
Albright responded on its ensuing possession. The Lions drove 80 yards on 11 plays for a touchdown. Running backs Vinnie Andrews and Drew Schiller carried most of the load on the drive, with Schiller running the final yard for the touchdown. Schiller’s run was set up by a 25-yard pass from John Port to Jordan McCauley that put the ball on the Colonel one-yard line. Dustin Kaplan would add the point after to knot the game at 7-7 with 8:48 remaining in the first quarter.
Wilkes’s offense didn’t miss a beat the next time it touched the football. The Colonels marched 73 yards in 11 plays to take a 14-7 lead. An efficient mix of the run and pass moved Wilkes down the field. Karaffa, who was three-for-three passing during the drive for 24 yards, would use his running ability to reach pay-dirt when he scampered 16 yards for the score with 4:39 to play in the first quarter. Yurewicz provided the extra point to give the Colonels a 14-7 advantage.
After the teams traded punts, Albright embarked on an eight-play, 67-yard drive to tie the score early in the second quarter. Schiller opened the drive with a 31-yard run to put the Lions into Wilkes territory. Six plays later Albright faced fourth and one from the Colonel 16-yard line. Port found Stephen Asay in the right corner of the end zone for the touchdown, and Dustin Kaplan’s extra point made the score 14-14 with 13:36 left in the second quarter.
Wilkes needed only 67 seconds to re-take the lead. Starting on their own 34-yard line following the kickoff, Andreopoulos broke off a 29-yard run and Karaffa hooked up with Bo Tkach on a 36-yard pass play to advance the ball to the Albright one. Jason Nabba would bull his way into the endzone and Yurewicz would tack on the extra point to give Wilkes a 21-14 edge with 12:19 left in the half.
The Colonels continued to roll on offense. After an Albright punt, Wilkes again marched right down the field. Behind a 26-yard Karaffa to Tkach pass and a pair of Andreopoulos runs that covered 32 yards, the Colonels were able to move to the Albright three. Nabba would cap the drive with a three-yard TD run. The point after attempt failed and Wilkes held a 27-14 lead with 6:29 remaining the second quarter.
That would be the end of the scoring in the half. Wilkes finished the half with 266 yards of offense to 220 for the Lions. Karaffa was 10-16 for 157 yards for Wilkes, while Andreopoulos had 88 yards on nine carries. Port finished the half 13-24 for 122 yards for Albright. Schiller was the leading rusher for the Lions with 62 yards on eight carries.
Wilkes took the opening kickoff in the second half and drove deep into Lion territory. On fourth and two from the Lion six, the Colonels elected to go for the first down. Albright safety Steve Butler stopped Andreopoulos for no gain on the play, turning the ball over to Albright.
The Lion offense came out firing after the stop, as they drove quickly downfield. It would be the Wilkes defense, however, that would come up with the big play. With Albright on the Wilkes 30-yard line, Colonel safety John Darrah forced an Albright fumble, and Keith Cavallotti picked up the loose ball and raced 70 yards for a touchdown. The PAT by Yurewicz gave Wilkes a 34-14 lead with 8:12 left in the third.
Two possessions later Albright would get their final score. After an 11-yard punt return from Naoki Kurimoto gave the Lions the ball on the Wilkes 45, Albright faced fourth and six from the 41. Port hit Keith Allen for six yards and the first down to keep the drive alive. On the next play Port found Asay over the middle, and Asay broke a number of tackles to break away for a touchdown. Kaplan’s extra point made the score -34-21 with 3:09 to play in the third quarter.
The Wilkes defense would force a punt early in the fourth quarter and the Colonels would take over on their own 47-yard line. Behind the passing of Karaffa, who was four-for-five for 42 yards on the drive, Wilkes was able to move the ball to the Lions seven. Andreopoulos would cap the drive with a seven-yard scoring jaunt with 8:20 left in the game. Yurewicz’s extra points upped the lead to 41-21.
Wilkes closed the game out on its next possession. After Albright turned the ball over on downs at the Wilkes 40-yard line, the used eight plays to cover the distance. Andreopoulos carried the ball six times for 66 yards during the drive, including a nine-yard touchdown run. The extra point by Yurewicz was successful, and Wilkes held a 48-21 lead with 2:44 left to play.
The Colonels amassed a balanced 468 yards in total offense. Wilkes had 233 rushing yards in the contest and 235 passing yards. Karaffa ended the day hitting 18-of-34 passes for 235 yards and one score. Tkach had seven catches for 94 yards, while Jordan finished with five catches for 60 yards. Pizarro was also effective with three receptions for 55 yards.
Port completed 33-of-55 passes for 323 yards and two scores as the Lions rolled up 453 yards in total offense. Asay was his favorite target, catching seven passes for 115 yards and both scores. Vincent Andrews had seven receptions for 26 yards and Keith Allen contributed six catches for 43 yards. Schiller led the Lions ground attack with 80 yards on 12 carries.
