WILLIAMSPORT (PA) – Delaware Valley College was driving towards another memorable comeback, but Lycoming College's Tanner Troutman intercepted a pass at his own 32-yard line late in the game as the Warriors seized first place in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) with a 19-16 victory over the 16th- ranked Aggies.
The loss dropped Delaware Valley from the unbeaten ranks as it fell to 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the conference. Meanwhile, Lycoming with back-to-back wins over Widener and the Aggies, who have combined to win the last five MAC titles, improved to 4-1 overall and a perfect 4-0 in the conference.
Delaware Valley had come from behind to win three of its first four games and it looked to do it again as it trailed 19-9 with 5:26 remaining after a Lycoming score. It took over on its 35 as the kickoff went out of bounds and, soon after, quarterback Aaron Wilmer hit Rasheed Bailey for a 26-yard pass with a penalty tacked on to put the ball at the Warrior 24-yard line. Wilmer then found Lewis Vincent at the five-yard line and, one play later, the signal-caller scrambled into the end zone for a four-yard score. Brandon Snyder's extra-point made it 19-16 with 4:27 to go.
Lycoming's ensuing drive began at its own 35-yard line. The Warriors netted four yards over its first two plays and they faced a third-and-six after the Aggies called their second timeout of the half. Needhamer was stopped shy of the sticks and Delaware Valley burned its final timeout. Lycoming's punt went out of bounds at the Aggie 29-yard line and Delaware Valley took over from there with 3:13 remaining.
Two incomplete passes, with a poor snap sandwiched in-between left the Aggies with a fourth-and-15. However, Wilmer scrambled and found Bailey for 23 yards and a first down at the Aggie 47. However, on second down, Wilmer's pass over the middle was intercepted by Troutman, a preseason All-American safety. Earlier in the quarter, Troutman was ejected from the game for a targeting hit, but he was allowed back in after a long officials' huddle. Lycoming kneeled down three times after Troutman's pick to wrap up the win.
Both teams had plenty of opportunities in the first half, but came away with little as the Warriors led 6-0 at the break. Lycoming's points came on the opening drive of the game. The Aggies nearly had an interception on the first play, but the Warriors recovered from the near turnover and drove 71 yards on 11 plays. Craig Needhammer capped it with a six-yard burst into the end zone. Zack Czap missed the extra-point leaving the score at 6-0 with 9:25 left in the first quarter.
Delaware Valley turned the ball over in Warrior territory on its first two possessions, but the Warriors came away with nothing both times as high snaps on field goals attempts led to one missed kick and a turnover on downs on the other. Delaware Valley later moved into field goal range, but missed an attempt of its own. Neither squad threatened the rest of the way in the half.
The Aggies took the opening kickoff and drove into Warrior territory where they faced a third-and-nine from the 29-yard line. However, Wilmer's pass was picked off by Kabungo Bukasa to stop another drive. However, Delaware Valley got the ball right back as linebacker John Marcelline stripped the ball free from Needhammer and Chris Vega recovered it at the Lycoming 43. Snyder later attempted a 42-yard field goal and he nailed it to cut the deficit in half, 6-3, with 7:57 left in the third.
Delaware Valley forced a punt and then Wilmer hit Bailey for a 55-yard pass to put the ball at the Warrior 13. Two plays, Wilmer found tight end James Norton in the end zone from 11 yards out. Snyder's extra-point attempt missed, but the Aggies gained their first lead of the contest at 9-6 with 4:20 to go in the third quarter.
Lycoming responded by driving to the Delaware Valley 10-yard line where it faced a third-and-one. Ken Kenner-Enlgish stopped Needhammer at the line of scrimmage on the last play of the third quarter. Czap came on the field for the 26-yard field goal, but the Aggies were called for a penalty, giving Lycoming a first-and-goal. Needhammer scored on the next play but another extra-point was missed and the Aggies trailed by just three, 12-9.
Delaware Valley was forced to punt deep from its own territory and the Warriors took over at the Aggie 45-yard line. Lycoming then used 11 plays and took more than seven minutes off the clock. It converted two third-down plays and a fourth-down try, including a third-and-goal from the three when quarterback Tyler hit Corey Talerico in the end zone and Czap added the point-after for a 19-9 lead with 5:26 remaining. Delaware Valley made its comeback try after that, but fell short.
Wilmer completed 23 of 36 passes for 265 yard and one touchdown while also rushing for a score. He was intercepted three times. Schuberth netted 71 yards on 14 carries while Bailey had four receptions for 108 yards. Kenner-English and Danny Wynne led the defense with 13 and 10 tackles respectively.
Jenny was 16-for-24 for 170 yards and one score for Lycoming. Needhammer carried the ball 32 times for 144 yards and two trips to the end zone. Troutman had eight tackles to go along with his game-clinching interception.