November 12, 2010

Quietly ending a controversy

More news about: Lycoming
Josh Kleinfelter
Josh Kleinfelter has left his legacy amongst Lycoming running backs.

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Josh Kleinfelter probably didn't even know about the controversy he started as he approached Lycoming College's career rushing record.

In truth, by the time he finishes his career after Saturday's game at FDU-Florham, it won't matter anyhow.

 
Tim Deasey
Tim Deasey
When Tim Deasey '02 graduated from Lycoming, the rushing record was his. He broke it on Senior Day against Delaware Valley; the school even stopped the game to recognize his accomplishment. A phenomenal player who still holds school records for rushing yards (253) and touchdowns (5) in a game, Deasey was an All-MAC back that rolled for 2,868 yards in his career.

"Tim Deasey was an explosive kid," said Lycoming head coach Mike Clark '93. "He could just fly."

However, in the summer after his senior year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association made a change that was a longtime coming – making postseason games count toward a team's overall season statistics. So that means, in 1990 and 1997, as the Warriors made postseason runs to the Division III title game, the stats in the playoffs didn't count. 

 
Brian Thompson
Brian Thompson
With the change, the College went back through the archives and added in the stats for those games and thanks to 512 rushing yards during the Cinderella Warriors run to the 1997 title game, Brian Thompson '99 leaped ahead of Deasey in the category. Thompson, an All-American in 1997, five years after he had graduated, was credited with 3,267 career yards, more than 700 of which came while playing in 11 NCAA playoff games. 

"Brian Thompson was a phenomenal player," Clark said. "He had a pretty good yards-per-carry average."

No one really noticed the record book correction until this year, and it prompted the question – how did Tim Deasey break the school rushing record in 2001 when Brian Thompson, who graduated three years before him, held it now? Enter Kleinfelter.

Clark smiled as he remembered one of the first conversations he had with former head coach Frank Girardi after taking over the program in spring 2007.

"G told me this kid could be the best tailback we've ever had," Clark remembers. That praise was coming from a man who is celebrated as one of the finest small-college coaches ever, not to mention a man who coached 14 all-conference running backs and two All-Americans at the position during his 36-year career.

Kleinfelter, in many ways, lived up to Girardi's expectations from day one – earning Second Team All-MAC honors as a freshman and running for 1,123 yards while leading the Warriors to the NCAA playoffs as a sophomore in 2008. By the time his senior year rolled around, Kleinfelter was already just the fourth player in school history to earn all-league honors three times. He was within what most thought was shouting distance of the school's rushing record set by Thompson, needing 815 yards to reach the mark.

While many thought that since only 12 backs in the history of the program have run for 800 yards in a season, Kleinfelter would need a full season to do the work to get the record, what he has done this season is beyond special.

He joined Deasey as the only backs in school history to post two 200-yard games in a season. He was named to the D3Football.com Team of the Week twice. He rushed for more than 100 yards in five straight games, establishing a school record. He cruised past Deasey's total for career yardage of 2,868 regular-season yards in the third game of the season and by the fifth week, he held the school's rushing record thanks to a 147-yard game at Albright in a 50-0 win.

"To be on the top of a list with guys like Brian Thompson, Tim Deasey, Cory Sheridan and Troy Erdman speaks volumes about the type of player that Josh Kleinfelter is," Clark said. "I won't say that Josh is definitely the best, but I won't say that those guys definitely are either. He's in the conversation."

As for how Kleinfelter feels about being in that conversation, he rarely lets anyone know by his words. Soft-spoken by nature, Kleinfelter nearly shrugged off the record when asked about it.

"It was a team effort all-around," he said. "I had help everywhere. It just kind of jumped up on me. I try not to think about records too much. The real thing that matters is championships."

His teammates, though, who helped the running back rush for more than 1,000 yards through the first seven games of the year (another College first) aren't so humble on Kleinfelter's behalf. Senior offensive lineman Matt Landseidal said, "We take as much credit as him for the record. He might not take as much as people think he does. But he's a great player. He never lets the first guy tackle him, that's the big thing."