Kyle Follweiler led Wilkes defensively with 10 tackles, including nine unassisted stops. He also had four tackles for loss and two quarterback sacks. He received ample help from Jake Grande and Tyler Henninger who had nine stops each. John Hunt added a pass interception.
Steve Butler finished with a game-high 12 tackles to lead Albright on defense. Pete Manotti chipped in with nine tackles, while Muhammed Siddiq had seven stops.
(10/22) Wilkes 27 Moravian 17
Freshman running back Jason Nabba scored three touchdowns to help Wilkes University snap a six-game losing streak to Moravian College with a 27-17 Middle Atlantic Conference victory over the Greyhounds on Saturday afternoon in Bethlehem.
The Colonels, who won their fourth straight game of the season, improve to 5-2 overall and 5-1 in the MAC. Moravian sees their overall and conference mark slip to 4-3.
Wilkes took advantage of an early turnover to get on the board in the first quarter. Moravian quarterback Jerry Venturino had his pass deflected at the line of scrimmage by Wilkes defensive lineman Jason Acquaye. Anthony Serafin snatched the ball out of the air and returned it five yards to the Moravian 15. Tom Andreopoulos would rumble for 14 yards on the first play following the turnover to place the ball at the Greyhounds one. Nabba would follow with a one-yard plunge and Ryan Yurewicz would tack on the extra point to put the Colonels on top 7-0.
An eight-yard punt return by John Darrah on the final play of the first quarter provided Wilkes with good field position to start the second stanza. Beginning at the Moravian 47, quarterback Al Karaffa would connect with Jim Jordan for a 10-yard strike on third-and-seven to give the Colonels a first down at the 34. Three plays later Karaffa and Jordan hooked up again for a 25-yard gain to the three. After a false start penalty on Wilkes pushed the ball back to the eight, Nabba carried on consecutive plays to reach paydirt. After picking up seven yards on his first rush, he bulled his way into the endzone from one-yard out at the 11:04 mark. The extra point attempt failed and the Colonels had a 13-0 lead.
Wilkes would march 98 yards in eight plays to put the final points on the board in the first half. After starting on their own two following a Greyhound punt, John Impagliazzo ripped off a 46-yard run to move the ball out to the Wilkes 48. A holding penalty would force the Colonels into a first-and-20 situation from their own 38. But on third down from the 43, Karaffa hit a streaking Jordan for a 39-yard gain to the Moravian 18. A nine-yard Impagliazzo run and a five-yard scamper by Karaffa would give Wilkes a first down at the four. Two plays later Nabba found his way into the endzone again from one-yard out with 29 seconds left in the half. Yurewicz added the point after to give the Colonels a 20-0 lead at intermission.
Moravian would fight their way back into the game with three consecutive scores. The Greyhounds took over on their own 40 on their initial possession of the third quarter. Chris Jacoubs rushed twice for 22 yards and Kevin Lukich picked up 22 yards on a run to advance the ball to the Wilkes 16. The defense, however, would stiffen and Moravian would have to settle for a 32-yard field goal by Brian Reckenbeil with 9:09 showing on the clock to make it 20-3.
On their next possession Moravian would march 84 yards to cut into the lead. Jacoubs carried the ball seven times for 21 yards during the 14-play drive. Venturino would come up with a big play when he raced 24 yards to the Wilkes 23. A 19-yard Venturino to Jacoubs pass completion would then set up a one-yard Venturino touchdown run with 48 ticks left in the third period. Reckenbeil was perfect on the extra point and the lead was trimmed to 20-10.
The Wilkes offense was unable to get a drive started on their next possession and Moravian took over on their own 46 with 14:44 left in the game. Venturino hit Kris Bisci with a 20-yard toss after Jacoubs lost six yards on a run to move the ball to the Wilkes 40. Six straight carries by Jacoubs netted 20 yards to set the stage for a 20-yard Venturino to Ben Hawkins touchdown pass with 9:51 left. Reckenbeil’s extra point pulled the Greyhounds within 20-17.
Wilkes would respond with a scoring drive of their own to put the game away. After Impagliazzo returned the ensuing kickoff 12 yards to place the ball on the Colonels 32, Wilkes would use three rushing attempts, two by Andreopoulos and one by Karaffa, to gain a first down at their own 41. A 15-yard reception by Bo Tkach would give Wilkes another first down at the Moravian 46. Nabba would tote the ball on three straight plays for 10 yards and a first down at the 36. Karaffa found Tkach once again on the next play, this time with a 30-yard completion to move the ball to the Greyhounds six. On third-and-goal from the four, Karaffa connected with Jason Prushinski for a touchdown with 4:02 left. Yurewicz added the extra point to make it 27-17.
