Thursday, September 12, 2013

MAC Football: Albright College heads to Stevenson University Saturday

The Lions look to go to 2-0 on the season with a road game against a Stevenson University team on the rise.

When: Saturday, September 14
Where: Owings Mills Mustang Stadium
Start Time: 1 p.m.


The Lions rode a dominating defensive display in the first half and found the end zone after the break, opening the 2013 season with a 30-14 victory over visiting Kean University last Saturday night.

The Lions held their opponents to just 22 yards of offense, and -19 rushing yards, in the first half. The Cougars did not pick up a first down until 8:50 remaining in the second quarter.

Senior safety Drew Peterson intercepted two passes, his third career game with multiple picks. Cornerback Levi Myers had a game-high 12 tackles, two of which were behind the line of scrimmage. On the defensive line, Donny Guido and Matt Pattison each had a sack. Fellow senior Mark Capetola totaled six tackles and 1.5 TFLs.

Sophomore kicker Daniel Sobolewski made 3-of-4 field goals, with his only miss coming from what would have been a school-record 48 yards. He booted one touchback and put five of his seven kickoffs into the end zone.


Albright earned three mentions on national teams of the week following the Lions' win over Kean. Daniel Sobolewski was named a BSN National Special Teams Player of the Week, while both Sobolewski and Drew Peterson made the Team of the Week.


Freshman kicker Daniel Sobolewski drilled a 47-yard field goal as time expired to force overtime, as the Albright College football team rallied to defeat Stevenson University 29-22 last season in Shirk Stadium.

Sobolewski's kick tied a school record on his first collegiate attempt. The powerful rookie also booted three touchbacks on five kickoffs, and recorded a special teams tackle.

Stevenson scored the apparent game-winning touchdown with 41 seconds to play, as quarterback Anthony Reid ran it in from eight yards out and then found Travis Douglas on the conversion to make it 22-19.

Albright QB TJ Luddy calmly found Caleb Shilko across midfield however, and then completed a pass to Daniel McNair for six yards. With just six seconds remaining, Luddy hit McNair at the sideline for a 12-yard gain, setting up Sobolewski's heroics. The fired-up Lion offense then took the ball in overtime and scored in three plays, as Luddy found Scott Pillar for nine yards, and then a 13-yard catch up the middle for the winning score.


The Lions were well-represented on 2013 Preseason All-American teams, with three players receiving a total of six selections. Senior safety Drew Peterson was a first team USA College Football, second team D3 Senior Classic and third team BSN Preseason All-American. Fifth-year senior Matt Pattison earned second team USA College Football and honorable mention D3 Senior Classic honors, and senior tight end Eric Wade was a fourth team USA College Football selection.


Live video streaming will be provided for all home Albright football games, with free online audio of away contests. All home video contests will cost $5.95 for a single game; a three-month all-access pass is available for $19.95. Bob McCool will be the voice of the Lions again this season.


The Lions are 2-0 all-time vs. Stevenson, in the Mustangs' opening two varsity seasons.


John Marzka, in his seventh season at Albright, holds a career mark of 46-22. Ed Hottle is 5-16 as he builds a new program at Stevenson.


After scoring three TDs against Kean last year, senior running back Ty Hughes (22 carries, 90 yards) found the end zone twice more in the second half. Senior wide receiver Devron Clark had six catches for 95 yards.

Albright averaged 393.5 yards and 31.5 points per game last season, but are looking to gain some continuity as they replace five starters (including two All-Americans). Starting QB TJ Luddy threw for 1849 yards, 15 TDs and just seven interceptions in 2012.


A dominant Lion defense held Kean to just 22 yards of offense, and -19 rushing yards, in the first half last week. The Lions did not allow a first down until 8:50 remaining in the second quarter.

Albright has 10 senior starters, including three fifth-year seniors on the line, leading the defensive side of the ball. That age and experience, combined with great depth, allows the Lions to stay fresh and attack the backfield throughout every contest. Starters Matt Pattison, Mark Capetola and Don Gould have combined for 21.5 career sacks heading into 2013. All three had tackles in the backfield last weekend vs. Kean. Drew Peterson now has 10 career interceptions.


In just its third varsity season, Stevenson opened the 2013 year with a 19-9 win over North Carolina Wesleyan. Freshman running back Trey Lee totaled 132 yards on 24 attempts. Lee replaced 2012 MAC Rookie of the Year K.K. Smith, who is not with the team in 2013.


The Mustangs held N.C. Wesleyan to just nine points and 126 passing yards last weekend. It was the second time already that this young defense has held a team to single-digits points (including a 35-7 win over Misericordia in 2012).

Junior linebacker Donnell Brown was Stevenson football's first-ever All-American selection, earning honorable mention BSN honors in 2011 as a rookie. He had 126 tackles that year, and is back after a season-ending injury early last season.


In a crazy first minute of the fourth quarter, Albright erased a 14-point deficit in 14 seconds and went on to win the 2012 ECAC South-East Bowl, 38-34 over Franklin & Marshall.

After F&M punched it in for a 28-14 lead on the opening play of the fourth quarter, junior Daniel McNair took the ensuing kickoff back 88 yards for the touchdown. The Diplomats then fumbled Albright's kickoff on their own four-yard line, where it was recovered by Sean Cunningham on the one. Ty Hughes carried it in on the next play, giving the Lions two touchdowns in 14 seconds (and a combined three touchdowns for the two squads in a 28-second span).

The action was far from over, as F&M's Paul McGann got behind the Lion defense on the next play from scrimmage but was stripped. Cunningham came up with the ball for his second fumble recovery in a span of 18 seconds. Albright quarterback TJ Luddy completed a tough third down pass to Caleb Shilko to the four-yard line, and then snuck it in with 8:33 left to put the Lions ahead 35-28.


Albright wide receiver Scott Pillar, a 2012 AFCA Coaches All-American and two-time BSN All-American, signed a rookie free agent contract with the St. Louis Rams after draft weekend this past spring. He completed rookie mini-camp but was released from the 90-man roster before regular camp began.


The Lions received three first-place votes, but still ranked fourth overall, in a tight Middle Atlantic Conference preseason coaches poll. Lycoming garnered four first-place votes and finished at the top of the poll. Albright (65 points) had the second-highest total of first-place votes but finished just behind defending champion Widener (68 points) and Delaware Valley (67 points). Stevenson was picked seventh, but many think that the third-year program could climb higher.