WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Junior Parker Showers (Aspers, Pa./Biglerville) had a breakthrough day with a career-high 152 yards to go with two touchdowns as the Lycoming College football team rolled up 308 rushing yards en route to a 40-7 rout of Wilkes University on Homecoming in Middle Atlantic Conference action at David Person Field on Saturday, Oct. 15.
Showers helped the Warriors (5-1 overall, 3-1 MAC) roll for a season-high 466 yards of total offense as Lycoming snapped a three-game losing streak to the Colonels (2-4 overall, 2-3 MAC).
"We have been running things a lot of things wide but not outside," Lycoming head coach Mike Clark said. "Today, we tried to stick the ball at them and go downhill a little bit and get the ball wide. Parker Showers had a good game. That ties into the offensive line. I would venture to guess that when we watch the film, we'll see that we didn't allow the defensive line to be disruptive even though they have a good line."
On a windy and overcast day, the Warriors offense got started thanks to a fortuitous gust from Mother Nature. Wilkes drove 73 yards on their opening drive, getting to the six-yard line on a fourth-and-four, but the Wilkes' kicker's field goal attempt flew ride left thanks to a 40-mile-per-hour gust of wind. The Warriors responded with a 10-play, 80-yard drive, as Showers rushed four times for 41 yards on the drive. Junior Zach Klinger (Halifax, Pa./Halifax) capped the drive with a 14-yard pass into the end zone that slipped out of a Wilkes' defender's hands and into the diving arms of sophomore Matt Atkinson (Media, Pa./Penncrest).
As the Colonels' offense struggled to gain ground against the Warriors, who allowed 230 yards in the game, the team's offense continued to move along. In the second quarter, with his face to the wind, Klinger came out as the gunslinger, coming up with four passes during a 77-yard drive, with three being enough for a first down, before freshman running back Craig Needhammer (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn) found the end zone on a nine-yard run to give the Warriors a 13-0 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Warriors opened the half with the ball at the 31-yard line and thanks to a pair of first-down rushes from Klinger and Showers, Atkinson, playing quarterback out of the option, found junior wide receiver Warren Oliver (Beverly, N.J./Palmyra) on a 29-yard fly pattern for the score.
Senior Ray Bierbach (Hunlock Creek, Pa./Northwest Area) killed the Colonels' next drive, posting his 12th career pickoff at the Warriors' 36-yard line and returning it for the touchdown. However, a penalty for celebration pushed the Warriors back to the 16-yard line, but three rushes by Showers later, the Warriors claimed the seven points and a 27-0 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Wilkes got the ball after a fourth-down conversion failed for the Warriors and the Colonels drove 79 yards in eight plays as Todd Eagles scored from 13 yards out on a pass from Taylor Berntsen, making it 27-7.
An interception by freshman Kody Flail (Frackville, Pa./North Schuylkill) on Wilkes' next drive set up another rushing touchdown from Showers, who posted 31 yards on five carries during the six-play drive. Junior Tyler Floyd (Halifax, Pa./Halifax) added the Warriors' final score with 19 seconds remaining to cap off the 40-7 win.
Klinger finished 11-of-21 for 129 yards and a touchdown, but for the sixth time this year, the quarterback did not turn the ball over. He also rushed seven times for 53 yards.
"Other than the first touchdown, Zach usually makes very good decisions," Clark said. "Today, he threw the ball well into the wind and that was big."
Needhammer ran the ball 16 times for 77 yards and a touchdown and Floyd added two carries for 14 yards and a score.
Oliver posted five catches for 71 yards and a score and Atkinson added three receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Alex George finished 6-of-12 for 70 yards with an interception for Wilkes and Tyler Berntsen went 4-of-11 for 50 yards and a touchdown. Todd Eagles caught four passes for 60 yards and a score and Tim Bousson added four receptions for 49 yards. George ran the ball 12 times for 35 yards and the league's leading rusher entering the week, Zach Tivald, was held to 31 yards on nine carries.
Defensively, the Warriors were led by senior Anthony Marascio (Philadelphia, Pa./Father Judge), who posted 10 tackles, a sack and a career-high five tackles for loss. Sophomore Kabongo Bukasa (Sharon Hill, Pa./Academy Park) added 10 tackles. Bierbach posted eight tackles and a 63-yard interception return and Flail posted five stops and an interception. Junior Ryan Fenningham (Philadelphia, Pa./Father Judge) also posted five stops.
The Colonels were led by preseason All-American Tate Moore-Jacobs, who notched 10 tackles and Rob Houseknecht, who is from South Williamsport, added nine tackles and one tackle for loss. Jake Sarson added seven stops.
The Warriors head to Stevenson next for a 1 p.m. game on Saturday, Oct. 22, as the Warriors look to keep moving up the MAC standings against the first-year program.