Karaffa completed 11-of-15 pass attempts for 181 yards, including four to Jordan for 121 yards. Impagliazzo led the Wilkes ground attack with 61 yards on 11 carries. Nabba added 40 yards on 15 rushes for the Colonels, who managed 307 yards in total offense.
Venturino was 10-for-23 through the air for 115 yards. Hawkins was the top receiver for Moravian with four catches for 40 yards, while Bisci had three catches for 45 yards. Jacoubs, who entered the game averaging 130.7 yards per game on the ground, was held to just 76 rushing yards on 24 carries. The Greyhounds as a team were limited to 224 yards in total offense.
Kyle Follweiler led the stingy Wilkes defense with a game-high 15 tackles. Fellow linebacker Tyler Henninger added 13 stops, including 12 solo tackles, and two tackles for loss.
Andrew Morrissey had eight tackles to pace Moravian on defense. Mario Bevilaqua, Chad DiFelice and Cliff Garr each finished with seven tackles for the Greyhounds.
(10/15) Wilkes 28 Lebanon Valley 6
Sophomore quarterback Al Karaffa tied a school-record with four touchdown passes, including three to junior wide receiver Jim Jordan, to lift Wilkes University to a 28-6 Middle Atlantic Conference win over Lebanon Valley College on Saturday afternoon at Ralston Field.
With the win Wilkes improves to 4-2 overall and 4-1 in the conference. The Flying Dutchmen, who lost to the Colonels for the 11th consecutive time, fall to 2-5 overall and 2-4 in the MAC.
Wilkes would get a break early in the contest when Lebanon Valley quarterback Dan Kelly was unable to handle the snap from center. The Colonels Anthony Serafin pounced on the loose ball at the Flying Dutchmen’s 31-yard line to give Wilkes good field position.
On third-and-12 from the 33, Karaffa hooked up with junior tight end Matt Pizarro for a 22-yard gain to advance the ball to the 11. Three plays later, Karaffa hit Jordan with a five-yard scoring strike to put Wilkes on top. Kevin Keller tacked on the point after to give the Colonels a 7-0 lead with 8:56 left in the opening period.
Junior Bo Tkach would set up the next Wilkes score when he returned a Lebanon Valley punt 42 yards to the LVC 31. After gaining a first down at the 19, Karaffa completed a 19-yard touchdown toss to Jordan with 14:33 showing on the clock in the second stanza. Ryan Yurewicz’s extra point would extend the Wilkes lead to 14-0.
The Colonels put together a nine play, 68-yard drive to reach pay-dirt late in the first half. Three rushes by John Impagliazzo would help move the ball to the Lebanon Valley 47. Karaffa would follow with a nine-yard completion to Pizarro, a three-yard run, and another pass to Pizarro that picked up 22 yards to move to the Flying Dutchmen 13-yard line. After Impagliazzo picked up three yards on first down, Karaffa went to the air again, and found Pizarro with a 10-yard scoring strike with 2:38 remaining in the half. Yurewicz’s PAT pushed the lead to 21-0.
Lebanon Valley would answer right back with a drive of their own to get on the scoreboard. Starting at their own 29-yard line following the kickoff, the Flying Dutchmen would use 15 plays to cover the distance. Kelly hit Brandon Shank for a 20-yard gain on a third-and-13 play early in the drive, and connected with Clint Vinju for a 13-yard pick up to move to the Wilkes 43. After a pass interference penalty on the Colonels gave Lebanon Valley a first down at the 26, Andre Payton would rush for four yards and Kelly hit John Smith for a nine-yard gain to make it first-and-ten from the Wilkes 13. A holding penalty on Wilkes place the ball on the six-yard line, before a Kelly run for five yards set up a third-and-goal from the one with three seconds left in the half. On the final play of the period, Kelly rolled around the end and found his way into the endzone to cut the lead to 21-6. Eldin Brodlic had his extra point try blocked and Wilkes had a 15-point lead at halftime.
The Colonels would end the scoring late in the third period. Wilkes took over on their own 24-yard line following a Lebanon Valley punt. Karaffa hit Jordan twice for 28 yards, and Impagliazzo rushed four times for 18 yards to place the ball at the Lebanon Valley 30. Karaffa found Jordan behind the Flying Dutchmen defense for a 30-yard touchdown aerial with 2:22 left in the third quarter. The point after by Yurewicz was perfect, and Wilkes had a 28-6 lead.
Karaffa finished the afternoon 18-of-29 through the air for 208 yards. Jordan had eight receptions for 111 yards, while Pizarro had seven catches for 72 yards. Impagliazzo and Tom Andreopoulos led the rushing attack for Wilkes. Impagliazzo carried the ball 15 times for 55 yards, while Andreopoulos had 11 totes for 47 yards.
