WILKES-BARRE -- Justin Burke caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Hartranft with 0:09 left in the contest as the King's College football team pulled off a shocking 28-24 upset over perennial Middle Atlantic Conference power Lycoming College Saturday at McCarthy Stadium.
With the win, King's improved to 5-3 overall and 5-2 in the MAC after posting a fifth straight victory for the first time since the 2006 campaign. Lycoming, which entered the season as the favorite in the MAC Pre-Season Coaches Poll, came into the contest locked in a three-way tie for first-place in the MAC but fell to 5-3 and 5-2 with the loss.
Lebanon Valley assumed sole possession of first-place in the MAC by posting a 34-31 overtime victory over Delaware Valley College. Widener, which was also tied for first entering the day, fell to Albright 33-19. King's, Lycoming, and Widener are now all tied for second-place in the MAC.
Lycoming appeared to have the game sealed when the Warriors put together a 15-play, 63-yard drive to take a 24-21 lead with 0:46 to play after a one-yard run by Craig Needhammer.
King's, however, had other ideas.
After quarterback Tyler Hartranft was sacked for a seven-yard loss, things looked bleak for the Monarchs. Facing a third-and-17 from their own 30, Hartranft found Dan Kempa for 12 yards to the 42. On fourth-and-five, Hartranft hooked up with Patrick Robinson for a huge 19-yard pickup to keep the drive alive with a first-down at the Lycoming 13 with 0:17 to play. After a King's time out, Hartranft found Burke all alone up the seam at the 25 and the Monarch receiver raced the final 25 yards into the end zone with 0:06 on the clock.
On the ensuing kickoff, Lycoming tried multiple laterals but the play failed as the Monarchs walked away with the victory.
Lycoming began the game taking the opening kickoff and marching 65 yards on 12 plays and scored when Needhammer caught a three-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Jenny with 8:42 left in the opening period. Zack Czap was good on the extra-point as Lycoming took a 7-0 lead
King's countered on the ensuing possession with an eight-play, 75-yard drive, which culminated with a one-yard run by Kyle McGrath. Mulvihill's conversion kick knotted the score at 7-7 with 3:47 left in the first quarter.
The Warriors answered on their next possession, using 10 plays to reach the King's six. There the Monarch defense stiffened and the Warriors settled for a 23-yard field goal by Czap to take a 10-7 lead with 13:28 remaining in the second period.
After a King's punt, Lycoming used four plays to reach the King's 36. On the next play, Jenny found Corey Talerico for a 36-yard touchdown pass to extend the Warrior lead. Czap converted the extra-point as Lycoming built a 17-7 lead with8:41 left in the half.
King's, however, refused to bend and immediately responded with a scoring drive of its own. On the sixth play of the drive, Hartranft found Kempa for a 51-yard gain to the Lycoming 11. Three plays later Hartranft found Kempa in the end zone for a nine-yard score with 4:09 remaining in the half. Mulvihill's conversion brought King's to within 17-14 at the break.
King's rode the momentum into the first possession of the second half. The Monarchs used a 10-yard pass to Burke, a 20-yarder to Patrick Robinson, and a a 35-yarder to Kempa to advance to the Warrior 20. A seven-yard run by McGrath and a seven-yard completion to fullback Slade Eigenmann moved the ball to the Warrior six. Three plays later Hartranft found tight end Jay Thomas all alone in the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown. Mulvihill's point after would give King's a 21-17 lead with 9:09 remaining in the third quarter.
On Lycoming's next possession the Warriors were forced to punt and King's came up with a big special teams play when Robinson blocked the kick and Brandon Gonzalez recovered at the Lycoming 17. King's, however, was unable to take advantage when Hartranft was sacked for a nine-yard loss, and a 25-yard touchdown pass to Kempa was nullified by a penalty.
The score would remain the same until Lycoming took over at its own 37 following a King's punt. The Warriors moved 73 yards, converting two fourth-down plays in the process before Needhammer scored the go-ahead touchdown with 0:46 to play, setting up Burke's heroics.
King's outgained Lycoming 359-to-331 it total yards while the Warriors held an 18-15 lead in first downs.
Hartranft paced King's by completing 19-of-27 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns. Kempa caught five passes for 115 yards and one touchdown while Burke, who also played cornerback in the game, had three receptions for 82 yards and the game-winning touchdown. McGrath rushed for 47 yards on 14 carries and caught a team-high six passes for 42 yards. Robinson chipped in with two catches for 39 yards.
Defensively for King's, freshman linebacker Bobby Russell had a big game with a team-high none tackles and two tackles for loss. Linebacker Nick Kaijala and safety Anthony Martuccio followed with nine tackles each while Kris Matthews posted seven stops. Ron Garrett also had seven tackles, including a quarterback sack.
For Lycoming, Jenny completed 21-of-34 passes for 249 yards with two touchdowns. Matt Atkinson caught eight passes for 84 yards while John Sibel added seven receptions for 53 yards. Needhammer, who entered the game ranked third in the MAC with 115.9 rushing yards per-game, was held to 63 yards on 24 carries by the Monarch defense.
King's returns to the field Saturday with another huge MAC contest when the Monarchs travel to Chester to face Widener University on a 1:00 p.m. matchup.
KING'S FOOTBALL SHOCKS LYCOMING 28-24 ON TOUCHDOWN WITH 0:09 LEFT
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Nov 02, 2013