WILLIAMSPORT (PA) – Devin Flynn's 32-yard field goal with five seconds left capped a wild Lycoming College comeback as the Warriors rallied from a 21-point, second-half deficit to notch a 43-42 home victory over 19th-ranked Delaware Valley University.
The setback snapped a six-game winning streak for the Aggies as they fell to 7-2 overall and 6-2 in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC). It also dropped them into a three-way tie with Stevenson University and Widener University for second place in the league standings. Albright College's victory at Stevenson, combined with DelVal's loss, leaves the Lions atop the standings with a 7-1 MAC record.
The Aggies can still win the MAC and earn the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Division III playoffs as they need to defeat archrival Widener at home next Saturday, November 14 and have Albright lose at home to Lebanon Valley (5-3 MAC). A head-to-head tie with Albright or a three-way tie adding Stevenson into the mix favors DelVal since the Aggies defeated both of those squads earlier this season.
It appeared as if DelVal would stay with Albright atop the MAC when freshman quarterback Dashawn Darden found tight end Stephen Greco wide open in the end zone from 11 yards out to give the Aggies a 42-21 lead with 4:59 left in the third quarter.
However, the rest of the game belonged to Lycoming, starting with a Blake Bowman two-yard touchdown run with 1:52 remaining in the quarter. DelVal's Danny Wynne blocked the extra-point attempt, and Bobby Marterella scooped it and returned it all the way for an apparent two points for the Aggies. However it was called back due to a penalty on DelVal, leaving the score at 42-27.
Then in the fourth quarter, the Aggies had a punt blocked deep in their own territory and a penalty was tacked on after the play, placing the ball at the DelVal nine-yard line. Two plays later, quarterback Chase Whiteman scrambled in for an11-yard touchdown run. Flynn's extra-point made it a one-possession game at 42-34 with 6:59 remaining.
The Aggies picked one first down on the ensuing drive but were forced to punt. Stephen Adams then booted a 53-yard kick that was downed at the Lycoming one-yard line with 4:01 to go.
The Warriors proceeded to move the ball down the field, but Whiteman coughed up the ball on a scramble. However, Lycoming recovered it at the Aggie 17 with 1:17 left. Another Whiteman scramble put the ball at the 11 and he then hit Ryan Umpleby for the touchdown pass with 56 seconds to go to complete the 14-play, 99-yard scoring drive. A false start on the two-point conversion attempt, moved the ball back to the eight, and a bad snap forced Whiteman to scramble and he was stopped 10 yards shy of the end zone, leaving the score at 42-40.
On the ensuing onsides kicks, Lycoming's Matt Malecki recovered the ball at its own 45. Six plays later, the Warriors were on the Aggie 15 to set up a 32-yard field goal attempt by Flynn. His kick went right through the uprights with five seconds left for the 43-42 win. DelVal didn't get its own 30-yard on the ensuing kickoff as time expired.
DelVal was stopped in the Lycoming red zone on its first possession, but got back there on its second drive as a Darden 14-yard run on a third-and-10 play put the ball at the 10-yard line. The Aggies then faced a third-and-goal from the four when Darden called his own number and used a second effort to bull his way into the end zone. Nick Restaino added the extra-point for a 7-0 DelVal advantage with 37 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Aggies then made a costly error as, on a Lycoming punt, Michael Anusky attempted to catch the kick on a bounce. However, he fumbled it and Michael Ward recovered for the Warriors at the DelVal four-yard line. Bowman then scored on the ensuing play to tie the game at 7-7 just 63 seconds into the second quarter.
Later in the quarter, DelVal took over on its own 20-yard line and, after a no gain run by Darden on first down, Davauntay Ellis went 46 yards into Warrior territory. Armani Fuller-Williams took the next handoff and went untouched down the right sideline for a 46-yard touchdown. Restaino's point-after put the Aggies back up by seven, 14-7, with 4:27 left in the half.
Back-to-back sacks by Rashaad Lighty and Aric Boyes, followed by a one-yard loss on the next play, brought up fourth down for Lycoming deep in its own territory. The Warrior punt by Connor Bell went off the side of his foot, and DelVal took over at the Lycoming 37.
The Aggies managed just three yards over the first two plays and netted four on the next for a fourth-and-four from the 31-yard line. Darden went back to pass and lofted a perfect spiral to Eric Shorter in the front right corner of the end zone for the touchdown. Restaino added the extra point for a 21-7 advantage with 78 ticks to go before the intermission.
Lycoming came right back down the field, thanks to three big passes from Whiteman to Ryan Umpleby, to put the ball at the Aggie four. Whiteman then hit Nick Costello in the end zone just 42 seconds after Shorter's touchdown. Flynn added the extra-point to cut the DelVal lead down to 21-14.
However, just 12 seconds later, the Aggies were back up by 14 thanks to Shorter. He took the ensuing kickoff at his own three-yard line and raced down the left sideline untouched for a 97-yard touchdown. It was the first touchdown return of a true kickoff for DelVal since 1990 (not counting Charles Squitiere's touchdown return of an Albright onsides kick attempts in 2009).
Shorter had more dramatics on the first drive of the second half as the Aggies went 85 yards on 12 plays. He had a 36-yard, over-the-shoulder grab near midfield. Then, on a third-and-goal from the 14, Shorter caught a touchdown pass with a defender draped all over him for a 35-15 advantage six minutes into the third quarter.
Lycoming came back with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Whiteman to Pat Whalen midway through the third, but Shorter returned the ensuing kickoff 59 yards to set the Aggies up at the Warrior 40. Five plays later, Darden hit Greco for the touchdown that put them up 21. However, Lycoming rallied for the upset win.
Darden completed 10 of 16 passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 52 yards and a score on eight carries. Shorter caught four passes for 92 yards and two scores and also returned three kicks for 178 yards and a touchdown. Ellis netted 107 yards on 11 carries while Fuller-Williams had 12 rushes for 77 yards and a score. Wynne and Trae Hall led the defense with 10 and eight tackles respectively.
Whiteman was 27-for-38 for 372 yards and three touchdowns and he also rushed for 61 yards and a score. Umpleby hauled in 11 passes for 207 yards and one trip to the end zone.