The Lebanon Valley offense, which came into the game averaging 26 points and 432.8 yards in total offense, was stymied by a spirited Wilkes defensive effort. The Colonels held the Flying Dutchmen to a mere 184 yards in total offense, including only 73 on the ground. Lebanon Valley had been averaging 207.3 rushing yards per contest prior to the game.
Kyle Follweiler led the defensive charge for the Colonels with nine tackles. Jake Grande, who had an interception, and Tyler Henninger, who had two tackles for loss and a sack, both finished with six stops. Anthony Serafin had five tackles, two tackles for loss, and two fumble recoveries. Keith Cavallotti added five tackles, two behind the line of scrimmage, and a sack, while Jason Acquaye also had five tackles.
Kelly ended the day 11-of-27 passing for 11 yards and three interceptions. Luke Rendine had three catches for 47 yards, while Vinju had three catches for 21 yards. Lebanon Valley’s top receiver, Adam Brossman, had just one catch for seven yards prior to being sidelined due to an injury early in the game.
Dan Stauffer, Brian Drew, Curt Brown and Brian Cottone each had seven tackles defensively for Lebanon Valley. Brown also had two tackles for loss and a sack.
(10/8) Wilkes 17 Lycoming 14
Wilkes University jumped out to a 17-0 halftime lead on their way to a 17-14 Middle Atlantic Conference win over Lycoming College on a soggy David Person Field on Saturday. The win improves the Colonels to 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference, while the Warriors slip to 1-4 both overall and in the conference.
Tom Andreopoulos took the game’s opening kick and returned it 40 yards to give Wilkes a first down at their own 49 to begin their initial drive. On third-and-10 from the 49, Andreopoulos hauled in a screen pass from Al Karaffa and rumbled 11 yards for a first down at the Lycoming 40. Four plays later, Karaffa hooked up with Bo Tkach on a perfectly thrown 30-yard touchdown strike with 12:16 left in the first quarter. Kevin Keller added the extra point to give Wilkes a 7-0 lead.
A 17-yard Tkach punt return would give the Colonels good field position to begin their second drive of the game. Starting on their own 42-yard line, Wilkes used a 24-yard pass from Karaffa to Matt Pizarro to advance deep inside Lycoming territory. However, on a third-and-five play from the 11, Karaffa was sacked and fumbled the football. Wilkes lineman Jeff Thompson was able to fall on the loose ball at the Lycoming 21 to set up a 38-yard Keller field goal. Keller’s attempt was good and the Colonels held a 10-0 with 3:30 left in the stanza.
The Wilkes defense, which limited Lycoming to a mere 46 yards in total offense in the first half, stopped a potential Warrior scoring drive late in the second quarter. Lycoming moved to the Wilkes 33, but three straight Glenn Smith incomplete passes spelled the end of the drive.
The Colonels offense would use that momentum to put together a 14-play, 67 yard drive that ended with the final score of the first half. Wilkes, behind a pair of Karaffa to Jordan aerials that covered 27 yards, had the ball on the Lycoming 33. But, a pair of penalties, a sack and two incomplete passes stalled the drive. Kyle Devlin came on to punt from his own 49, but the Warriors were charged with a roughing the kicker penalty that kept the drive alive and gave Wilkes a first down at the Lycoming 36. Five plays later Karaffa connected with Jordan on a 15-yard touchdown toss with 1:18 left in the half. Keller’s point after was good and the Colonels had a 17-0 lead at intermission.
Wilkes would travel inside Lycoming territory on each of their three drives during the third quarter. But, the Warriors defense would not allow the Colonels to gain entrance into the endzone.
Lycoming would crack the scoreboard early in the fourth quarter. The Warriors used 11 plays to cover 93 yards after taking over on their own seven following a Wilkes punt. A 35-yard Smith to Tim Brown completion on a third-and-eight play, and an 18-yard pass from Smith to Richie Schiccatano helped move Lycoming to the Wilkes nine. From there, Smith called his own number and raced nine yards for a score with 12:48 left to cut into the Wilkes lead. Mike Monastra added the extra point to make it 17-7.
The Warriors would close to within three points with just 10 seconds left after going on a three play, 65-yard drive that lasted only 25 seconds. Taking over on their own 39 with only 35 seconds left, Smith and Brown hooked up for 28 yards to move the pigskin to the Wilkes 33. After an incomplete pass, Smith hit Ryan Hall for a 33-yard touchdown with 10 ticks left. Monastra’s extra point cut the final deficit to 17-14.
Karaffa completed 15-of-29 passes for 168 yards and two scores to pace the Wilkes offensive attack. Jordan finished with six catches for 72 yards, while Tkach had two receptions for 39 yards. John Impagliazzo led the Colonels rushing attck with 42 yards on 11 carries.
