By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Widener is, once again, one of the elite teams in the Middle Atlantic Conference.
As they prepare to visit Albright on Saturday, the Pride sit at 5-2 on the season, and their 5-1 conference mark has them in a three-way tie for first.
Last season Widener went 11-1, advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. But this year they are getting it done with a new head coach in Bobby Acosta, and a new quarterback in Seth Klein.
“We’ve got a group of great guys,” Klein tells KYW Newsradio. “Everyone’s flying around, everybody’s having fun. It’s fun to be a part of an offense that is capable of some of the things that we are. It’s good to be a part of a group who is always wanting more and is always ready to play.”
Klein is a redshirt freshman, but despite having played just 7 games in his college career, he is already garnering national attention. That’s because he is the nation’s most accurate passer in Division III. The Wernersville, Pennsylvania, native is completing 77.8% of his passes (200-257). Last time out, in a 59-14 win over FDU-Florham, Klein actually completed 91.6% of his throws (22 of 24).
“He’s definitely taken this offensive system to another level, with his reads, with his quick judgments,” Acosta tells KYW Newsradio. “We’re excited where this is going to go. Within the system, it allows quarterbacks to be successful. Because we throw short and we run long.”
Now the Pride run a fast paced offense that Acosta has likened to playing “basketball on grass”. Klein agrees that they definitely keep the pressure on the defense.
“It’s really fast,” Klein says. “It’s faster than I’ve ever played in my entire life. With the athletes that we have and the guys we have on the outside and our running backs, it’s cool to see athletes like that in an offense like this, where you get them the ball in space and they make plays happen.”
No one makes more plays on the Pride roster than Anthony Davis. The junior wide receiver has caught a team high 62 balls for 772 yards and six touchdowns.
Klein’s success under center comes after the incredible career of another Widener star quarterback, Chris Haupt. He threw 38 touchdowns last year as a senior. Klein says he learned a lot during his red-shirt season, watching Haupt lead the team.
“He’s, in my opinion, the best football player I’ve ever been around,” Klein says. “In terms of being around him and watching film with him and having such a great relationship with him, he really helped me mature as a quarterback, understanding the offense and defenses and where to go with the ball. He really helped out a ton.”
Acosta smiles when he is asked about what it means for the big picture of the program, having a quarterback succeeding so early in a career, like Klein is.
“And he’s excelling as a leader too,” Acosta says. “It’s starting to all come together. I think it takes two years in the system to really flourish. And this is year one.”
Widener and Albright will kick-off at 1:00pm in Reading, Pennsylvania, on Saturday.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.