BY JEFF FALK
ANNVILLE – It wasn’t Joe Buehler’s first win, it was the Lebanon Valley College football program’s first win with Buehler as its head coach. Or better yet, it was Lebanon Valley’s first win of the season.
LVC seems acutely aware of the fact that the longer it focuses on the moment the more the big picture will take care of itself.
On a hot Saturday night at Arnold Field, the Flying Dutchmen ushered the Buehler era in style, overwhelming Wilkes 38-20 in their home opener. By owning the line of scrimmage and establishing a punishing running game, Lebanon Valley ran out to a 21-0 lead and never led by less than two possessions.
Lebanon Valley churned out a whopping 369 yards on the ground on its way to enjoying a 453-311 advantage in total yards. Running back Jon Jones and receiver Gary Wise tallied a pair of LVC touchdowns apiece.
The Lebanon Valley defense was stout throughout, and forced four takeaways.
The performance was in stark contrast to LVC’s season-opening 30-6 loss at Franklin and Marshall a week ago. The Flying Dutchmen are now 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the Middle Atlantic Conference, while the Colonels fell to 0-2 and 0-1 in the circuit.
It was the Flying Dutchmen’s sixth straight win over the Colonels, but Wilkes still leads the all-time series 23-22.
“I can’t believe I fell for that,” said Buehler of the celebratory post-game Gatorade bath administered by his troops. “(Junior linebacker) Tommy Gallagher came over to me and said, ‘Coach, can I see your headset?’ He put it on and I said, ‘What do you want my headset for?’ But when I realized it was too late. I can’t believe I fell for it.
“It does feel good,” continued Buehler. “But I’m just so happy for our team. To come out and dominate on both sides of the ball, it was awesome.”
The Flying Dutchmen drove for touchdowns on their first two possessions and led 14-0, 7:40 in. A better start to a head coach’s initial home opener one would be hard-pressed to imagine.
In fact, the first five plays Lebanon Valley called were rushing plays, including Jones’ 27-yard jaunt to the end zone. The next seven Flying Dutchmen snaps were also – you guessed it – rushing attempts, this time Jones scoring from 20 yards out.
“I was jacked before the game,” said Buehler. “I wanted to play. There were no butterflies. It was awesome to see our guys get off the ball and knock them (the Colonels) back.
“That’s Dutchmen football,” Buehler continued. “The way we came out and pounded the football. We have a stable of running backs. We have some guys who can run the rock.”
The Flying Dutchmen enjoyed a 24-7 advantage at the break, thanks to Ryan Fink’s two-yard touchdown burst 3:21 into the second stanza and Marcus Brown’s 22-yard field with five seconds remaining in the half. Fink’s score was set up by a 21-yard completion between quarterback Tim Pirrone and Dylan Berberick, while Brown’s three-pointer came at the end of a 15-play, 71-yard, six-minute-29-second possession.
“We got better,” said Buehler of the loss to the Diplomats. “We just worked really hard in practice. They say the most improvement in a football season comes from Week One to Week Two. But we had to get better.
“I love the physicality,” added Buehler. “We were so physical all over the field. Running the ball is such an important part of what we want to do offensively. I’m an old offensive line coach. I love running the football. But there’s a place for throwing the ball, when your opponent puts too many guys in the box.”
If the outcome was still in doubt, Lebanon Valley settled it by scoring on its first possession of the second half, to go up 31-7. The touchdown was the result of a great hustle play by Flying Dutchmen wide receiver Gary Wise.
Fink ripped off a 57-yard scamper down the right sideline and was poised to score when he fumbled. Wise, who stayed with the play the whole way, was there to fall on the ball in the end zone.
“I guess I’d say it’s still early,” said Buehler. “But you only get so many contests, so you have to look forward to all of them. We’re 1-1, and we’re 1-0 in the conference. We play a really good football team next week (at Stevenson). We’re going to get better.”
Wise scored in a more conventional way 3:37 into the final period, on a 25-yard scoring strike from Pirrone, to make it 38-14 LVC. The play came on a fourth-down-and-ten snap, and resulted from a Brendan Yetter interception.
“I don’t know how many interceptions we had,” said Buehler. “But we had a bunch. Those turnovers were big.
“He (Pirrone) made a lot of checks in the first half,” Buehler added. “And almost every one of them was into the right play. He’s just so comfortable with the offense now.”
Fink carried ten times for 109 yards, Brendan Irving posted 96 yards on 19 attempts and Jones collected 82 yards on 13 carries. Defensively, Lebanon Valley was led by Kyle Murray, Spencer Moser, Gallagher and Tommy Garner.
