BY JEFF FALK It may have been its biggest win of the season. It certainly was its most important.
On Saturday afternoon in Edwardsville, the Lebanon Valley College football team nudged Wilkes 42-35. Lebanon Valley opened leads of 27-13 at the break and 42-21 in the fourth quarter.
LVC benefitted from huge offensive performances from quarterback Colt Zarilla, Tim Picerno and Ben Guiles, all seniors. Guiles opened the scoring with a 22-yard tocuhdown run that gave Lebanon Valley a 7-0 lead and made him the program’s all-time scoring leader, eclipsing former Lebanon High star Adam Brossman.
Zarilla and Picerno hooked up for four scores, including a pair in the fourth quarter that extended Lebanon Valley’s advantage to 21 points. Zarilla threw for a career-high 277 yards and a total of four scores, while Picerno caught seven passes for 183 yards.
The win snapped a two-game slide and improved Lebanon Valley to 6-3 on the year and 4-3 in the Middle Atlantic Conference. The Flying Dutchmen appear to be in very good shape for a third straight postseason berth, especially if it is successful in its regular-season finale.
Wilkes fell to 3-5 overall and 3-4 in the conference.
Zarilla’s first scoring connection with Picerno gave Lebanon Valley a 13-7 margin in the opening stanza. Before the break, Zarilla sneaked over from the one and hit Matt Mankiewicz with a late pass to give the Flying Dutchmen their 13-point margin in the locker room.
On the afternoon, Guiles churned out 208 rushing yards, moving him to within 36 yards of Charlie Parker’s career-rushing record. With Guiles, Zarilla and Picerno all doing their things, LVC rolled up 513 yards of total offense, 277 of which came through the air and 236 of which came on the ground.
For its part, the Flying Dutchmen defense came up with a Ryan Melley interception and a D.J. Polignone fumble recovery. Lebanon Valley senior captain Cory Homer recorded a game-high 13 tackles.