The Mayor's Cup game has been held since 1996.
The trophy signifies the rivalry game between the two Wilkes-Barre colleges that are separated by mere blocks.
A significant problem with the series is that in order for it to be considered a rivalry either team can win no matter what the record. In the 16 previous years of the game, Wilkes has been dominant, winning 12 times over King's with the majority of those victories coming when the Colonels have had a better record during the season.
That doesn't sit well for King's and its 10 seniors who will be playing their final game.
It's a way for us to send our seniors out on a high note, King's coach Jeff Knarr said. You always want to win your rivalry game because it gives you that bragging right…The mayor (Tom Leighton) is an alum of King's, so the Mayor's Cup theoretically should be ours. We just have to find a way to get it.
When the teams meet today at noon at Wilkes' Schmidt Stadium, the Colonels (4-5, 3-5 MAC) have just two more wins than the Monarchs, who enter with a 2-7 overall mark and are 2-6 in the conference.
Of late, the Monarchs have been the streaking team and have shown significant improvement over the second half of the season scoring 53 points in their last two games. They are looking for their second win in three games to complete the season, which would give them a three-win season for the first time since 2009.
Just two weeks ago, King's hosted Stevenson and won by 13 points. When the Colonels played the Mustangs, they had to net a late field goal for the victory. Earlier in the season, King's lost to FDU-Florham by 16 points. That's the same team Wilkes defeated by 10 points. But the Monarchs have shown growth since that game held nearly two months ago.
I don't even think it's remotely the same team that played (FDU) early in the season, Wilkes coach Frank Sheptock said about the Monarchs. I think they've grown tremendously in the last half of the season.
The Colonels, meanwhile have been getting better defensively after getting embarrassed by Widener giving up 90 points the same week King's lost to FDU. Wilkes' offense has been another story.
After piling up huge amounts of yardage and averaging nearly 520 in four games since the loss to Widener, Wilkes hasn't produced more than 185 total yards in its last two games. Part of the reason for that is teams have keyed in on the Colonels' running game since they have shown ineffectiveness in the passing game and have scored just six offensive points in that span. The eight Colonel seniors will want to show they can be two-dimensional by throwing the ball all over the field.
Hopefully the rivalry and the game in general is going to bring the best out of our players, Sheptock added. That's what the rivalry has done for us and me in the tenure I've been here.
What: 17th Annual Mayor's Cup
Who: King's (2-7, 2-6 MAC) at Wilkes (4-5, 3-5)
When: 12:07 p.m. today at Schmidt Stadium, Edwardsville
TV: The game can be seen live on FOX 56
Tickets: $5 adults; $3 seniors; $2 students
At Stake: The winning team will receive the Mayor's Cup from Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton. One player from each team will also receive a team MVP plaque.
Mayor's Cup Results
(Wilkes leads 12-4)
1996 – Wilkes, 13-0
1997 – Wilkes, 23-0
1998 – Wilkes, 31-21
1999 – Wilkes, 30-6
2000 – King's, 20-0
2001 – King's, 28-12
2002 – King's, 34-7
2003 – Wilkes, 37-0
2004 – Wilkes, 12-6
2005 – Wilkes, 36-13
2006 – Wilkes, 28-7
2007 – Wilkes, 35-0
2008 – Wilkes, 21-3
2009 – King's, 33-16
2010 – Wilkes, 21-17
2011- Wilkes, 13-6