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BY JEFF FALK

PHOTO BY BLAKE NELSON, WITTENBERG CLASS OF 2017

 Sometimes, destiny determines destination.

On Saturday afternoon in Springfield Ohio, in the round of the 32 in the NCAA Division Three national football tournament, one of the most successful seasons in the history of the Lebanon Valley College football program came to an end the same way many great seasons do – with a loss. The Flying Dutchmen were manhandled 59-17 by Wittenberg, the 12th-ranked team in the country.

Wittenberg did not punt during the contest and scored on nine of its ten possessions. The Tigers rolled up 600 yards of total offense against the vaunted Lebanon Valley defense, 354 through the air and 246 on the ground.

Lebanon Valley, which was making its first ever appearance in the NCAA Division Three national tournament, ended its campaign with back-to-back losses and an 8-3 overall record. The Flying Dutchmen shared a piece of the Middle Atlantic Conference championship.

Wittenberg, champions of the North Coast Coast Athletic Conference, moved to 10-1 and into a Sweet 16 match-up with top-ranked Mount Union. The Tigers improved to 7-0 in NCAA opening-round games they have hosted and are 13-3 overall in that particular stage of the national tournament.

Wittenberg tallied 31 unanswered points in the first half to take a 38-3 lead to the locker room.

The Tigers drove the opening kickoff 75 yards in six plays to take a 7-0 lead 3:05 into the game. The Flying Dutchmen responded with a nine-play, 66-yard possession and kicker Sean Fakete’s 20-yard field goal.

Lebanon Valley did interrupt the Tigers’ onslaught early in the second half when quarterback Brian Murphy hooked up with senior wideout Joey Miller for a 16-yard scoring play that made it 38-10. The play capped a 12-play, 79-yard march.

The Flying Dutchmen’s other touchdown was scored by Elco product Tyler George. George hauled in a 35-yard scoring strike from Murphy with 3:53 left in the third quarter to make it a 45-17 score.

George finished with three catches and 81 yards. Teammate Brendon Irving carried the pigskin 17 times for 101 yards.

The Lebanon Valley offense was responsible for 358 yards of total offense.

 

 

Lebanon Valley
17
Wittenberg 
59
SCORING 1 2 3 4 FINAL
Lebanon Valley (8-3) 3 0 14 0 17
Wittenberg (10-1) 21 17 7 14 59
Springfield, Ohio | Edwards-Maurer Field

 

PRD TIME SCORING SUMMARY LEBANON VALLEY – WITTENBERG
1 11:55 Wittenberg – Desi Kirkman 35 yd pass from Reed Florence. (Evan Grissom kick is good).
Drive: 6 plays, 75 yards in 3:05.
0 – 7
1 06:50 Lebanon Valley – Sean Fakete 20 yd field goal.
Drive: 9 plays, 66 yards in 4:58.
3 – 7
1 04:53 Wittenberg – B. Cunningham 33 yd pass from Reed Florence. (Evan Grissom kick is good).
Drive: 4 plays, 71 yards in 1:50.
3 – 14
1 01:12 Wittenberg – Desi Kirkman 65 yd pass from Reed Florence. (Evan Grissom kick is good).
Drive: 3 plays, 73 yards in 1:19.
3 – 21
2 13:08 Wittenberg – Desi Kirkman 90 yd punt return for TD. (Evan Grissom kick is good). 3 – 28
2 01:16 Wittenberg – Desi Kirkman 41 yd pass from Reed Florence. (Evan Grissom kick is good).
Drive: 4 plays, 44 yards in 2:09.
3 – 35
2 00:09 Wittenberg – Evan Grissom 18 yd field goal.
Drive: 7 plays, 31 yards in 0:42.
3 – 38
3 09:32 Lebanon Valley – Joey Miller 16 yd pass from Brian Murphy. (Sean Fakete kick is good).
Drive: 12 plays, 79 yards in 5:21.
10 – 38
3 05:45 Wittenberg – Desi Kirkman 24 yd pass from Reed Florence. (Evan Grissom kick is good).
Drive: 10 plays, 79 yards in 3:42.
10 – 45
3 03:53 Lebanon Valley – Tyler George 35 yd pass from Brian Murphy. (Sean Fakete kick is good).
Drive: 5 plays, 65 yards in 1:45.
17 – 45
4 10:20 Wittenberg – Jimmy Dehnke 15 yd pass from Reed Florence. (Evan Grissom kick is good).
Drive: 13 plays, 86 yards in 7:09.
17 – 52
4 00:55 Wittenberg – Zack Jenkins 24 yd run. (Taylor Gannon kick is good).
Drive: 13 plays, 91 yards in 8:22.
17 – 59
LEBANON VALLEY STATISTICS WITTENBERG
19 FIRST DOWNS 29
9
7
3
Passing
Rushing
Penalty
13
14
2
33% (4 of 12) THIRD DOWN EFFICIENCY 85% (11 of 13)
33% (1 of 3) FOURTH DOWN EFFICIENCY 0% (0 of 1)
358 TOTAL OFFENSE 600
62
5.8
Total Offensive Plays
Average gain per play
68
8.8
205 NET YARDS PASSING 344
11-30
6.8
1-8
1
Completions-Attempts
Net yards per pass play
Sacked: Number-Yards
Had intercepted
15-21
16.4
1-16
0
153 NET YARDS RUSHING 256
32
4.8
Rushing Attempts
Average gain per rush
47
5.4
4-119 PUNTS: Number-Yards 0-0
29.8 Average
120 TOTAL RETURN YARDS 184
0 0
8-120
0 0
Punt Returns: Number-Yards
Kickoff Returns: Number-Yards
Interception Returns: Number-Yards
3-117
3-62
1-5
4-40 PENALTIES: Number-Yards 11-131
0-0 FUMBLES: Number-Lost 1-0
1-16 SACKS: Number-Yards 1-8
0 0 INTERCEPTIONS: Number-Yards 1-5
28:19 TIME OF POSSESSION 31:41

