NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – The smile on sophomore Warren Oliver's face grew as he was told just how good his day was, but it wasn't nearly as big as the one junior quarterback Zach Klinger (Halifax, Pa./Halifax) flashed when he was told what Oliver did.
With eight receptions, Oliver (Beverly, N.J./Palmyra) broke a 25-year old school record, posting 215 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Lycoming College football team to a 41-3 win over Westminster (Pa.) in a PAC/MAC Challenge game at Harold Burry Stadium on an overcast, Saturday, Sept. 10.
Oliver became just the second player in school history to record 200 receiving yards in a game and he surpassed James O'Malley's mark of 214 yards, set in a wild 43-42 loss at Susquehanna on Sept. 20, 1986. Oliver posted five catches of more than 20 yards and started the game off on fire by catching a post for a 66-yard gain, setting the Warriors (2-0 overall) off on the right foot.
"Warren is a good player," Lycoming head coach Mike Clark said. "We thought we'd have some mismatches athletically and we tried to take advantage of that. With his speed, he creates a different element. He has great ability. That is the first time we've seen it in a game, but he's just scratching the surface."
For his part, Klinger passed for a career-high 294 yards as he completed 19-of-34 passes for three touchdowns.
While the Lycoming offense racked up 463 yards, the defense was even more impressive, allowing just 89 yards, including -19 on the ground thanks to four sacks.
"We're playing at a very high level defensively," Clark said. "Those guys up front are controlling the line of scrimmage. If you can't run and we can pressure with just those guys, it gives you a great chance to be successful."
After each team's first two possessions equaled out, the Warriors got the ball at the Westminster 34-yard line, the same spot where the Warriors returned the opening kick. Then Klinger found Oliver streaking down the left sideline, connecting with him on a 66-yard play to give the Warriors a 7-0 lead.
The Titans (1-1 overall) closed within four points later in the quarter, though, as a blocked punt gave them the ball at the 7-yard line. However, the Warriors' defense stood tall, with a first down rush being stuffed for a loss of three yards by senior Ray Bierbach (Hunlock Creek, Pa./Northwest Area) and sophomore Kabongo Bukasa (Sharon Hill, Pa./Academy Park). The Titans got back three yards on the next play, but could get no closer, setting up a field goal.
To end the quarter, the Warriors got the lead back to seven points with a 10-play, 53-yard drive, ending it with a 38-yard field goal from sophomore Zack Czap (Phillipsburg, Pa./Phillipsburg-Oscelola).
In the second quarter, the Warriors got another connection from Klinger to Oliver, as Oliver caught an out route near the five-yard line and extended his body past the pylon as he leaped and was hit out of bounds. Meanwhile, the Warrior defense allowed no yards on 11 Titan plays in the quarter.
On their first possession of the second half, the Warriors got the ball at the 37-yard line after a Titan punt and Klinger again found Oliver for a 37-yard strike on the first play of the possession, giving the Warriors a 24-3 lead.
The defense allowed 51 yards in the third quarter and three first downs, but the Titans couldn't get within the 35-yard line.
In the fourth quarter, an interception by junior Ryan Fenningham (Philadelphia, Pa./Father Judge) at the Westminster 35-yard line set up a 28-yard field goal by Czap. The running game took over from there, with freshman Craig Needhammer (Lansdale, Pa./North Penn) scoring on runs of 26 yards and 47 yards to complete the team's scoring.
Needhammer finished with two scores and 91 yards on eight carrries and he added two kickoff returns for 37 yards. Junior Jarrin Campman (Clearfield, Pa./Clearfield) also set career-highs with five catches for 24 yards and junior Tyler Floyd (Lykens, Pa./Halifax Area) posted 45 yards on 19 carries.
Junior Matt Talerico (Moosic, Pa./Riverside) led the Warriors with six tackles, two breakups and 0.5 for loss. Freshman Kody Flail (Frackville, Pa./North Schuylkill) added five takles and a forced fumble. Junior Roger Jayne (Harveys Lake, Pa./Lake Lehman) added 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss and sophomore Dwight Hentz (Halifax, Pa./Halifax Area) added 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack.
Westminster quarterback Shawn Lehocky posted 68 yards on 10-of-21 passing, but left the game with an injury early in the fourth quarter. Geno Pasquinelli posted eight catches for 65 yards.
Derrick Orloski posted 10 tackles and 0.5 for loss and Josh Beistel posted eight tackles to lead the Titan defense.
The Warriors open up the MAC season looking to improve to 3-0 for the first time since 2003 when they head to Widener for a 1 p.m. game on Sept. 17.