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KING'S FOOTBALL FALLS TO WIDENER, 27-6

KING'S FOOTBALL FALLS TO WIDENER, 27-6

CHESTER — The Widener University defense forced six turnovers and registered 11 quarterback sacks while building a 21-6 halftime lead as the host Pride walked away with a 27-6 victory over visiting King's College in a Middle Atlantic Conference football matchup Saturday in Chester.

With the win Widener improved to 7-2 overall and 7-1 in the MAC while King's slipped to 4-5 and 3-5 in MAC play.

Widener struck first on a three-play, 62-yard drive, capped by a 49-yard pass from Sean McGaughey to James Gillespie with 7:53 left in the first quarter.  King's answered with a 11-play drive that ended with a career-long 44-yard field goal from Mike Tumminello to trim the Pride lead to 7-3 with 4:53 remaining in the quarter.

The Pride countered quickly with a three-play, 53-yard drive when McGaughey hit Montrell Hicks-Taylor for a 50-yard scoring strike at the 2:28 mark as Widener took a 14-3 lead after one quarter of play.

King's took advantage of a Widener turnover and used a 33-yard field goal from Tumminello to trim the score to 14-6 with 5:55 to play in the half.  But the Widener defense came up big two possessions later when Anthony Jordan intercepted Monarch quarterback Zach Whitehead (St Marks) and scored on a 28-yard return as the Pride took a 21-6 lead into the halftime break.

The score grew to 27-6 midway through the third quarter when King's was threatening to score. Whitehead found Trey Campbell at the Pride 19 but the Monarch senior was stripped of the ball and Widener's Jordan Powell returned the fumble 81 yards for a touchdown with 7:17 to go in the period for what amounted to the final points of the game.

It was a tough all-around day for the Monarchs who did manage to move the ball but were unable to maintain possession. King's outgained Widener 315-294 in total yards while the Monarchs also held a 25-14 advantage in first downs. But Widener's ability to hit big plays, combined with King's turnovers, kept the Pride in control of the game.

Whitehead had his most difficult day of the season playing with a leg injury and completed 22-of-45 passes for 216 yards and five interceptions while being sacked a whopping 11 times by the Pride defense. Jordan Downes led the running game with 70 yards on 13 carries while Corey Flynn had seven catches for 83 yards and Tyler Marroni (Salesianum) caught seven passes for 54 yards.

Marroni equaled Dan Kempa's King's career record of 151 pass receptions and broke Kempa's record of 60 catches in one year. Marroni now has 65 on the year. With 54 receiving yards he is now 2,185 career receiving yards is second behind Kempa's 2,550 yards from 2011-14.  Tumminello also set two King's record with his 52nd kicking point of the season and the longest field goal in program history (44 yards).

Defensively, King's was led by Bruce Damon with 15 tackles while Mike Dohn followed with 10 stops. Jake Manetti added nine tackles while Kody Stevens contributed right.

King's will close out the season Saturday when the Monarchs host cross-town rival Wilkes in the annual Mayor's Cup game, slated for 12:00 noon at McCarthy Stadium. Wilkes dropped to 0-9 on the year after suffering a 44-12 home loss to Stevenson University on Saturday.


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