/seasons/2017/contrib/20171028bsg7dh

King's Football Rallies Past FDU-Florham 18-15 on Whitehead Touchdown with 0:20 Left

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OCTOBER 28, 2017

KING'S FOOTBALL RALLIES TO DOWN FDU-FLORHAM ON TOUCHDOWN WITH 0:20 REMAINING

WILKES-BARRE -- In two of the King's College football teams last three losses, the Monarchs fell victim to heartbreaking late rallies by their opponents. On Saturday the Monarchs reversed course and delivered their own form of last-minute cruel punishment.  Senior quarterback Zach Whitehead scored on a one-yard keeper with just 0:20 remaining as King's pulled off an 18-15 victory over visiting FDU-Florham Saturday at McCarthy Stadium.

With the win King's improved to 4-4 overall and 3-4 in the Middle Atlantic Conference while the Devils slipped to 2-6 and 1-6 in league games.

Trailing 15-10 with 3:21 left in the contest, FDU assumed possession after a King's punt and had an opportunity to run out the game clock by picking up a few first downs.  But the Monarch defense held the Devils at bay and forced a punt from the FDU 18 yard-line.

After a 30-yard punt, King's was in business, assuming possession at the FDU 48 with 2:12 remaining.  Whitehead threw back-to-back completions of 11 yards to Trey Campbell and 15 yards to Corey Flynn to move the ball to the Devil 22. After an eight-yard run by Whitehead to the 14-yard line, the Monarch signal-caller was nearly sacked but was flagged for an intentional grounding penalty, moving the ball back to the Devil 26. Facing a third-and-14 play, Whitehead's pass to Corey Flynn fell incomplete but FDU was flagged for a pass interference penalty. 

With new life and a first down at the Devil 11, Whitehead carried for eight yards to the three-yard line. After two more runs advanced the ball to the FDU one-yard line, Whitehead found the end zone on a quarterback sneak over left guard to give the Monarchs the lead.  King's then added a two-point conversion when Whitehead found Flynn in the end zone to give the Monarchs an 18-15 lead.

FDU would take over at its 25-yard line and after a first-down incomplete pass, the Devils would have 0:14 to advance 75 yards.  Devil quarterback Tommy Galante dropped back and rolled to his right preparing for perhaps one final heave down the field. but King's defensive end Malcolm Johnston had other idea and delivered a crushing sack of Galante, forcing a fumble which Monarch teammate Chris DeGaetano recovered at the four-yard line to secure the victory.

The game was a surprise to many in that it was a low-scoring affair despite both squads being highly ranked offensive units in the MAC. King's was first in total yards-per-game and third in passing yards while the Devils were sixth in total yards but second in passing yards.

FDU reached the scoreboard first on a 27-yard field goal by Nick Maciejewski to cap a six-play, 45-yard drive. But the Monarchs countered with an eight-play, 75-yard march as Whitehead hot Tyler Marroni with a 43-yard scoring hookup to give King's a 7-3 lead at the end of one quarter.

After neither team scored in the second quarter, the Devils outscored King's 9-0 in the third quarter thanks to a 29-yard field goal by Maciewjewski and a 40-yard run from Alnazier Blackman as FDU took a 12-7 lead in the fourth quarter.

King's responded with a 13-play, 50-yard drive that ended with a career-long 40-yard field goal by Mike Tuminello to bring the Monarchs within 12-10 with 13:39 left in the contest.

After FDU drove 62 yards in nine plays, Maciewjewski connected on a 28-yard field goal, his third of the game, to extend the Devil lead to 15-10 with 8:43 remaining, setting up the Monarchs' late-game heroics.

FDU-Florham outgained King's 347-to-338 in total yards. The Devils ran for 219 yards but were held to 128 passing yards, well below its 293.6 yards-per-game average entering the contest.  The Monarchs ran for 119 yards in the game and threw for 219 yards as Whitehead completed 17-of-36 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Marroni caught 11 passes for 150 yards to aid the Monarch attack.

Defensively for King's, DeGaetano had nine tackles while Bruce Damon added eight tackles and Eli Vascos had eight tackles, a forced fumble, and broke up three passes.

King's will play its final road game of the year on Saturday when the Monarchs travel to face Widener University at 1:00 PM in Chester.

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