Lebanon Valley

Wittenberg

PASSING C-A YDS TD INT
Brian Murphy 10-23 173 2 1
Jake Zeigler 1-1 32 0 0
Jeremy Franck 0-5 0 0 0
Tyler George 0-1 0 0 0
PASSING C-A YDS TD INT
Reed Florence 15-21 344 6 0
RUSHING ATT YDS AVG LG TD
Brendan Irving 17 101 5.9 21 0
Austin Hartman 8 19 2.4 6 0
Bobby Conlon 1 19 19.0 19 0
Brendan Kain 2 12 6.0 11 0
Brian Murphy 1 5 5.0 5 0
Matt Richmond 1 4 4.0 4 0
Evan Fink 1 1 1.0 1 0
Jeremy Franck 1 -8 -8.0 0 0
RUSHING ATT YDS AVG LG TD
Sean Gary 16 84 5.2 15 0
Jimmy Dehnke 13 68 5.2 12 0
Reed Florence 12 43 3.6 28 0
Will Stocker 4 33 8.2 20 0
Zack Jenkins 2 28 14.0 24 1
RECEIVING NO YDS AVG LG TD
Tyler George 3 81 27.0 37 1
Joey Miller 4 72 18.0 32 1
Nate Luckenbill 2 31 15.5 21 0
Jake Zeigler 1 13 13.0 13 0
Matt Richmond 1 8 8.0 8 0
RECEIVING NO YDS AVG LG TD
Desi Kirkman 5 188 37.6 65 4
Brendon Cunningham 3 79 26.3 33 1
Sean Gary 3 22 7.3 12 0
Jonathan Stoner 2 20 10.0 16 0
Stephen Zumdick 1 20 20.0 20 0
Jimmy Dehnke 1 15 15.0 15 1
KICKING FG LG XP PTS
Sean Fakete 1/1 20 2/2 5
KICKING FG LG XP PTS
Evan Grissom 1/1 18 7/7 10
Taylor Gannon 1/1 1
PUNTING NO YDS AVG LG TB -20
Jake Zeigler 3 119 39.7 42 0 0
TEAM 1 0 0.0 0 0 0
PUNTING NO YDS AVG LG TB -20
KICKOFFS NO YDS AVG TB OB
Sean Fakete 3 168 56.0 0 0
KICKOFFS NO YDS AVG TB OB
Evan Grissom 10 506 50.6 0 2
KICKOFF RETURNS NO YDS AVG LG TD
Matt Richmond 5 94 18.8 28 0
Kevin Antol 1 13 13.0 13 0
Trevor St.Clair 2 13 6.5 10 0
KICKOFF RETURNS NO YDS AVG LG TD
Desi Kirkman 2 43 21.5 22 0
Brendon Cunningham 1 19 19.0 19 0
PUNT RETURNS NO YDS AVG LG TD
PUNT RETURNS NO YDS AVG LG TD
Desi Kirkman 2 104 52.0 90 1
Zac Wilson 1 13 13.0 0 0
INTERCEPTION RETURNS NO YDS AVG LG TD
INTERCEPTION RETURNS NO YDS AVG LG TD
Brady Vanover 1 5 5.0 5 0
FUMBLES NO LOST
FUMBLES NO LOST
Reed Florence 1 0
DEFENSIVE STATISTICS
# LEBANON VALLEY SOLO AST TOTAL SACKS-YDS TFL-YDS FF FR-YDS INT-YDS BRUP BLKS QBH
9 David Kennedy 5 7 12
35 A Beamesderfer 4 7 11 1 – 6
14 Bryan Kasper 4 1 5
95 Zach Halpin 3 2 5
96 A. Burkholder 4 1 5
98 Kevin Smith 0 4 4
8 Frank Gaffney 3 0 3
51 Joey Scerbo 1 2 3 1 – 16 1 – 16
19 Zach Wierman 1 1 2
36 Josh Borreli 1 1 2
37 Bryan Ek 1 1 2
46 Kevin Antol 1 1 2
47 Ryan Melley 1 1 2 1
48 Tyler Laudeman 1 1 2
56 Adam Soltys 0 2 2
86 Trevor St.Clair 1 1 2
17 Kyle Beissel 1 0 1
23 Reid Pavlik 0 1 1
32 DJ Johnson 0 1 1
44 Austin Hartman 1 0 1
66 Tony Shearer 1 0 1
69 Joseph Myers 1 0 1
78 C Williard 0 1 1
TOTALS 35 36 71 1 – 16 2 – 22 0-0 1
# WITTENBERG SOLO AST TOTAL SACKS-YDS TFL-YDS FF FR-YDS INT-YDS BRUP BLKS QBH
40 Spencer Leno 2 6 8 1 – 8 1 – 8
39 Kyle Sanning 2 5 7
20 Heath Eby 3 3 6
43 Evan Killilea 3 3 6
63 Josh Bannick 3 3 6
97 Brady Vanover 0 5 5 1-5
1 Victor Banjo 2 2 4 3
36 Mark Swope 2 2 4
44 Austin Towsey 4 0 4
37 Nick Gibson 1 2 3
6 Winston Thomas 2 0 2
21 Ryan Myers 1 1 2 3
51 Wes Thompson 1 1 2
52 Caden Leichty 1 1 2
93 Josh Montgomery 0 2 2
5 Zac Wilson 0 1 1 1
22 Gabe Cunningham 0 1 1
30 Raphael Allen 1 0 1
TOTALS 28 38 66 1 – 8 1 – 8 0-0 1-5 6 1

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