FB: Colonels earn fifth win, beat Lycoming 14-7


Nicole Gaetani

Senior wide receiver Jeff Steeber catches a 19-yard pass in the end zone to put Wilkes on the board, giving them the 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Kirsten Peters, Co-Sports Editor

EDWARDSVILLE, Pa — On Saturday, Oct. 27, the Colonels advanced their record to 5-4 with a two-touchdown victory over Lycoming College. Since Wilkes only has one game left this season, the Colonels are now guaranteed at least a .500 record for the first time since their 2012 team finished at 5-5.

This win is indicative of the Colonels determination to have a comeback season, displaying how much improvement and growth has occurred just over the course of these nine games.

From the moment the game began, the poor weather conditions seemed to negatively impact the game play.

During Wilkes’s first offensive possession, junior quarterback Jose Tabora’s pass was intercepted by the Warriors along the Colonels’ sideline.

After giving up the ball, the Colonels regained possession following freshman defensive back Nahjir Woods’s pick-off. However, the Colonels momentum did not last for long, as the game appeared to be rough from the start with another interception in Lycoming’s favor off of Tabora.

Although Lycoming got the interception, they fumbled the ball and allowed the Colonels to capitalize on one of their mistakes when junior tight end Bryce Harrison recovered the fumble and gave Wilkes another opportunity to start fresh.

With this, the Colonels finally got their act together and had four plays of 10 or more yards on the drive, finishing off the eventful game-play with a Tabora-Steeber touchdown, as senior wide receiver Jeff Steeber caught a 19-yard pass in the endzone. The kick by freshman kicker David Kutteroff flew through the yellow posts and got the Colonels on the board first with a 7-0 lead over Lycoming and 7:43 remaining in the first quarter.

“Our offense always kills it – we have so many weapons, but with the weather we were limited to how much we could pass and the defense really stepped up to stop a pretty good running offense,” said senior linebacker Michael Murphy. “We forced them to throw the ball because they couldn’t run on us at all, as they averaged .9 yards per rush.”

This impressive defensive effort was displayed when sophomore defensive lineman Pat Ricci had a strip-sack that led to the demise of the Warriors offense to end the first quarter.

However, the Colonels defense was not sound, as Tabora threw his third interception of the half to open up the second quarter, allowing Lycoming to take advantage of this costly error and tie the game at 7.

After only taking the Warriors four plays to get on the board, Lycoming’s Keith Batkowski ran the ball in from the one-yard line, leaving 10:57 remaining on the clock.

Although there was ample time, neither team scored for the remainder of the first half, but junior offensive lineman Mike Osayi noted how the Colonels were able to come together after getting through their initial blunders on the field.

“Even when we take awhile to adjust on one side of the the ball, we have trust in each other that we can get the job done and that’s what we saw in the game – that the team is able to lean on each other,” Osayi said.

In the third quarter, the Warriors attempted a 45-yard field goal, however, a block by junior defensive lineman Dane Tarantelli kept the score even and reasserted the Colonels defensive presence.

Tarantelli’s efforts provided Wilkes with the momentum-changer that they needed in order to execute their go-ahead touchdown.

After 13 plays and 72 yards that moved the Colonels down the field, Tabora found sophomore wide receiver Nick Yanik who sustained a crushing hit for a 17-yard touchdown, which proved to be monumental for the Colonels’ game play, as they took the 14-7 lead and never gave it up.

“I think the weather posed a good challenge to both offenses,” Tarantelli said. “It was a great defensive game and we were the team who went out there and played hard-nosed football for a full 60 minutes. The team this year is playing for each other and you can see that win-by-win.”