Last updated: February 17. 2013 9:42AM - 34 Views

Story Tools:

Font Size:

Social Media:

Wilkes' top rival will always be King's for obvious reasons.

If there's another nemesis for the Colonels that's fairly close geographically and has been around for decades it has to be Lebanon Valley.

The Colonels and Flying Dutchmen – who are connected by just Interstate 81 – first met in 1953 and have played 39 games since then. The two will renew acquaintances when they meet for the 40th time 1 p.m. Saturday in Annville

The teams have identical records overall (3-2) and in the MAC (2-2), making the game more important because the loser is likely out of contention for the conference title and the winner still in the hunt.

Add into the mix that the last six contests in the rivalry have been decided by a touchdown or less with each team winning three times, and this time around should be another barnburner.

"They're recruiting a lot up here and we recruit a lot down in District 3 area, so our District 3 kids are all juiced up to make the trip down 81," Wilkes coach Frank Sheptock said. "Both schools border the coal region, so the kids run into each other a lot. I think there's so much knowledge of each other and I think that's why you see some of the increased intensity and rivalryship because of all of those reasons."

Records aren't the only similarities between these two longtime MAC teams as both have had success running the ball this season. Seventeen different players have had at least one rush for the Dutchmen, combining for 903 yards and 13 touchdowns in six games. Wilkes has had 12 different ball carriers, but they have gone for 1,261 yards and 10 scores for a MAC-leading 225.20 rushing yards per game.

Aux Wogou, Wilkes' leading rusher with 352 yards and two TDs, left last week's game with a knee injury and, according to Sheptock, he is likely out for the season.

Wogou will be replaced by Calvin Garvin (191 yards, 3 TDs), Pat Inguilli (143, 2 TDs) and Andrew Regan (151, 1 TD), all of whom should see time. Quarterbacks Alex George (200 yards) and Tyler Berntsen (110, 1 TD) could also get carries.

"That's a big blow to our football team on the field as well as in the locker room," Sheptock said about Wogou. "We feel very capable with those guys and our ability to still move the ball efficiently on the ground."

Wilkes (3-2, 2-2 MAC) at Lebanon Valley (3-2, 2-2)

When: 1 p.m. today at Arnold Field, Annville

Last Meeting: The Dutchmen won last year in comeback fashion, 42-35.

Last week: Wilkes defeated Misericordia 45-13, while the Dutchmen are coming off a bye.

About the Colonels: They lead the MAC in rushing yards per game with 252.20 and are No. 20 in the nation in that category.

About the Flying Dutchmen: They are similar to the Colonels in that both teams run the ball a lot. The Dutchmen, however, also use a bruising fullback in Evan Fink, who has scored eight of the team's 13 touchdowns on the ground.

Wilkes will win if the defense can continue to play well like it has over the last six quarters and can slow down the Dutchmen's run attack.

Lebanon Valley will win if it can break through Wilkes' strong defensive front and linebackers for big runs leading to scores.

Colonels Team Leaders

Passing: Alex George 53-of-90, 577 yards, 2 TDs, 2 ints.

Rushing: Aux Wogou 352 yards, 2 TDs; Calvin Garvin 3 TD s

Receiving: Jonathan Conklin 9 receptions, 156 yards, 1 TD

Defense: Tate Moore-Jacobs 54 tackles; Jason Ugwu 4 sacks; Paul Gaffney 2 ints.

Dutchmen Team Leaders

Passing: Leo Kyte 58-of-104 855 yards, 5 TDs, 4 ints.

Rushing: Pete Panichi 360 yards; Eva Fink 8 TDs

Receiving: Joey Miller 28 receptions, 420 yards, 5 TDs

Defense: Joey Scerbo 25 tackles, 2 sacks; eight players with 1 int.

All user comments are subject to our Terms of Service. Users may flag inappropriate comments.
comments powered by Disqus

Featured Businesses


Info Minute

Gas Prices

Wilkes-Barre Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com