The game was moved back from its original start time of 1 p.m to 6 p.m., because of humidity and temperatures in the low 90s.
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2016 Lebanon Valley Football Schedule
|9/3/2016||Franklin & Marshall College||Lancaster, Pa.||L 6-30 Box Score|
|9/10/2016||*||Wilkes University||Annville, Pa.||6 p.m.|
|9/17/2016||*||Stevenson University||Stevenson, Md.||1 p.m.|
|9/24/2016||*||King’s College (Pa.)||Wilkes-Barre, Pa.||1 p.m.|
|Coach To Cure MD Game|
|10/1/2016||*||Delaware Valley University||Annville, Pa.||1 p.m.|
|10/8/2016||*||Widener University||Annville, Pa.||1 p.m.|
|10/22/2016||*||Lycoming College||Williamsport, Pa.||1 p.m.|
|10/29/2016||*||Misericordia University||Annville, Pa.||1 p.m.|
|11/5/2016||*||FDU-Florham||Madison, N.J.||1 p.m.|
|11/12/2016||*||Albright College||Annville, Pa.||1 p.m.|
|1||Cale Bruso||Jr.||FS||6-0||185||Hegins, Pa. / Tri-Valley|
|1||Tim Pirrone||Jr.||QB||5-11||165||Myersville, Md. / Middletown|
|2||Paxson Hayes||Jr.||TB||5-11||201||Annville, Pa. / Annville-Cleona|
|2||Spencer Moser||Jr.||CB||5-7||187||Denver, Pa. / Cocalico|
|3||Corey Keen||Sr.||WR||6-2||178||Wilkes-Barre, Pa. / James M. Coughlin|
|3||Brendan Yetter||Fr.||FS||5-11||175||Bel Air, Md. / Bel Air|
|4||Tyeair Diggs||Fr.||WR||5-8||165||Hershey, Pa. / Milton Hershey|
|4||Tyler Hodges||So.||OLB||6-2||200||Lewisberry, Pa. / Red Land|
|5||Jeremy De La Cruz||Jr.||WR||5-7||178||Lebanon, Pa. / Lebanon|
|5||Nick Sweitzer||Fr.||FS||5-10||197||Leesport, Pa. / Schuylkill Valley|
|6||Michael Gaval||Sr.||WR||5-10||185||Mahanoy City, Pa. / Mahanoy Area|
|6||Mike Ogunyemi||Jr.||FS||5-8||173||Owing Mills, Md. / New Town|
|7||Mike Gilger||Jr.||CB||5-7||175||Shamokin, Pa. / Our Lady of Lourdes|
|7||Gary Wise||So.||WR||6-1||204||Pottstown, Pa. / Pottstown|
|8||Kyle Zimnik||Sr.||WR||6-0||207||Milford, Pa. / Delaware Valley|
|9||Adam Domovich||So.||WR||6-1||190||Hummelstown, Pa. / Lower Dauphin|
|9||Blake Lutz||Jr.||FS||6-0||202||Reading, Pa. / Berks Catholic|
|12||Jake Cromer||Fr.||FS||5-10||170||Dillsburg, Pa. / Northern York|
|12||Jared Kramp||So.||WR||6-0||185||Lancaster, Pa. / Lancaster Catholic|
|13||Marcus Brown||So.||K||6-3||215||Pine Grove, Pa. / Pine Grove|
|14||Jakob Krebelj||So.||WR||6-8||212||Koper, Slovenia / Mercersburg Academy|
|14||Tim Schumacher||Jr.||SS||5-8||188||Myersville, Md. / Middletown|
|15||Brett Cohen||Fr.||QB||5-10||160||Milford, Pa. / Delaware Valley|
|15||Cody Davis||Jr.||CB||5-10||186||West Grove, Pa. / Avon Grove|
|16||Ben Petrie||Sr.||CB||5-8||165||Waynesboro, Pa. / Waynesboro|
|16||Josh Stoneberg||Fr.||QB||5-11||197||New Freedom, Pa. / Susquehannock|
|17||Dallas Arner||So.||QB||6-0||195||Berwick, Pa. / Berwick|
|17||Dylan Lobach||Fr.||ILB||6-0||210||New Tripoli, Pa. / Northwestern Lehigh|
|18||Tyler Cottle||Jr.||QB||6-6||205||Elizabethtown, Pa. / Elizabethtown|
|19||Ethan Ritchie||Fr.||DE||6-2||225||Philadelphia, Pa. / Archbishop Carroll|