As for whether he's the greatest or not, only one thing is for sure: Josh Kleinfelter will never tell you whether he is or not. He'll leave that up to you – and the numbers speak for themselves.

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Bridgewater State 34, Fitchburg State 25
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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
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Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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Final
at Massachusetts Maritime 32, Worcester State 14
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at Endicott 37, Nichols 0
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MIT 30, at Maine Maritime 13
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at Buffalo State 40, Morrisville State 24
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at Salve Regina 48, Coast Guard 10
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St. Lawrence 20, at RPI 14
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at Framingham State 23, Western Connecticut 17
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at Montclair State 21, Rowan 14
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at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
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Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 38, Bates 7
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at Western New England 59, Curry 28
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at Utica 24, Cortland 13
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Colby 9, at Williams 7
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at Middlebury 40, Bowdoin 3
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at Amherst 34, Hamilton 0
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Kean 24, at William Paterson 13
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at DePauw 66, Hiram 17
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Franklin and Marshall 45, at Juniata 22
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at Kenyon 31, Allegheny 7
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Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
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Lycoming 28, at Misericordia 24
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at Plymouth State 30, Mass-Dartmouth 14
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at Husson 35, Alfred State 0
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at Springfield 28, WPI 23
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at Moravian 24, Dickinson 10
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at Denison 45, Wooster 7
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at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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at St. Vincent 57, Grove City 32
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at Susquehanna 55, Gettysburg 40
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at King's 21, Lebanon Valley 17
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at Alfred 20, Ithaca 6
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at Widener 25, Wilkes 23
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at McDaniel 30, Ursinus 27
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at Muskingum 28, Marietta 10
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at Minnesota-Morris 28, Iowa Wesleyan 27
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at John Carroll 42, Heidelberg 14
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Ohio Northern 16, at Otterbein 10
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Case Western Reserve 35, at Waynesburg 7
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at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
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Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
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at Centre 49, Chicago 27
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at Mount St. Joseph 38, Manchester 19
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Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
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at Merchant Marine 55, Rochester 7
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Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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Final
Concordia-Chicago 42, at Maranatha Baptist 10
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Washington U. 36, at Birmingham-Southern 21
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UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 38, Martin Luther 20
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at Eureka 28, MacMurray 13
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at Westminster (Mo.) 35, Greenville 14
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Dubuque 30, at Luther 17
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Monmouth 52, at Lake Forest 6
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St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
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at Augsburg 49, Carleton 17
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Bethel 44, at St. Olaf 7
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at Hamline 42, Gustavus Adolphus 40
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Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
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Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
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at UW-River Falls 42, Southwestern 22
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Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
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at St. Scholastica 49, Crown 13
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Cornell 46, at Beloit 41
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at Carthage 27, Augustana 24
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Coe 48, at Nebraska Wesleyan 17
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at Wartburg 56, Finlandia 0
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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Hendrix 42, at Millsaps 14
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Illinois Wesleyan 45, at North Park 10
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at Macalester 34, Grinnell 0
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at Ripon 33, Knox 19
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Illinois College 40, at Lawrence 15
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UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Central 42, at Loras 34
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Final
at Geneva 35, Thiel 27
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UW-Eau Claire 40, at Wisconsin Lutheran 14
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St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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Final
UW-Stevens Point 44, at Adrian 19
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UW-La Crosse 41, at Carroll 7
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Final
at Berry 41, Sewanee 3
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Final
Westminster (Pa.) 38, at Bethany 9
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Ohio Wesleyan 29, at Oberlin 16
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Final
at Tufts 17, Wesleyan 14
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Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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Final
at Capital 35, Wilmington 21
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Final
at Southwestern Assemblies 23, Austin 17
Cancelled
Langston at McMurry
Video Live Stats
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Chapman 19, Trinity (Texas) 17
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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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Final
at Hobart 27, Union 23
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Final
Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Final
Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Utica 24, Cortland 13
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
Box Score Recap
Final
at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
Box Score Recap
Final
St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
Final
UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 77, at Morthland College (Ill.) 0
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Final
Central 42, at Loras 34
Box Score Recap
Final
St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
Box Score Recap
Final
Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
Box Score Recap