Smith ended the afternoon 20-of-40 for 250 yards. Brown was the game’s top pass catcher with eight receptions for 146 yards. Brandon Traugh led Lycoming on the ground with 36 yards on 10 totes.
Kyle Follweiler had 12 tackles, including nine solo stops, for Wilkes defensively. Brock Snyder added nine tackles, while Anthony Serafin had five tackles, including three behind the line of scrimmage, and one sack.
Tim Mahoney had a game-high 14 tackles, 12 of which were solos, to pace Lycoming. Dave VanNort was next on the list for the Warriors with five stops, two tackles for loss and a sack.
(9/24) Wilkes 37 FDU-Florham 21
Sophomore quarterback Al Karaffa threw for 283 yards and two touchdowns to lead Wilkes University to a 37-21 Middle Atlantic Conference win over FDU-Florham on Homecoming at Ralston Field.
The win improves the Colonels to 2-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference. The Devils fall to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in conference play. The victory gave Wilkes a 21-2 edge in the all-time series, including a string of 15 straight wins over the Devils dating back to 1986.
Wilkes would get on the board on their first drive of the contest. Taking over on their own 20-yard line following an FDU-Florham punt, the Colonels would march 80 yards in 14 plays to reach the endzone. After moving to the Devils’ six-yard line, Jake Remmel banged his way up the middle for a three-yard gain on a third-and-two play to give Wilkes a first and goal from the three. On the next play Tom Andreopoulos went over right tackle untouched for the touchdown with 5:05 left in the opening period. Kevin Keller booted the point after to give Wilkes a 7-0 lead.
The Colonels would add to their lead early in the second quarter. Wilkes marched 53 yards in 12 plays to move deep inside of FDU-Florham territory. The drive stalled at the Devils’ 14-yard line, but Keller was successful on a 32-yard field goal to provide the Colonels with a 10-0 advantage at the 11:21 mark of the second stanza.
FDU-Florham would get a spark before halftime when Mark Tynan blocked a Kyle Devlin punt and returned it 25 yards to the Wilkes 22. After quarterback Dan Huff hit Daniel Harrison for an eight-yard gain on first down, the Colonels defense stiffened and Michael Rabasca was called on to attempt a 32-yard field goal. Rabasca’s try was good as time expired in the first half and closed the gap to 10-3 at intermission.
Late in the third quarter the Devils would cut the deficit to 10-6 thanks to another field goal by Rabasca. The key play in the drive was a 37-yard jaunt by Huff that placed the ball at the Wilkes 16-yard line. Once again the Colonels defense stopped the drive and the Devils had to settle for a Rabasca 33-yard field goal with 2:38 left in the quarter.
Wilkes used a big play to extend their lead on the final play of the third period. Taking over on their own 33 following the kickoff, the Colonels moved to the FDU-Florham 43, where they faced a fourth-and-one. Andreopoulos picked up two yards to keep the drive alive, and on the very next play Karaffa found Bo Tkach behind the FDU-Florham defense for a 41-yard touchdown on the last play of the period. Keller’s point after gave Wilkes a 17-6 lead heading into the final stanza.
The Colonels would force a punt on the Devils first possession of the fourth quarter and began their next drive at their own 48. After a pair of runs by Jake Remmel picked up 12 yards, Karaffa again went to the air and hit Jim Jordan for a 38-yard touchdown at the 12:03 mark. Keller’s extra point was perfect and Wilkes led 24-6.
On FDU-Florham’s ensuing drive following the score, Colonels defensive back Bob Sutjak intercepted a Huff pass and returned it 27 yards to the Devils’ 18-yard line to set up another score. This time it was Tkach taking a handoff on an end-around play and scampering nine yards for the touchdown with 8:40 left in the contest. The PAT failed and the Colonels had a 30-6 advantage.
FDU-Florham would answer with a 12-play, 65 yard drive to reach the endzone. The Devils would convert on a pair of third-down plays during the drive, including a seven-yard Huff to Dan Copp pass completion that placed the ball on the Wilkes 29. Jeremy Carr hauled in a 14-yard pass from Huff and Adam Lavalley ran for 11 yards to move the ball to the Colonels five. On third down from the three, Huff found Robert Felicett in the endzone for the touchdown at the 4:43 mark. Huff also converted the two-point try when he fired a pass to David Nemeth to cut the lead to 30-14.
The Devils tried an on-side kick following the touchdown, but Remmel recovered for Wilkes at the FDU-Florham 41. On the initial play of the drive Karaffa and Jordan hooked up on a 37-yard completion to put the ball at the four. Two plays later Ryan Gallagher bulled his way into the endzone with 3:24 left. Keller’s extra point made it 37-14.
