BY JEFF FALK
Following a hard-earned win its season opener, Lebanon Valley head football coach Jim Monos warned that his program will be only afforded a certain number of opportunities to move into the upper echelon in the Middle Atlantic Conference. Not only was Monos spot on, he also proved to be prophetic.
On Saturday afternoon in Chester, one of those chances slid through the Flying Dutchmen’s grasp, as they dropped a tough 35-28 decision to Widener, the 24th-ranked Division Three team in the nation.Playing from behind for most of the afternoon, LVC pulled to within 27-21 on a 70-yard scoring strike from Brian Murphy early in the fourth quarter, but it couldn’t complete the comeback.
The Flying Dutchmen’s final touchdown of the contest – a two-yard plunge by Jeremy Franck with 1:30 remaining – made it a seven-point game, but it would prove to be their last gasp.
The game served as the Middle Atlantic Conference opener for both sides. Lebanon Valley is now 1-1 overall, as is The Pride, the defending conference champion.
In rolling to a 24-7 intermission margin, Widener’s fast-paced offense ran an amazing 50 plays in the first half. The Pride completed two long scoring drives in each of the opening quarters, as signal-caller Seth Klein went 25-for-29 in the first half.
Lebanon Valley got back to within 24-14 with 2:37 of the third quarter remaining, when Murphy took it over from five yards away. Earlier, the Flying Dutchmen got a 24-yard scoring play from Murphy to Darryl Sweeper.
Behind 392 passing yards, Widener out gained Lebanon Valley 518 total yards to 395.