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Zach Whitehead(St.Marks) and Jordan Downes (Caesar Rodney) KING'S COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAM FALLS TO DEFENDING MAC CHAMPION STEVENSON 38-9

 

MISTAKES COSTLY AS KING'S FOOTBALL TEAM FALLS TO DEFENDING MAC CHAMPION STEVENSON  38-9OWINGS MILLS, MD -- In the days leading up to the first game of the Middle Atlantic Conference schedule against defending league champion Stevenson University, King's College football coach Jeff Knarr spoke of the importance of avoiding mistakes against a Mustang squad which has made a habit in recent years of feasting on opponents' miscues.

Unfortunately for the Monarchs, King's turned the ball over three times, once deep in its own territory and twice while the Monarchs were in scoring position. The end result was King's dropped a 38-9 verdict to Stevenson Saturday at Mustang Stadium.

With the win, Stevenson improved to 1-1 overall while winning its MAC opener. The Monarchs, meanwhile, slipped to 1-1 and 0-1 in conference play.

The game began ominously for the Monarchs as King's fumbled away the opening kickoff on its own 13-yard line. Stevenson scored on its first play when Dan Williams found Preston Addo on a 13-yard slant to give the Mustangs a 7-0 lead just 0:11 into the game.

After the teams traded punts, King's missed out on an opportunity when the Monarchs assumed possession at the Stevenson 43 and drove to the Mustang 14. The drive stalled and the Monarchs came away empty when Mike Tumminello missed a 31-yard field goal attempt.

Both defense were stout as the teams traded punts for four straight possessions. But the Mustangs finally got its offense moving with a five-play, 63-yard drive, keyed a Monarch pass interference penalty and a 23-yard pass from Williams to DeQuan Ellison to push the score to 14-0 with 0:18 left in the first quarter.

After the teams traded punts on the next three possessions Stevenson took over at its own 26 and used seven plays to march 74 yards, finding pay-dirt on a 33-yard pass from Williams to Addo to stretch the lead to 21-0 with 6:11 left in the half.

Things went form bad to worse for King's when the Monarchs drive into Stevenson territory. On a second-and-10 play, King's quarterback Zach Whitehead (St.Marks) was intercepted by Dan May, who delivered a 61-yard return for touchdown to give the Mustangs a 28-0 advantage with 4:50 left in the first half, a lead Stevenson would take into the half-time break.

After a 29-yard kickoff return to start the second half, Stevenson took over at its own 46 and again began to drive. A personal foul penalty on King's, followed by a 21-yard pass to Addo moved the ball to the Monarch eight. On the next play Williams found Devin Salisbury in the end zone for a Mustang score as the lead grew to 35-0 with 13:22 remaining in the third quarter.

King's would finally get on the scoreboard after the ensuing kickoff when the Monarchs marched 65 yards on 10 plays. A 10-yard Whitehead pass to Tyler Marroin and a 12-yard hook-up to Corey Flynn moved the ball to the Mustang 13. On the next play Whitehead found Trey Campbell for a 13-yard touchdown to trim the Stevenson lead to 35-7 with 9:58 to go in the period. 

After three straight punts the Monarchs drove to the Stevenson 23 where the drive would stall. But like earlier in the game, King's was unable to cash in when Bryce McElhiney was wide on a 41-yard field goal on the second play of the fourth quarter, enabling the Mustangs to maintain its 35-7 lead.

After the Monarch defense forced a Stevenson punt, King's assumed possession at its own 11. The Monarchs drove to the Stevenson 23. After an incomplete pass and a one-yard run, King's was flagged for a person foul penalty, forcing the Monarchs into a third-and-24 play from the Mustang 27. From there Whitehead was intercepted for the second time in the game by D.J. Broxton at the Stevenson six-yard line to end the King's scoring threat with 7:11 left in the contest.

On Stevenson's first play from its own six, Jainard Crawley-Lambert was tackled in the end zone for a safety by King's Jake Manetti, whittling the Mustang lead to 35-9 with 7:00 remaining. Stevenson added the final points of the game with a 19-yard field goal with 1:11 to play.

Stevenson outgained King's 400-to-321 in total yards and did not commit a turnover as the Mustangs managed 23 first downs compared to 18 for the Monarchs.  King's converted just 8-of-21 third downs while Stevenson made good on only 7-of-17. But the Mustangs were 2-for-2 on critical fourth-down conversions. The Monarchs also hurt themselves with nine penalties for 85 yards in the game.

Williams completed 23-of-41 passes for 247 yards with four touchdowns without throwing an interception. Crawley-Lambert rushed for 94 yards on 15 carries but the Monarchs defense held the Mustang offense as a whole to just 88 net rushing yards.

For King's, Whitehead completed 28-of-44 passes for 212 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions while rushing for 25 yards on 14 attempts and was sacked four times by the Mustang defense.Marquis Miller caught a career-high 11 passes for 68 yards while Campbell and Marroni added five receptions apiece. Jordan Downes (Caesar Rodney)rushed for 58 yards on 15 carries to lead the Monarch ground game.

Defensively, Bruce Damon led KIng's with 11 tackles while Manetti added nine tackles with four tackles for loss.

King's will look to get back on the winning track Saturday when the Monarchs travel to Annville to meet MAC rival Lebanon Valley College in a 1:00 PM matchup at Arnold Field.


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