Czapped! Warriors upset No. 24 Pride, 16-14
CHESTER, Pa. – Having not attempted a field goal all season, senior Zack Czap (Philipsburg, Pa./Philipsburg-Osceola) tied the school record with three, his last a 33-yarder with 2:24 left to lift the Lycoming College football team to a 16-14 Middle Atlantic Conference win over 24th-ranked Widener at Leslie C. Quick Jr. Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 28.
Widener (2-2 overall, 2-1 MAC) mounted a 13-play, 52-yard drive that moved the ball to the 19-yard line with 21 seconds left, but a field goal attempt from 36 yards by Ryan O'Hara sailed left, setting off a celebration on the Lycoming (3-1 overall, 3-0 MAC) sideline.
The win was the Warriors' fifth over a ranked opponent in head coach Mike Clark's six years as head coach and it also stopped a 10-game MAC winning streak by the Pride.
Czap was brilliant all game long for the Warriors, hitting a first-quarter field goal from 44, a second-quarter field goal from 31 and he capped his day in the fourth by calmly hitting the game-winner from 33 yards out, giving him 22 field goals in his career. He also helped the Warriors win the battle of field position all day, blasting seven punts, two inside the 20, for an average of 38.4 yards.
The great day by Czap helped the team overcome gaining just 235 yards against the Pride defense, while the Pride rolled up 331 yards.
Lycoming, however, was advantageous, getting on the board in the first quarter after the Warriors had backed Widener back up to the four-yard line before being forced to punt. A 14-yard return on a 42-yard punt by sophomore Ryan Umpleby (Forest Hill, Md./Fallston) gave Lycoming the ball at the 32 to start a drive. Lycoming drove to the 18, but an 11-yard sack by Widener's Sunny Sunnerville pushed the ball back to the 29, where Czap came on to can a 44-yard field goal, the second-longest of his career.
To start the second quarter, sophomore Cole Welham (Lewistown, Pa./Lewistown Area) stopped Widener's Robert Getz behind the line on fourth-and-one at the 46, and three plays later, junior quarterback Tyler Jenny (Coalport, Pa./Glendale) fired a 33-yard touchdown pass to Umpleby, giving Lycoming a 10-0 lead.
Lycoming embarked on a 10-play, 25-yard drive that was capped on a 31-yard field goal with 2:00 left, giving Lycoming a 13-0 lead at the break.
The Warrior defense was outstanding in the first half, allowing just 104 yards total to the Pride and 110 was gained through the air. Meanwhile, Lycoming had rolled up 159 yards and possessed the ball for 17 minutes.
The Pride turned that around in the third quarter, though, as Seth Klein completed a 35-yard touchdown pass to Terrant Morrison with 6:34 on the clock and he added another scoring strike to Anthony Davis with 3:24 left in the quarter, giving Widener a 14-13 lead.
The Warriors got a big play early in the fourth, though, as Czap punted to the Widener 46, but a fumble led to a recovery by senior Tyler Denike (South Boardman, Mich./Forest Area). After two incompletions, Jenny found Umpleby for 29 yards and a penalty brought the ball to the Widener two-yard line. However, a fumble was recovered by Widener's Emmanuel Fields, keeping the one-point advantage.
The Warriors got the ball back at their own 38 after a six-play Widener drive, and the Warriors efficiently moved the ball on a 13-play, 46-yard drive that ate 6:28 on the clock. Jenny starred on the drive, converting three third-down plays, with a nine-yarder to senior Matt Atkinson (Media, Pa./Penncrest) getting the ball to the 22-yard line on third-and-six. Four plays later, Czap lined up from 33 yards out and split the uprights to give Lycoming the lead and set up the dramatic end.
Junior Craig Needhammer (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn) reached 100 rushing yards for the third straight game, finishing with 108 on 26 carries. Jenny finished 18-of-29 for a touchdown and 176 yards and Umpleby caught eight passes for 112 yards and a touchdown.
Klein finished 37-of-52 for 316 yards and two touchdowns for Widener. Davis, the MAC's top receiver, was held to 64 yards and a touchdown on nine catches and Couve LaFate finished with seven catches for 61 yards. He also rushed for a team-high 16 yards, as Widener netted just 15 yards rushing during the game.
The Preseason All-American trio led the Warrior defense, as senior Kabongo Bukasa (Sharon Hill, Pa./Academy Park), in his first full-game action of the season, led the Warriors with 10 tackles, one for a loss, junior Tanner Troutman (Hegins, Pa./Tri-Valley) posted eight tackles and a breakup and senior Dwight Hentz (Halifax, Pa./Halifax) posted six tackles and 3.5 sacks. Denike also added seven stops, a fumble recovery and an interception.
Sunnerville led the Pride with six tackles and two sacks and John DiBiase added five tackles and two sacks.
The Warriors get back on the field on Saturday, Oct. 5, when they face No. 17/22 Delaware Valley in a battle for solo possession of first place in the MAC at David Person Field. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.