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Irving Sets Rushing Record, Lebanon Valley Deals FDU-Florham 34-20 Loss on Senior Day

The Flying Dutchmen of Lebanon Valley College won their second consecutive game, spoiling FDU-Florham’s final home game of the 2016 season by beating the Devils 34-20.  FDU’s senior class was recognized prior to the contest.  Lebanon Valley improves to 3-6 overall (3-5 MAC), while FDU drops to 2-7 (2-6 MAC).

The Flying Dutchmen were carried to victory on the back of a dominating ground attack, running the ball 56 times for 233 yards and four scores.  Senior RB Brendon Irving gained 146 yards on 26 carries as well as one touchdown.  Irving’s day catapulted him to the top of Lebanon Valley’s all-time rushing list.  His 3,925 career rushing yards are the most by any player in school history.  He surpassed current Flying Dutchmen assistant coach and former All-American Ben Guiles, who set the previous record in 2011.

Allowing their opponent another fast start put the Devils in a hole from which they would fail to climb out. Following a 22-yard return on the game’s opening kickoff, Lebanon Valley drove 65 yards in 12 plays, capped off by a Jon Jones 7-yard run for a touchdown just over five minutes into the game.  The Devils immediately responded, as sophomore QB Jagger Green moved his offense 74 yards in seven plays, ending the drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass to freshman RB Steve Iannone.  A botched point-after attempt led to a failed two-point conversation, leaving the Devils down 7-6.

Lebanon Valley added three more touchdowns before the half, building a 27-6 lead.  A mid-third quarter touchdown extended the Flying Dutchmen’s advantage to 34-6.  FDU-Florham began to mount a comeback attempt starting on the ensuing possession, with Green again moving his offense quickly down the field, covering 70 yards in seven plays, taking only 1:53 off the clock.  Green hit freshman TE John Pellegrini for a 24-yard touchdown pass, and the ensuing PAT made the score 34-13.   

On the next possession, following a pair of Lebanon Valley first downs, the Devils held strong on a fourth and two from their own 41, forcing a turnover on downs and giving the ball back to their offense.  The FDU drive carried into the fourth quarter, and thanks to several Green completions to two of his favorite wideouts, senior Esaun Mobley and sophomore Mike Panzarino, the Devils were set-up with a first and goal from the Flying Dutchmen 9-yard line.  Green was intercepted on the next play, however, negating a prime opportunity to climb back into the game.

The Devils forced a Lebanon Valley punt less than two minutes later, and again drove deep into Flying Dutchmen territory.  With a fresh set of downs at his opponent’s 11-yard line, three of Green’s next four passes fell incomplete, turning the ball over on downs.  FDU would add a final touchdown with 1:39 to play, when Green connected with Panzarino for a short touchdown pass.  But it would be too little, too late for the Devils, as the final score ended 34-20 in favor of the Flying Dutchmen.

Green ended the day 24 of 37 for 297 yards, with three TDs and three INTs.  Panzarino hauled in nine catches for 109 and a TD, while Mobley caught six balls for 77 yards.  Sophomore linebacker Isaiah Turner, who on Thursday was named to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District team, led the Devils with 13 total tackles, including one tackle-for-loss.  Turner, who is the Devils’ leading tackler on the season, is a Criminology major who maintains a 3.79 GPA

FDU wraps-up their season Saturday when they visit winless Misericordia (0-9, 0-8 MAC).  Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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