SEPTEMBER 3, 2016
KING'S FOOTBALL FALLS TO MORAVIAN IN SEASON OPENER 50-35
BETHLEHEM -- Host Moravian College built a 33-14 half-time lead and held off a King's College second-half rally to post a 50-35 victory Satutrday at Rocco Calvo Field in Bethlehem.
King's quarterback Zach Whitehead set school records in the game with 40 completions and 63 passing attempts, and equaled another with four touchdown passes. The previous marks were 49 attempts and 27 completions. Senior wide-out Mike Palmer had 11 catches, one shy of the school record.
Moravian took the opening kickoff and marched 62 yards, culminated by a four-yard touchdown run by Chris Negron. Kenny Kane added the extra-point to give the Greyhounds a 7-0 lead with 10:29 left in the first quarter.
King's countered on its first possession when the Monarchs went 69 yards on 12 plays to fins pay dirt on a five-yard pass from Zach Whitehead to Matt Demarco with 6:10 to go in the opening stanza. Mikhail Kniaziewicz added the point-after to knot the score at 7-7.
The Greyhounds would make it three straight scores on the opening three possessions of the game when Moravian used 13 plays to move 75 yards and score on a one-yard run from Jordan Stout. Kane's point-after gave the Greyhounds a 14-7 lead with 0:29 left in the first quarter.
King's was unable to move the ball and were forced to punt. Moravian took over at its own 47 and moved to the King's 16 before settling for a 33-yard field goal by Kane to push the score to 17-7 with 12:17 to go in the second quarter.
The Monarchs were unable to move the ball again and ere forced to punt. King's would attempt a fake punt and Eric Haenggi was stopped just short of the first down giving Moravian possession at the Monarch 47.
On the next play Greyhound quarterback Mike Hayes found Aaron Hudson alone for a 47-yard scoring strike. Kane added the extra-point as Moravian stretched the lead to 23-7 with 9:42 to play in the half.
King's got back on track offensively as the Monarchs took over at their own 20 and moved 69 yards on 10 plays to reach the Greyhound 11. On the next play Whitehead hit Demarco at the five and the junior broke two tackles to find the end zone. Kniaziewicz added the point-after as King's closed to within 23-14 with 6:01 to play in the half.
But Moravian recaptured the momentum with a four-play 74-yard drive, capped by a 23-yard pass from Hayes to Aaron Brown to give the Greyhounds a 30-14 lead at the 4:34 mark.
After King's was again forced to punt, Moravian closed out the half with a 25-yard field goal by Kane with 2:04 on the clock to take a 33-14 lead into the half-time break.
Moravian outgained King's 377-to-175 in total yards in the first half, including 287 through the air.
In the second half King's turned the ball over on third down when Ed Delica intercepted Whitehead to give the Greyhound possession at the Monarch 25.
Moravian took advantage, adding to the lead as Hayes hit Hudson for a five-yard scoring play. Kane's kick pushed the score to 40-14 with 1:45 to go in the third quarter.
The Monarchs finally got back on the board later in the period when King's moved 60 yards and found the end zone when Whitehead hooked up with Corey Flynn for a 10-yard scoring play. It was the first career touchdown for Flynn as the Monarchs closed to 40-21 with 3:58 left in the quarter.
After King's forced a punt, the Monarchs assumed possession at their own 26. After a 24-yard pass to Palmer, Whitehead found Alvonte Thompson in the flat and the freshman running back plowed over a Greyhound defender and raced down the sideline for a 55-yard score. The extra-point cut the Moravian lead to 40-28 with 1:05 left in the third period.
But Moravian again answered a King's score with a score of its own when the Greyhounds drove to the King's four before settling for a 21-yard Kane field goal to extend the lead to 43-28 with 9:44 left in the contest.
The Monarchs were on the verge of answering again as King's drove to the Moravian 13. But with an opportunity to make it a one-score game, Whitehead was sacked from the blind side and fumbled and Greyhound defender Chuka Onukwuga scooped up the loose ball and rumbled 77 yards for a touchdown. The extra-point gave Moravian a 50-28 lead with 7:15 left on the clock.
King's would push across its final score when Whitehead capped a 50-yard drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak to bring the score to 50-35 with 2:17 remaining.
Moravian amassed 521 total yards in the game while King's finished with 461, including 286 yards in the second half.
Hayes led Moravian by completing 23-of-37 passes for 354 yards and three scores. Negron led the running game with 116 yards on 25 attempts with one touchdown. Liam Nolan paced the Greyhound receivers with six catches for 90 yards while Hudson had three receptions with two scores.
Joining Whitehead and Palmer as statistical leaders, Demarco had nine receptions for 78 yards while Tyler Marroni added seven catches for 61 yards. Thompson led King's runners with 42 yards on six attempts and added three catches for 65 yards and one score.
Next week the Monarchs open Middle Atlantic Conference play with a 1:00 p.m. game at Lycoming College in Williamsport. The Warriors defeated Susquehanna 27-24 in another season-opener.