One final drive by FDU-Florham would cap the scoring. The Devils marched 70 yards in 10 plays following the Wilkes score to cash in. The payoff came on an eight-yard touchdown toss from Huff to Nemeth with 53 seconds left. Rabasca’s extra point was good and closed the final deficit to 37-21.
Karaffa hit on 19-of-32 aerial attempts in the contest. Seven of those passes found Jordan, who finished the afternoon with 140 receiving yards. Tkach added four catches for 72 yards. Andreopoulos paced the Wilkes rushing attack with 83 yards on 19 carries.
Huff was 14-of-24 through the air for 97 yards. Copp had three catches for 13 yards, while Nemeth had two catches for 23 yards. Harrison gained 95 yards on the ground on 17 carries and Huff had 79 rushing yards on 16 totes.
Kyle Follweiler had a game-high 10 tackles, including two for loss, to lead the Wilkes defensive effort. Tyler Henninger added eight stops, while Anthony Serafin had six tackles, including three behind the line of scrimmage. Jason Acquaye had three tackles for loss, including two quarterback sacks.
Shane Hayes had six tackles to pace FDU-Florham defensively. Michael Pappas and Tom Capra chipped in with five tackles each.
(9/17) Delaware Valley 17 Wilkes 14
Bill Miller kicked a 30-yard field goal with three seconds remaining to lift 10th-ranked Delaware Valley College to a 17-14 Middle Atlantic Conference win over Wilkes University on Saturday afternoon. The Aggies improve to 3-0 overall and in conference play, while Wilkes falls to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
The Aggies would embark on their final drive from their own 19-yard line following a Wilkes punt with 1:21 left. A 11-yard run by quarterback Adam Knoblauch move the ball to the 29. Knoblauch then connected with Joel Foreman and Steve Cook for eight yards apiece to advance the ball to the 45. With time winding down, Knoblauch threw a pass up for grabs down the sideline and David Carmon out-jumped a pair of Wilkes defenders to place the ball at the 13-yard line with seven seconds left to set up Miller’s field goal.
The final drive off-set an outstanding second half performance by the Colonels, who rallied from a 14-0 deficit at halftime. Wilkes would take the opening kickoff of the second half and embark on a 10 play, 88-yard drive that culminated in their first score. Quarterback Al Karaffa led the march hitting on six-of-six pass attempts for 73 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown toss to Stephon Burgette with 10:28 remaining in the third quarter. Kevin Keller tacked on the point after and Wilkes pulled to within 14-7.
The Wilkes defense would keep the Aggies at bay throughout much of the remainder of the game. Midway through the final period the defense held Delaware Valley on downs deep in their own territory. The Aggies, forced to punt from their own two-yard line, could muster only a 27-yard boot by Jim Rice and Wilkes had the ball at the Delaware Valley 29.
John Impagliazzo would pick advance the ball with runs of 11, six and nine yards, to place the ball at the Aggies three-yard line. On first and goal Impagliazzo once again got the call and went around left end and into the endzone for the score with 8:58 left in the fourth quarter. Keller’s extra point tied the game at 14-14.
Delaware Valley would get on the board midway through the first quarter. After holding Wilkes on downs the Aggies would take over on their own 47-yard line with 8:52 left in the stanza. On the first play following the punt, Knoblauch connected with Carmon on a 53-yard touchdown toss with 8:41 left in the quarter. Miller booted the point after to give Delaware Valley a 7-0 lead.
Wilkes would move inside Delaware Valley territory on their ensuing possession following the touchdown. However, the drive stalled, and following a 42-yard punt by Kyle Devlin and a 16-yard return by John Kiphorn, the Aggies began their next drive at their own 22. Five carries by Steve Cook would account for 57 yards for the Aggies. They would eventually punch in a score on a one-yard Knoblauch plunge with 1:22 left in the quarter. Miller’s point after would provide Delaware Valley with a 14-0 lead after one quarter.
Late in the second quarter Wilkes would again venture inside Aggies territory. However, the drive stalled and the Aggies took over on their own 11-yard following a Devlin punt with 5:23 left in the half. After a two-yard run by Cook, Knoblauch and Don Marshall hooked up on a 49-yard pass to move the ball to the Wilkes 38. A ten-yard pass to Carmon and a 13-yard Knoblauch run would place the pigskin at the 14. But, following a fumble that resulted in a six-yard loss and a pair of incomplete passes, the Aggies had to settle for a 37-yard Miller field goal try. The attempt came up short and Delaware Valley held a 14-0 lead at halftime.
Karaffa completed 22-of-38 passes for 292 yards and a touchdown for Wilkes. Knoblauch hit on 16-of-28 attempts for 271 yards and a score for Delaware Valley. Jim Jordan had 10 receptions for 139 yards for Wilkes, while Bo Tkach finished with five catches for 81 yards. Carmon had six catches for 129 yards and Cook caught five passes for 41 yards for the Aggies.