|19||Tyler Sterner||Jr.||QB||6-0||200||Hanover, Pa. / South Western|
|20||Nick Bentz||Fr.||K||6-0||178||Reading, Pa. / Exeter|
|20||Nick Tucker||So.||CB||6-0||184||Walkersville, Md. / Walkersville|
|22||Tyler Okomba||Fr.||WR||5-10||185||Wheatley Heights, N.Y. / Half Hollow Hills East|
|23||Ryan Fink||So.||TB||5-9||205||Schuylkill Haven, Pa. / Schuylkill Haven|
|24||Blake Panko||So.||TB||5-7||170||Mount Carmel, Pa. / Mount Carmel|
|25||Manuel Ramos||Fr.||TB||5-9||179||Muncy, Pa. / Muncy|
|25||Alec Soltys||So.||ILB||5-11||206||Schuylkill Haven, Pa. / Pine Grove|
|27||Mason Evitts||Fr.||WR||5-11||203||Mahanoy Plane, Pa. / Marion Catholic|
|28||Zachary Adams||So.||FS||6-0||195||Selinsgrove, Pa. / Selinsgrove|
|28||Anthony Jenkins||Fr.||FS||5-10||178||Temple, Pa. / Muhlenberg|
|29||Kyle Murray||Sr.||FS||5-11||188||Sayville, N.Y. / Sayville|
|30||Rubens Isai||Fr.||CB||5-10||170||Doylestown, Pa. / Central Bucks West|
|30||Matt Petrie||Fr.||WR||5-6||140||Waynesboro, Pa. / Fairfield|
|31||Eamon Blythe||Fr.||FB||5-5||209||Harrisburg / Central Dauphin|
|32||Derek Cline||Fr.||ILB||5-8||222||Lewisberry, Pa. / Red Land|
|32||Jon Jones||Jr.||TB||5-10||231||Plant City, Fla. / Brandon|
|33||Jermaine McQueen||Sr.||DE||5-10||230||Philadelphia, Pa. / Milton Hershey|
|33||Derrec Robinson||So.||FB||5-9||231||Schuylkill Haven, Pa. / Blue Mountain|
|34||Teddy Denver||So.||OLB||5-9||210||Allentown, Pa. / Salisbury|
|35||Colten Denlinger||Fr.||FB||5-11||221||Carlisle, Pa. / Carlisle|
|36||C.J. Steinhilber||Fr.||FB||5-10||209||Ashland, Pa. / North Schuylkill|
|37||Cooper Fiadino||So.||FB||5-9||225||Egg Harbor Twp., N.J. / Egg Harbor Township|
|38||Chance Hayes||Fr.||FB||5-8||200||Yorklyn, Del. / Wilmington Charter|
|39||Bret Hertzog||So.||OLB||5-11||190||Glenville, Pa. / South Western|
|39||William Langan||Fr.||TB||5-11||196||Annville, Pa. / Annville-Cleona|
|40||C||Tom Gallagher||Jr.||ILB||6-0||226||Ashland, Pa. / North Schuylkill|
|41||Evan Lysczek||Jr.||FB||5-9||221||Reading, Pa. / Exeter|
|42||Evan Greer||Fr.||FB||5-11||223||York, Pa. / Spring Grove|
|43||Steve Salerno||So.||TB||5-9||218||Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. / Hasbrouck Heights|
|44||Tyler Rhoads||Jr.||OLB||5-8||174||Bushwood, Md. / Chopticon|
|45||Elijah Navarro||Fr.||ILB||5-9||205||Lebanon, Pa. / Lebanon|
|46||Dylan Berberick||Jr.||TE||6-2||230||Greensburg, Pa. / Greensburg-Salem|
|47||Nick Newton||Jr.||OLB||6-0||187||Lehighton, Pa. / Lehighton|
|48||Alex Trujillo||Jr.||ILB||5-10||234||Naples, Fla. / Golden Gate|
|49||Chance Atkins||So.||CB||5-9||170||York, Pa. / Central York|
|49||Brendon Irving||Sr.||TB||5-7||189||Woolwich, N.J. / Kingsway Regional|
|50||Guy Zimmerman||Jr.||DE||6-0||225||Pine Grove, Pa. / Pine Grove|
|51||Adam Wagaman||So.||DE||6-3||245||Lititz, Pa. / Warwick|
|52||Anthony Sorbin||Sr.||OG||5-9||243||Delmont, Pa. / Greensburg-Salem|
|53||Ryan Kingshill||Sr.||OT||6-5||328||Bear, Del. / Red Lion Christian Academy|
|54||Logan Stover||So.||OG||5-11||268||York, Pa. / West York|
