Misericordia Playing For Conference Title
When: Noon, today
Where: Mangelsdorf Field
Last meeting: Lycoming 35, Misericordia 17 (2017)
Series history: Lycoming leads, 6-0.
How they fared last week
Stevenson 33, Lycoming 32
Misericordia 39, Albright 29
Lycoming: Mike Clark (11th season, 63-47)
Misericordia: Mark Ross (seventh season, 13-56)
Players to watch
Lycoming: QB Elijah Shemory is coming off one of his most productive games of the season, when he became the team’s first freshman to top 300 passing yards (313).
Misericordia: DB Garrett Murray, a Dunmore graduate, has tallied 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception in his last two games.
Misericordia’s season will go down in program history no matter what, but one more win today would be the perfect regular season finale for an improbable campaign.
The Cougars hadn’t won more than a game in any of their six seasons of football before this year. Now, they’re 8-1, undefeated in the conference and 60 minutes from a Middle Atlantic Conference championship.
Nationallyranked Delaware Valley is likely to beat Widener today and finish 8-0 in MAC play, too. In the case of wins by both the Aggies and Cougars, the teams would end the season as MAC co-champs and head to tiebreaking criteria to determine the conference’s automatic qualifier for the NCAA Division III tournament.
If the national tournament isn’t in the cards for Misericordia, its first-ever appearance in the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series is. Lycoming is trying to sneak into the series with a win and some help around the MAC.
Win or lose (or draw with Del Val), there’s postseason implications and program history to be played for today.
At 1,986 yards and 18 touchdowns, Cougars quarterback Brady Williams has already shattered the team’s season passing records previously held by Jeff Puckett (1,445 and 12, both in 2015). Williams — who ranks 10th in D-III in passing efficiency — will top Puckett’s season completions record (139) with a dozen more successful pass attempts today.
Receiver Sam Gillison leads Misericordia with 877 receiving yards — already beyond Isaiah Williams’ team record of 830 last season. Gillison has also already broken Williams’ previous program high with eight touchdown receptions — and Williams is at six so far, matching last year’s former record-high.
“Their offense is elite. That quarterback is really, really good. He’s I think, a very prolific passer,” King’s coach Jeff Knarr said earlier this week. “I think he’s got a cannon for an arm, and he does a lot of good things. Then they got two all-conference caliber wide receivers.”
If defenses sit back on the passing game, Brady Williams can take off and run, too. He’s at 545 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns.
Running back David Cromwell leads the team with 576 rushing yards on a 6.0 yard-per-carry average.
“I think that’s the best running back they’ve had. And then, what goes unnoticed — because they always go unnoticed — they return all five of their offensive linemen,” Knarr continued. “You bring that veteran-ness back, your offense is going to be at a high, high level.”
— ERIC SHULTZ, STAFF WRITER