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FDU-Florham Beats Lycoming 24-21 on Last Second Field Goal

Nick Maciejewski was hoping for one more chance. His teammates provided him one. And he took full advantage.

After failing to convert two fourth quarter kicks – a partially-blocked extra point early in the period and a 40-yard field goal with just under four minutes left to play – the freshman kicker nailed a 19-yarder as time expired to give FDU a come-from-behind 24-21 victory over the Lycoming College Warriors. His teammates stormed the field and mobbed him, celebrating their second consecutive win and first win over Lycoming since 2005.

The dramatic ending capped a thrilling second half comeback by the Devils.

FDU jumped out to early 8-0 after a Liam Casey interception got FDU the ball deep in Lycoming territory. Freshman QB Robert Madison was brought into the game and ran a quarterback draw, diving up and over the Warrior line for the game’s opening score. On the ensuing PAT attempt, the Devils lined up with Madison behind the center in shotgun formation, with two players split right and the remainder of the extra point team lining up far left. Catching Lycoming off guard, Madison took a direct snap and ran right, into the end zone for a two-point conversion.

FDU may have outsmarted themselves on the following kickoff, when an attempted onside kick backfired, as senior Warrior LB Zach Smith scooped up the ball and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown.

The Devils opened the second quarter with what appeared to be a promising offensive drive. Taking over at the Lycoming 42, three completions from sophomore QB Jagger Green and a run by sophomore RB Robert Young resulted in a first and goal from the three. Green proceeded to fumble on a designed QB run, and the Warriors recovered, ending FDU’s scoring hopes.

Lycoming senior QB Chase Whiteman (17/26, 228 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT) proceeded to march his team 97 yards in 12 plays, capping the drive with a seven yard completion to sophomore WR John Kim. The Warriors would force two more Devil punts and would take a 14-8 lead into intermission.

Whiteman would lead his team on another lengthy drive early in the third quarter, 96 yards in 7 plays culminating in another touchdown pass, this time a 63-yard deep ball over two FDU defenders to sophomore wideout Nick Costello. The Warriors led 21-8 with 9:13 to play in the third quarter.

The Devils would answer with an impressive drive of their own, as a combination of Green passes to receivers Mike Panzarino and Esaun Mobley and Robert Young runs moved the Devils’ offense 78 yards in 11 plays. When Green connected with Panzarino on a slip screen, the sophomore WR sprinted 20 yards for an FDU touchdown. The point-after cut the Lycoming lead to 21-15.

FDU tied the game early in the fourth quarter after Young punched in from the 1-yard line. However, Maciejewski’s extra point kick was tipped by a Warrior defender and bounced off the right upright. The game remained tied at 21-21.

Lycoming moved the ball into FDU territory, but the Devils defense held strong and forced a Warrior punt that was downed inside the FDU five-yard line. Starting from their own three with 8:09 to play, Green went to work. A 22-yard completion to big TE John Pellegrini, followed by a Young rush, a completion to Mobley, and a Green scramble brought the ball into Lycoming territory. Freshman RB Steve Iannone took advantage of a chance to sub for Young, when he took a sweep around the right side of the line and scampered 43-yards to the Lycoming five-yard line, giving the Devils a first and goal.

Penalties derailed the promising drive, as a cut block, ineligible lineman downfield, and holding calls resulted in a goal-to-go from the 35-yard line. On fourth down, the Devils attempted and missed a 40-yard field goal with 3:52 left to play.

The Devils defense once again came through, forcing a three-and-out and Lycoming punt with 2:59 on the clock. The FDU offense began what would be the game-winning drive from their own 27. Green found Panzarino once again for a 30-yard gain. Young and Iannone kept the ball on the ground, driving down inside the Lycoming five. After a timeout with two seconds left on the clock, Maciejewski and the field goal unit took the field. The kick was drilled through the goalposts as the clock turned to zero and the Devils completed the dramatic comeback.

FDU’s hurry-up, no-huddle offense was led again by Green, who connected on 29 of 43 attempts for 334 yards and one touchdown. Mobley caught seven balls for 73 yards. The Devils had their best rushing game of the season, as Young gained 112 yards on 27 carries with one touchdown, and Iannone added 63 yards on four rushes. The offensive star of the game, however, was Panzarino, who caught 17 passes for 201 yards and a score.

Defensively, sophomore LB Isaiah Turner was all over the field, making 10 solo tackles, assisting on two, and forcing a fumble. Classmate Liam Casey had nine total tackles, one sack, and two forced fumbles. Senior DB Troy Scales added a sack and forced fumble.

The Devils improve to 2-3 (2-2 MAC) while Lycoming drops to 2-4 (1-4 MAC).

FDU travels to Reading, PA next week to take on Albright College (3-2, 3-1 MAC). Kickoff is scheduled for 1pm on Saturday, October 15.

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