Last Saturday afternoon at around 4:00 in Bethlehem, Pa., the Penn football team watched helplessly as the clock ticked off the final seconds in its season-opening loss to Lehigh. Meanwhile, Phil Yarberough - the No. 1 receiver for Lafayette, Penn's opponent this Saturday - was capping off the best game of his career with a two-yard, game-winning touchdown catch with just two seconds remaining on the clock to beat Princeton, 24-17. "There's no other feeling like that," the 6'3" 190-pound wideout said of his game-winning snare. "It just shows you that you should never give up, because you never know what's going to happen." In addition to his game-winner, Yarberough hauled in a 55-yard bomb to set up the final score and grabbed nine other balls to bring his total on the day to 11 catches for 119 yards. He has certainly impressed Lafayette's first-year head man Frank Tavani thus far. "I think Phil Yarberough is the class of our conference," Tavani said. "He's going to catch the ball [when it is thrown] anywhere near him." But Yarberough defers some of the credit for his performance Saturday to the guy lining up behind center and chucking the ball. "I'm always up for games," Yarberough said. "I look at every game the same and I always play my hardest. The quarterbacks just happened to throw me the ball a little more [Saturday]." Yarberough caught passes from two different quarterbacks Saturday and, in Lafayette's opener two weeks ago, he played with a third. First-year starting quarterback Chad Ritchie played in the Leopards' season-opener against Towson until he went down with an injury. Then, junior Harry Armstrong started against Princeton before getting benched in the second quarter in favor of freshman Marko Glavic. It was Glavic who helmed the Leopards the rest of the game and hooked up with Yarberough twice on that final drive. Glavic will start Saturday against Penn. Tavani indicated the importance of having a gifted, experienced wideout like Yarberough lining up alongside a freshman quarterback making his first start ever - and in hostile territory, no less. "He's coming along very well," Yarberough said of Glavic. "I'm impressed. I have confidence in all those [quarterbacks]." With a freshman under center for the Leopards, the Quakers defensive coaches will have their radar up for Yarberough, who, if last week is any indication, will be a likely target for the young quarterback still unsure of his receivers. "We'll pay special attention to [Yarberough]," Penn defensive coordinator Chuck Priore said. "He's a threat long, short, over the middle and everywhere. "So we're going to change things up on him so he's not seeing one coverage all the time." Yarberough finished last season with 50 catches, good for fourth all-time on the Lafayette single-season receiving charts, and was named to the second team All-Patriot League squad. But he is fairly modest when asked about the records he could set this year. "I looked at the numbers," Yarberough said. "I'd like to catch as many balls as I can, but my main goal is just to win [a championship] here before I leave." At least one Quakers defender, however, is unimpressed by the numbers. "I'm not worried about [Yarberough]," Quakers senior safety Hasani White said. "I mean, he's got 20 catches in two games, but they're a bunch of outs and slants. "I'm not worried about it at all. Our defensive backfield right now is quick. Bring it, that's all I can say. Just bring it." Yarberough probably will.Comments powered by Disqus
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