November 9, 2013

#25 Lebanon Valley Wins Share of First MAC Title In 44 Years

More news about: Lebanon Valley

ANNVILLE, Pa. - #25 Lebanon Valley captured a share of its first Middle Atlantic Conference title since 1969, riding a dominant defensive effort and 317 yards rushing to beat Stevenson 30-6.

On Senior Day at Arnold Field, the Dutchmen (8-1, 7-1 MAC) came out firing on all cylinders and never let up to earn at least a share of the crown. A win next week in the 93rd meeting with Albright would clinch the title outright and earn LVC its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth. LVC could only make the NCAA Tournament with a loss if Delaware Valley beats Widener next week, as well.

The championship is the third in program history, joining the 1961 and 1969 teams. Unlike those two seasons, however, the Dutchmen are in no mood to share the crown.

"'No-Co' is the theme, meaning no co-champs," said head coach Jim Monos, winning the first MAC title in his 21 years in Annville. "We want it outright, that's what this football team wants. That'll be our theme this week getting ready to play Albright next Saturday."

Both Austin Hartman and Brendan Irving went over 100 yards rushing for the third time this year, and Irving had a pair of touchdowns while Brian Murphy threw two more. The defense starred, however, picking off five interceptions - including two each by seniors Zach Wierman and Andrew Burkholder and another by Kevin Antol - and holding the Mustangs (4-5, 3-5 MAC) to just 235 yards of offense and a late touchdown.

The Dutchmen scored the game's first 30 points, and controlled the game on the ground with 317 of 373 total yards coming via the running game with a 5.6 yards per rush average behind a fantastic effort by the offensive line. Irving went for 136 yards and two scores, and Hartman added 130 yards. On the other side of the ball, LVC's secondary had a game to remember with the five interceptions and eight other break-ups.

"My biggest concern was that we played at a high level, and we did that," Monos said. "Defensively with turnovers, offensively moving the football and controlling the football to get points on the board and put them in a position to play catch-up."

Monos hailed his 22-member senior class, who have strung together 28 wins in four seasons and have a chance to head to their third postseason appearance.

"We talk about them being good players, but they're great leaders. They kept this team focused and headed in the right direction," he said.

Sean Fakete became LVC's all-time field goal leader with his 43-yarder to open scoring in the first quarter, and Irving broke the edge on a 34-yard run later in the period to put LVC up 10-0. Jake Zeigler made a phenomenal 31-yard catch at the pylon with 33 seconds left to make it 17-0, and it certainly felt like it was going to be LVC's day. The Dutchmen tacked on another touchdown with Joey Miller's 13-yard take on fourth down with 16 seconds left in the first half, and that left Stevenson staring at a 24-0 hole at halftime.

Penalties hurt LVC during the third quarter, but Irving gave the Dutchmen some insurance midway through the fourth on a left sweep to score from 23 yards out and make it 3-0. Late in the game, a fumble was scooped up by SU's Scott Lange deep in LVC territory, and the lineman rumbled in from seven yards out before Frank Gaffney blocked the extra point to make it 30-6. Burkholder ended the game with his second pick of the day at midfield, running out the clock for the win.

The win was Lebanon Valley's seventh in a row, a new program record to surpass a six-game streak from 1960. LVC has also been 8-1 just once, in 2009. The Dutchmen have surrendered 14 or fewer points five times this year, including single digits three times.

Sep. 24: All times Eastern
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at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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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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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 St. Vincent 57, Grove City 32
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at Susquehanna 55, Gettysburg 40
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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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Rose-Hulman 23, at Defiance 15
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Hanover 49, at Anderson 25
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Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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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 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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Simpson 17, at Buena Vista 9
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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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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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UW-Stevens Point 44, at Adrian 19
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UW-La Crosse 41, at Carroll 7
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at Berry 41, Sewanee 3
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Westminster (Pa.) 38, at Bethany 9
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Ohio Wesleyan 29, at Oberlin 16
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at Tufts 17, Wesleyan 14
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Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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at Capital 35, Wilmington 21
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at Chapman 19, Trinity (Texas) 17
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Sep. 29: All times Eastern
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Emory and Henry at Washington and Lee
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Sep. 24: All times Eastern
Final
at Thomas More 20, Carnegie Mellon 16
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at Hobart 27, Union 23
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Christopher Newport 17, at TCNJ 0
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at Wittenberg 24, Wabash 14
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Salisbury 35, at Southern Virginia 0
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Albright 20, at Delaware Valley 17
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at Utica 24, Cortland 13
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at Stevenson 54, FDU-Florham 15
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at Franklin 44, Bluffton 38
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Johns Hopkins 30, at Muhlenberg 24
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St. Thomas 33, at St. John's 21
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at UW-Whitewater 35, Morningside 21
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at Hardin-Simmons 48, Texas Lutheran 38
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at Wheaton (Ill.) 10, Elmhurst 6
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UW-Platteville 56, at Lakeland 0
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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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St. John Fisher 42, at Brockport 38
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Mount Union 49, at Baldwin Wallace 7
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at North Central (Ill.) 42, Millikin 7
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