|56||Garrett Zalar||Fr.||ILB||6-0||251||Coal Township, Pa. / Shamokin|
|57||Scott Werner||So.||OG||6-1||265||Pine Grove, Pa. / Pine Grove|
|58||Dan Ferraioli||Fr.||DE||5-10||226||Flourtown, Pa. / Plymouth Whitemarsh|
|59||Josh Skotek||Fr.||NT||5-8||235||McAdoo / Marion Catholic|
|60||Andrew Sarachman||Fr.||DE||6-5||226||Warrington, Pa. / Central Bucks South|
|61||Lee Amarose||So.||OT||6-2||271||Atlas, Pa. / Mount Carmel|
|63||Jordan Dziczek||So.||OT||6-3||310||Frackville, Pa. / North Schuylkill|
|64||Jack Heft||Fr.||OT||6-2||317||Spring City, Pa. / Owen J. Roberts|
|65||Anthony Caruso||Sr.||OT||6-1||280||Mifflinburg, Pa. / Mifflinburg|
|66||Robbie Beidler||Jr.||OG||6-1||230||Cleona, Pa. / Annville-Cleona|
|67||Nick Redmon||Fr.||OG||5-9||207||Nazareth, Pa. / Nazareth|
|68||Nate Trindel||Fr.||OG||6-1||283||Chambersburg, Pa. / Chambersburg|
|70||Sal Tossona||Fr.||NT||5-10||275||Chalfont, Pa. / Central Bucks West|
|71||Victor Lopez||Fr.||DE||6-0||200||Bendersville, Pa. / Biglerville|
|72||C||Bryant Weller||Sr.||OC||6-4||329||James Creek, Pa. / Huntingdon|
|73||Bob Van Horn||Sr.||OC||6-2||267||Ringtown, Pa. / Mahanoy Area|
|75||Brett Mars||So.||NT||5-11||312||Pine Grove, Pa. / Pine Grove|
|76||Scotty Dickmyer||Fr.||OC||5-10||304||Glenville, Pa. / South Western|
|77||Jeremey Markiewicz||So.||OG||6-1||289||Mahanoy City, Pa. / Mahanoy Area|
|77||Victor Morcelo||Fr.||DE||5-11||230||Reading, Pa. / Berks Catholic|
|78||Scott Salerno||Fr.||OG||5-8||263||Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. / Hasbrouck Heights|
|79||Evan Shiley||So.||OT||6-3||290||Camp Hill, Pa. / Cedar Cliff|
|80||Trey Manning||Sr.||TE||6-2||236||Middletown, Pa. / Middletown|
|81||Jordan Spahr||Jr.||ILB||6-1||210||Strasburg, Pa. / Lampeter-Strasburg|
|82||Ryan Seagrave||So.||WR||6-1||170||Williamsport, Pa. / South Williamsport|
|83||Ian Lichty||So.||WR||6-2||211||York, Pa. / West York|
|84||C||Travis Saylor||Sr.||WR||6-3||190||Dillsburg, Pa. / Northern York|
|85||Colt Baxter||Jr.||WR||5-11||181||Dillsburg, Pa. / Northern York|
|86||Steven Salcedo||Jr.||WR||5-10||185||York, Pa. / York Suburban|
|87||Mike Cecchini||Sr.||TE||6-1||230||Smithtown, N.Y. / Hauppauge|
|89||Patrick Clark||Fr.||TE||6-2||236||Kennett Square, Pa. / Unionville|
|90||Wyett McLeod||Fr.||DE||6-1||230||Fairless Hills, Pa. / Conwell-Egan|
|91||Wyatt Griffith||Fr.||TE||6-1||231||Rising Sun, Md. / Rising Sun|
|92||Ryan Johnson||So.||DE||6-1||281||Bath, Pa. / Bethlehem Catholic|
|93||Tyler Conlon||Jr.||DE||6-2||230||Phillipsburg, N.J. / Phillipsburg|
|94||Trent Donlan||So.||NT||5-10||264||Elysburg, Pa. / Southern Columbia|
|95||Hunter Herb||Fr.||DE||5-11||219||Hegins, Pa. / Tri-Valley|
|96||Tommy Garner||Jr.||OLB||6-1||215||Lititz, Pa. / Warwick|
|97||Jacob Whitfield||So.||NT||6-0||297||York, Pa. / William Penn|
|98||Austin Maguire||So.||DE||6-2||255||Lititz, Pa. / Warwick|
|99||Hunter McGuire||Fr.||ILB||6-1||227||Duncannon, Pa. / Susquenita|