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Lycoming looking to play complete game vs. FDU

October 5, 2012 - Mitch Rupert
By MITCH RUPERT

mrupert@sungazette.com It’s really amazing when you think about it. In fact, it’s almost downright scary, especially if you’re a team in the Middle Atlantic Conference which Lycoming has yet to play.

Despite being 4-1 overall and 4-0 in the MAC, the Warriors have yet to play a complete football game. Let that sink in for a moment.

This is a Lycoming team which has beaten the only other three teams in the conference with multiple wins this season outside of itself and Widener. And it still hasn’t played a complete 60 minutes?

Amazing. And scary.

“Fortunately, I think some of the problems that we experience are related to some inexperience,” Lycoming head coach Mike Clark said. “The two guys we though we’d have starting for us at safety are out with injuries. The offensive line is still a relatively young group. It would be huge to play a full game. But in the end I think what is happening is it allows the guys who are inexperienced to get some experience. And hopefully as we get some guys healthier, now you’ve got better depth and it’ll make us that much better for the last four weeks of the season.”

It’s not imperative that the Warriors put together a complete game this weekend against FDU-Florham, but it’d surely be a nice feeling. As much as Clark and his players talk about not looking ahead, it’s hard to ignore what’s in store for the Warriors.

First a much-needed by week will help players like Cody Butler and Matt Atkinson heel some nagging injuries which caused them both to miss the King’s game a week ago. And right out of the bye week is the de facto MAC championship game when Lycoming hosts Widener for homecoming weekend at David Person Field.

The Pride and the Warriors remain the only unbeaten teams in MAC play, and assuming they take care of Stevenson and FDU-Florham – teams with a combined 2-7 record – then the matchup in two weeks in Williamsport will be one of the most-watched scores in the country.

So while it’s not imperative to play a complete game today in Madison, N.J., it surely wouldn’t hurt. And playing well enough to go 5-0 in the MAC for the first time since 1999 wouldn’t be too shabby, either.

“Albright we had a bad quarter. Against King’s the second quarter was our bad quarter. I think going into the bye week and then Widener, we have to play four quarters,” Lycoming safety Caleb Shertzer said. “If we can play four quarters this week it shows Widener that we can play four quarters. We better be ready for this.”

Even in the Warriors’ four wins this year there have been times where the play has been frustrating. There was a tough second quarter last week against King’s in which the Monarchs controlled the pace of play with their offense and cut the Warriors’ 20-10 lead in half.

There was also the first 16 minutes against Albright in which the Warriors spotted the Lions a 14-0 lead. The overwhelming theme, though, is that the Warriors have been able to overcome the rough patches with defensive adjustments and an offense that just continually grinds on defenses with a running game that can be just punishing in the waning minutes.

“It hasn’t hurt us yet. We do talk all the time about eliminating the things that are still lingering. At some point you have to solve them or they become a season-long problem,” Clark said. “But I think part of our issues are that we’ve played some pretty good teams. Del Val is still really good and they just beat FDU by 60. Lebanon Valley is still really good. Albright is still pretty good. They’re some competitive teams that aren’t just going to lay down. Even King’s was much better.”

“(Defensive coordinator Steve Wiser) always preaches about going out to play 60 minutes each week. The past four weeks, we haven’t completed that goal,” Shertzer said. “There is an urgency with Widener coming up to play 60 minutes.”

 
 

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