BY JEFF FALK
Say what you want about the Lebanon Valley College football team, but the Flying Dutchmen win the games they’re supposed to.
On Saturday afternoon in Owings Mills, Maryland, Lebanon Valley took care of its business, defeating Stevenson 31-28 in a wild, high-scoring affair. Despite all the scoring, it was a defensive play by the Flying Dutchmen that ultimately settled the outcome.
LVC defensive back Zach Halpin read a screen pass, jumped the route and took the interception nine yards for a touchdown that gave his team a 31-21 lead in the fourth quarter and proved to be the winning score. The Flying Dutchmen with stood a late Stevenson touchdown to secure the Middle Atlantic Conference road victory.
With the triumph, the Flying Dutchmen moved to 3-1 on the campaign and 2-1 in the conference. Lebanon Valley was coming off its initial loss of the season, last week at Lycoming.
LVC has now started each of its last three seasons 3-1.
Lebanon Valley running back Evan Fink gave the Flying Dutchmen a 7-0 lead halfway through the opening quarter with a touchdown run. Then after Stevenson had tied the score, LVC took a 17-7 lead to the break on the strength of quarterback Brian Murphy’s 16-yard touchdown jaunt and kicker Sean Fakete’s 28-yard field goal.
The LVC offensive line opened gaping holes and Murphy, Fink and Pete Panichi and company ran through them for 293 rushing yards. Panichi gained 105 of those yards on his own, while Murphy attempted only ten passes filling in for injured senior Leo Kyte.
Fink’s second rushing touchdown late in the third quarter upped the Flying Dutchmen’s advantage to 24-13. But early in the fourth period, Stevenson moved to within 24-21 on a touchdown and a two-point conversion.
Kevin Smith paced the Flying Dutchmen defense with seven tackles and a pair of half-sacks.
On Saturday, Lebanon Valley will host MAC bully Widener at 1 p.m. at Arnold Field.