Story and photo courtesy of Lebanon Valley Athletics
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - Lebanon Valley scored 27 straight points in the first half to take control and beat King's, 34-19, on Saturday at McCarthy Stadium.
The Dutchmen (6-3, 5-3 MAC) got it done in the air, as Leo Kyte and Brian Murphy combined for 275 yards and three touchdowns as King's defense held LVC to 92 yards rushing. Joey Miller (96 yards) and Jake Zeigler (91 yards) each caught touchdowns, as did Pete Panichi, who broke for a 39-yard touchdown on a screen pass.
LVC's defense controlled the game, limiting King's to 209 total yards and 10 first downs. David Kennedy led LVC with eight tackles, and the Dutchmen hit Tyler Hartranft four times with sacks from Josh Borreli, DJ Poligone, Zach Halpin, and Drew Murphy.
"I think in the past we've faced adversity and we haven't handled it well," said Head Coach Jim Monos. "Today, the way the second half started, we lose control and momentum was switched. In the past we've faltered in that situation, but not today. Our kids answered the bell. Love the way our defense hung in there."
The win gives LVC momentum heading into its regular season finale next week in the rivalry game with Albright. A win would put the Dutchmen at 7-3 and in line for a possible fourth-straight postseason appearance.
"I told the kids, I feel like if we win, we have a great chance at an ECAC game. I look at it as a play-in game. It'll be a playoff atmosphere," Monos said.
The Monarchs (2-7, 2-6 MAC) were led by Hartranft, who threw for 155 yards and two touchdowns, and Dan Kempa, who caught three passes for 73 yards.
King's struck first, using a 43-yard Dan Kempa reception to set up Tyler Hartranft's seven-yard throw to Matt Henry. After a Jake Zeigler punt pinned King's inside the one, LVC was set up with fantastic field position to end on Evan Fink's one-yard plunge.
Zeigler gave LVC the lead on its next drive, snagging a 23-yard pass over the middle to make it 14-7, and after Fakete's 22-yard field goal, Pete Panichi broke up the middle on a 39-yard screen pass to make it 24-7. Fakete ended the half with a career-long 40-yard effort into the wind - LVC's longest field goal since 1982.
King's opened the second half with an 82-yard touchdown return for a touchdown, with Kempa dancing up the left sideline to cut LVC's lead to 27-13. After a scoreless third quarter for the Dutchmen, Joey Miller finished off a long drive with a 21-yard grab from Brian Murphy before King's Adam Kudlacik made an over-the-shoulder catch from 29 yards out to bring it back to 34-19.