Saturday, October 19, 2013

BIG SECOND HALF LIFTS ALBRIGHT FOOTBALL OVER WILKES 30-12

Sr RB Ty Hughes (WOLnews Photo by John Green)
READING, PA – Host Albright College outscored Wilkes University 21-6 in the second half on way to a 30-12 Middle Atlantic Conference victory Saturday afternoon at Shirk Stadium.

Wilkes slips to 2-4 overall and 1-4 in MAC play following the road loss, while Albright improves to 4-2 overall and 3-2 in league games.

 The Colonels jumped out of the gates receiving the ball off the opening kickoff and watched returner Mason Smith dart down the field 96 yards to setup the offense at the Albright four yard line. From there, Patrick Ingulli scored on Wilkes’ first play of the game going in off tackle from four yards out to give the Colonels an early 6-0 lead. Wilkes’ attempt at a two-point conversion failed when Jonathan Conklin could not find the end zone on a designed run.

The Wilkes defense held the top offense in the MAC in check throughout the first quarter only allowing the Lions to enter Colonel territory once in the frame. Albright attempted a Dan Sobolewski 28-yard field goal, but the kick sailed wide left to keep Wilkes ahead 6-0 after the first stanza.

Albright regained possession and used a seven play, 54-yard drive early in the second quarter to tie the game at 6-6 as quarterback TJ Luddy found Eric Wade for a five yard touchdown pitch-and-catch. Albright’s two-point conversion also failed as the Colonel defense stuffed the run on the play.

Wilkes began a promising drive to end the quarter moving the ball down to the Albright 32 with just :36 left until the half. Ingulli rushed for 10 yards and Taylor Young hit tight end Drew Devitt for a 23-yard completion to setup the drive that started at the Wilkes 33. Facing a fourth and 11 from the Albright 32, Young was intercepted by Albright’s Drew Peterson who returned the pick 26 yards to the Albright 41.

From there Albright turned the Wilkes miscue into points as Sobolewski made good on a 31-yard field goal to give the Lions a slim 9-6 lead at the break.

Albright pushed its lead to 16-6 taking the opening kickoff in the second frame and using a 12-play, 75-yard drive capped by a Luddy to Daniel McNair eight yard touchdown pass to do its damage.

Wilkes responded on its first drive of the second half cutting the deficit to 16-12 using 6:18 on a 19-play, 71 yard drive capped by Young’s quarterback sneak from one yard out. Ingulli was the workhorse on the drive rushing eight times for 28 yards.

Albright showed why it is the top offense in the MAC to close out the third quarter as Luddy connected for the second time with McNair, this time a 28-yard touchdown to push the lead back to 11 at 23-12. One more Albright score midway through the fourth quarter, setup by a blocked punt deep in Wilkes territory, sealed the conference victory for the Lions on their Homecoming.

Ingulli led the ground game for Wilkes rushing a season-high 34 times for 127 yards. The 127 yards puts Ingulli over the 1,000-yard mark for his career (1,026 career yards), becoming the 12th player in school history to reach the century mark achieving the feat in 16 career games. Young finished 10-for-18 passing for 138 yards and one interception. Conklin led the receiving corps with four catches for 64 yards.

Defensively, JT Keer finished with a team-high nine tackles, while Omar Richardson made eight stops including two sacks and a forced fumble.

Luddy was efficient for Albright finishing 23-for-36 through the air for 343 yards and three scores. Ty Hughes was the Lions leading rushers with 91 yards and one touchdown on 16 carries.

Wilkes hosts Stevenson University (3-3, 2-3 MAC) next Saturday at 12:00 p.m. in a MAC matchup at Schmidt Stadium. Stevenson is coming off a 31-24 loss against King’s, its third straight loss of the year after starting 3-0.

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