/seasons/2017/contrib/20170916pwuq7p

King's Football Outguns Lebanon Valley 44-39 on Touchdown with 0:25 Left

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SEPTEMBER 16, 2017

KING'S FOOTBALL EDGES LEBANON VALLEY IN 44-39 SLUGFEST ON TOUCHDOWN WITH 0:25 REMAINING

ANNVILLE -- Zach Whitehead scored what proved to be the game-winning touchdown with 0:25 left and Eli Vascos secured the game-saving interception at the Monarch 17-yard line with 0:04 on the clock as the King's College football team pulled out a wild 44-39 road victory over host Lebanon Valley College Saturday in Annville.

With the win King's improved to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the Middle Atlantic Conference while Lebanon Valley slipped to 1-2 and 1-1 in league play. It was the Monarchs first win at Lebanon Valley since 2005.

King's led 38-32 but Lebanon Valley used a five-play, 53-yard scoring drive to take a 39-38 lead with 3:01 to play.

Kings used seven plays to reach the Dutchmen 31. On a fourth-and-two play, Whitehead picked up the first down with an eight-yard run but a face-mask penalty on LVC moved the ball to the Dutchmen 23.

On the next play the Dutchmen were flagged for another face-mask penalty on a sack of Whitehead, moving the ball to the six.  From there, Whitehead scored on a six-yard run to give the Monarchs the lead with 0:25 left. The two-point conversion failed as King's took a 44-39 lead with 0:25 to go.

After the ensuing kickoff went out-of-bounds, the Monarchs were forced to re-kick from their own 30. Tyeair Diggs returned the offering 31 yards to midfield with 0:19 left. But King's was flagged for a costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the play, giving the Dutchmen a first down at the Monarch 35.

Two plays later Vascos picked off Tyler Sterner at the Monarch 17 with 0:04 left, enabling King's to run out the clock.

King's fell behind early when the Monarch were forced to punt from its own eight-yard line following a penalty on the opening kickoff. There, the punt was blocked and rolled out of the end zone for a safety as Lebanon Valley 2-0 a 2-0 lead just 0:59 into the game.

Following the Monarch's free kick, the Flying Dutchmen took over at their own 49. Lebanon Valley drove to the King's 13 where he Monarch defense stiffened. The Dutchmen then settled for a 30-yard field goal to take a 5-0 lead at 9:03 of the first half.

After the teams traded punts King's assumed possession at its own 36 and began to drive. Quarterback Zach Whitehead found Marquis Miller with completions of 12 and 17 yards to reach the Dutchmen 26. Three plays later Whitehead broke free for a 21-yard touchdown run to get King's on the scoreboard. Mike Tumminello added the conversion as the Monarchs took a 7-5 lead with 2:13 remaining in the opening quarter.

After the King's defense forced another punt, the Monarchs over at their own 24.  Set up by a 34-yard pass to Tyler Marroni to the Dutchmen three-yard line. Facing third-and-goal, Whitehead found the end zone on a quarterback draw to stretch the lead. Tumminello made good on the point-after as the King's lead great to 14-5 with 11:56 left in the half.

Two possessions later King's took over at its on 32 following a punt and on third down Whitehead found tailback Titus Nelson with a short completion in the flat, but the Monarch sophomore broke a tackle and raced 72 yards to pay-dirt to give King's a 21-5 lead with 6:45 to go in the second quarter. 

After another LVC punt, King's moved 67 yards before Tumminello kicked a 30-yard field goal to push the score to 24-5 with 0:55 remaining in the half as the Monarchs scored their 24th unanswered point.

Lebanon Valley would add a late score when the Dutchmen drove 55 yards on seven plays, and, aided by a pass interference penalty on King's, then an unsportsmanlike penalty on the Monarch sideline after protesting the call, the Dutchmen scored on a nine-yard pass from Tyler Sterner to Tim Pirrone on the final play of the half to close to within 24-12 at the break.

Lebanon Valley took the second half kickoff and cut into the lead when the Dutchmen drove 67 yards on five plays, capped by a 40-yard pass from Sterner to Tyler Cottle. But the extra-point kick sailed wide as the lead was trimmed to 24-18 with 13:43 left in the period.

King's then drove to midfield but Whitehead was sacked from behind and fumbled as the Dutchmen recovered and took over at their own 47. The King's defense, would hold, though and Lebanon Valley was forced to punt.

But on King's next possession, Whitehead was again sacked and fumbled as the Dutchmen recovered at the Monarch 19.  But on a fourth-and-goal from the two, King's defense again came through and stuffed  Jon Jones for a one-yard gain as the Monarchs took over possession.

After a short Monarch punt the Dutchmen took over at the King's 34. On a second down, Sterner completed a short pass to Jeremy De La Cruz, who broke a tackle and found the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown as the Dutchmen took a 25-24 lead with 5:38 left in the third quarter.

Things continued to go south for the Monarchs as Marquis Miller fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Lebanon Valley took over at the King's 35. It marked the fourth Monarch turnover of the game.

Eight plays later Ryan Fink scored from three yards out the Dutchmen extended the lead to 32-24 with 2:07 to go in the third quarter. It marked the 27th straight point for Lebanon Valley.

But King's responded on its next possession when the Monarch drove to the Dutchmen 44. But facing a fourth-and-four, King's bypassed the punt. Whitehead found Trey Campbell for a 12 yard gain, but the Monarch senior broke a tackle to complete a 44-yard catch and run touchdown.  Whitehead then added the two-point conversion on a diving run to the right pylon as King's tied the game at 32-32 with 14:19 left in the contest.

LVC would look to counter when the Dutchmen advanced to the King's 48. But Mikal Butler forced an LVC fumble and Trevor Hill recovered for King's to end the threat.

Three possessions later King's took over at its own 25.  Keyed by a 20-yard pass to Campbell on a third-and-five play, then a 13-yard pass to Miller, the Monarchs recaptured the lead when Downes scored on a three-yard run. But Tumminello missed the extra-point kick as King's took a 38-32 lead with 4:39 remaining.

After the Dutchmen returned the ensuing kickoff to their own 47, LVC used a 16-yard pass to Cottle, before the Monarchs were called for a personal foul penalty to move the ball to the 22 with 3:50 on the clock. Three plays later Fink would score on a six-yard run to tie the game at 38. Marcus Brown then added the all-important extra-point kick to give the Dutchmen a 39-38 lead with 3:01 to play, setting up the game's final moments.

King's outgained Lebanon Valley 524-to-321 in total yards and had 30 first downs compared to 16 for the Dutchmen. But the Monarchs hurt themselves with four turnovers and 14 penalties for 129 yards.

Whitehead completed 25-of-37 passes for 373 yards with two touchdowns, while running 76 yards and three more scores.  Jordan Downes rushed for 94 yards on 19 carries with one touchdown. Miller led King's with eight receptions for 78 yards. Marroni had six receptions for 98 yards while Campbell followed with five for 98 yards with a touchdown. Nelson had two catches for 81 yards, including his 72-yard scoring catch.

Sterner completed 14-of-30 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns for Lebanon Valley. Pirrone had 33 rushing yards on nine carries while Pirrone, Cottle, and De La Cruz.

The Monarchs return home next week with a 1:00 PM game against Lycoming on King's Homecoming Saturday.

The definitive history of the USFL: Football for a Buck, by Jeff Pearlman. Available now!
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