Cook was also the leading rusher in the game after picking up 121 yards on 20 carries. Wilkes was led on the ground by Tom Andreopoulos, who had 55 yards on 13 attempts. Defensively, John Pursell paced the Aggies with nine tackles while A.J. Neal, Quincy Thaxton and Joe Whitesell added eight apiece. Justin Porter notched six tackles and 1.5 sacks and Matt Murphy intercepted his third pass of the season.
Kyle Follweiler paced the Colonels defense with 12 tackles, including 10 solo stops. He also had three tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Tyler Henninger added eight tackles, while Jake Grande had six tackles, one interception and a forced fumble.
(9/10) Wilkes 13 Widener 0
Senior running back Jake Remmel scored a pair of touchdowns and the Wilkes University defense held Widener University scoreless as the Colonels opened Middle Atlantic Conference play with a 13-0 win over Widener University on Saturday afternoon at Ralston Field. The victory improves the Colonels to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the conference, while the Pioneers dropped their season-opener.
The victory was the third straight in the series against Widener. It also marked the first time that the Colonels have ever shutout the Pioneers in 32 meetings.
Widener took the opening kickoff and put together a 13 play, 55-yard drive to move to the Wilkes 27. But, on fourth-and-two, running back Dominic Rock was stopped for no gain by linebacker Kyle Follweiler to end the threat.
The Colonels would put together a drive of their own early in the second quarter, marching to the Pioneers 26. On third-and-one, John Impagliazo was stopped short of the first down marker. Ryan Yurewicz attempted a 42-yard field goal that came up short and the game remained scoreless with 12:51 left in the first half.
After both teams traded punts, Widener took over on the Wilkes 19. A 16-yard Mike Lomas to Mike Schmidt completion and a 13-yard run by Bob Warden helped the Pioneers advance to their own 40. Lomas again went to the air and hit Jeff Chick for 23 yards to give Widener a first down at the Colonels’ 37. On the first play following the completion Lomas dropped to pass but was hit by Keith Cavallotti. The ball popped loose and Anthony Serafin recovered for Wilkes at their own 44.
The Colonels wasted little time taking advantage of the turnover when Al Karaffa connected with Jim Jordan for a 50-yard strike that placed the ball at the Widener six. Remmel would carry three consecutive times, with the payoff coming on a one-yard touchdown run on third down to break the tie. Yurewicz tacked on the extra point to give the Colonels a 7-0 lead with 4:48 left in the stanza.
Wilkes would add their final score on their first possession of the second half. The Colonels started on their own 34 following a 29-yard kickoff return by Tom Andreopoulos. A 13-yard Karaffa to Jason Prushinski completion gave Wilkes a first down at midfield. On third-and-17 from the Wilkes 43, Karaffa found Remmel with a screen pass, which he turned into a 57-yard touchdown with 12:39 left in the third. Yurewicz’s point after was wide left and the Colonels had a 13-0 lead.
Wilkes would have another chance to add to their advantage midway through the final quarter. The Colonels used a 16 play, 62-yard drive, which ate up 8:02 off of the game clock, to move to the Widener 22. However, Kevin Keller’s 38-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left to thwart the drive.
Widener used a pair of Lomas completions to advance to the Wilkes 37 with 2:27 remaining in the game. On a second-and-ten play Lomas had his pass intercepted by Jake Grande at the 20 and the Pioneers did not venture inside Wilkes territory again.
The Wilkes defense allowed 320 yards in total offense, including a mere 66 yards on the ground. Lomas was held in check, completing 24-of-49 passes for 254 yards and two interceptions. Warden carried the ball seven times for 45 yards to lead the Pioneers on the ground. Chick had seven catches for 89 yards and Jon Steever had five catches for 45 yards.
The Wilkes offense rolled up 328 yards in offense. The Colonels had 105 yards rushing and 223 yards through the air. Karaffa enjoyed a solid performance, hitting on 15-of-22 pass attempts and no interceptions. Prushinski had three catches for 39 yards and Matt Pizarro hauled in three receptions for 37 yards. Remmel was the leading rusher for Wilkes with 24 carries for 54 yards, while Impagliazzo had 12 carries for 48 yards.
Tyler Henninger finished with a game-high 11 tackles to lead the Wilkes defensive effort. John Darrah contributed ten tackles and a pair of pass breakups, while Follweiler added eight stops.
Todd Fairlie led Widener on defense with ten tackles. The Pioneers got seven tackles from Zach Santiago and five stops from Adam Parcell and John Martorell.
(9/3) William Paterson 21 Wilkes 17
Andy Howell broke up Al Karaffa’s pass attempt in the endzone as time expired to lift William Paterson University to a 21-17 non-conference football win over Wilkes University on Saturday afternoon. The contest was the first of the season for both teams.
