Warriors preparing for injured QB

Lycoming can’t afford to fall into a guessing game as it prepares for Saturday’s game against Misericordia.

Will Cougars quarterback Brady Williams play or not is a question the Warriors haven’t entertained much as it’s prepared this week. Instead, their focus has been on preparing for the Misericordia offensive scheme no matter who is triggering the offense.

Williams, who is second in the league in total offense at more than 280 yards per game, left last week’s win over Albright with an injury. His status for Saturday’s game is uncertain. So its preparing as best it can for whatever situation the Cougars will throw at them.

“We’ll prepare for both, but we’re expecting (Williams) to play because they’re playing for a lot,” Lycoming linebacker Trey Smith said. “We know they’re going to put their best foot forward. We’re going to give them our best shot.”

It could potentially be an historic day for the Misericordia football program. Never before have the Cougars had the opportunity to play for a Middle Atlantic Conference championship. And never before could Misericordia have even dreamed of an NCAA tournament berth.

But it’s all still on the table when it hosts Lycoming on Saturday. The Cougars have already been guaranteed a postseason game with its 7-0 mark in conference play to date. If they don’t receive an NCAA tournament berth, they’ll participate in next week’s Centennial-MAC bowl series for the first time.

All that was still hanging in the balance when Williams left last week’s game at Albright after a vicious hit he took on a touchdown pass in the first half. Aaron Barry filled in admirably for Williams last week, throwing for a pair of touchdowns and rushing for another as he finished off the Cougars’ victory over Albright.

And while it leaves Misericordia with multiple options it can be comfortable with heading into Saturday, it leaves Lycoming with a little bit of indecision. So the Warriors are taking the guesswork out of their preparation to make sure they’re ready to go.

“You have to prepare for the scheme, but the starter is the starter for a reason,” Clark said. “If anyone loses their starting quarterback, they’re different. Now you’re talking about losing the starting quarterback, potentially, from a team that’s won eight straight games. We won’t change how we prepare. They’re not totally different between the two.”

“(Williams) can make any throw,” Smith said. “But it’s no different than what we’ve seen from other quarterbacks this year. So we’re preparing like we do any other week.”

What has made Williams so dangerous all season has been his ability to both run and throw the football. His 545 rushing yards are second-most on the team and his 13 rushing touchdowns leads the MAC. His 172.5 passer efficiency rating is tops in the league, as are the two interceptions he’s thrown in 203 attempts. He leads in completion percentage at 63.1 percent, and is third in passing yards despite having more than 100 fewer attempts than league-leading Jose Tabora and second-place Jagger Green.

Williams has made a strong case as one of the best offensive players in the entire league and he’s been a big reason why the Cougars lead the league in scoring and have won more games this season than they did in the previous six years of the program combined.

“A lot of what they do goes through the quarterback,” Smith said. “He’s a really good player.”