Wilkes trailed 21-17 when they started their final drive with 2:22 left and the ball on their own 26-yard line. After Karaffa ran for six yards on the first play of the drive, the sophomore signal-caller connected with Ron Pavalonis for eight yards and Jason Prushinski for 12 yards to move the ball to the William Paterson 48. On fourth-and-ten from that same position, Karaffa hooked up with Matt Pizarro for a 12-yard gain and a first down at the 36. Faced with a fourth-and-four from 30, Karaffa hit Pavalonis for an 11-yard gain that placed the ball at the 19 with 13 seconds left. Karaffa again went to the hair and found Pizarro for an 18-yard gain that placed the ball at the one-yard line with three ticks remaining. Karaffa rolled to his right on the final play and lofted a pass for Pavalonis in the front of the endzone. However, Howell was able to bat the ball away to preserve the win for the Pioneers.
William Paterson got on the board in the first stanza thanks to a 10-play, 53-yard drive. A 15-yard Mike Yackanin to Justin Leslie completion and three rushes by Justin Leslie that picked up 13 yards helped the Pioneers advance the ball to the Wilkes 15. The drive would culminate on a 15-yard Yackanin to Kareen Moon touchdown pass with 4:29 left in the quarter. Damian Shaddow added the point after to give the Pioneers a 7-0 lead.
An interception by Wilkes’ Mike Ferriero helped thwart another William Paterson drive later in the first period and gave the Colonels the ball at their own 39. Aided by a personal foul penalty on the Pioneers and three rushes by Jake Remmel that picked up 13 yards, Wilkes was able to gain a first down at the William Paterson 12. The drive would stall there, and Ryan Yurewicz drilled a 31-yard field goal with 9:54 left in the first half to pull Wilkes within 7-3.
The Pioneers would add to their lead before intermission. After taking over on their own 48 following a Wilkes punt, Yackanin completed consecutive pass attempts to Moon and Yance Youmans for 17 and 11 yards to place the ball at the Wilkes 24. After Leslie rumbled 15 yards to give William Paterson a first-and-goal at the Colonels nine, Yackanin called his own number and went eight yards to the one. On fourth-and-goal from that same position Leslie dove over the top of the pile for a touchdown with 1:23 left in the half. The PAT by Shaddow was good and William Paterson led 14-3 at intermission.
The Wilkes defense got in on the scoring less than a minute into the second half. After receiving the second half kickoff, the Pioneers faced a second-and-six situation from their own 21. Yackanin dropped to pass, but his aerial attempt was intercepted by defensive end Keith Cavallotti and returned 20 yards for a touchdown with 14:10 left in the third. Yurewicz’s extra point was good and the Pioneers lead was cut to 14-10.
Later in the third the Wilkes defense forced William Paterson to punt from their own 22-yard line. Pioneers punter Matthew Kenny boomed a 72-yard punt that rolled dead at the Wilkes six-yard line and put the Colonels in a hole. Wilkes was unable to gain a first down and had to punt from their own 15. The punt was fielded by Moon at the Wilkes 47 and after eluding two Colonels defenders, he raced into the endzone for a score with 6:43 left in the quarter. The extra points by Shaddow was good William Paterson led 21-10.
The Pioneers had a chance to add to their lead in the fourth quarter after moving to the Wilkes eight with under fourteen minutes left. But, once again the Wilkes defense made a big play. On third-and-goal from the eight, Kyle Follweiler stepped in front of a Yackanin pass to end the threat.
Wilkes would march to the William Paterson five-yard line following the interception before turning the ball over on downs. The defense then held the Pioneers with out a first down to force a punt that gave the Colonels the ball at the William Paterson 43 with 7:16 left.
Karaffa hooked up with Prushinski for a 22-yard gain and Tom Andreopoulos picked up 12 yards on the ground to move the ball to the Pioneers nine. On third-and-goal from the two, Karaffa found Pizarro alone in the endzone for a touchdown with 5:38 left. The PAT by Yurewicz pulled Wilkes within 21-17.
Yackanin completed 13-of-26 pass attempts for 171 yards and one score. He was intercepted three times. Moon had six receptions for 57 yards and Leslie rushed 23 times for 68 yards to pace the Pioneers offensive attack.
Karaffa was successful on 18-of-33 passes for 181 yards and a score. Pavalonis had six catches for 60 yards and Pizarro had six receptions for 49 yards. Andreopoulos was the top rusher for Wilkes with 15 carries for 56 yards.
Howell had ten tackles for William Paterson on defense. Kyle Harkins and Chris DiNapoli had seven stops apiece.
The Wilkes defense was led by Follweiler, who had a game-high 12 tackles, including three behind the line of scrimmage. Tyler Henninger added 10 tackles, while Bryan Vivaldo had seven stops.