Thursday, October 31, 2013

Widener travels to Albright Saturday

Zack Czap kicks the winning field goal in OT
LAST TIME OUT:

Zach Czap kicked a 29-yard field goal in overtime as the Albright College football team dropped a 20-17 decision at Lycoming on Saturday afternoon.

Freshman Vinny Williams caught a 75-yard touchdown for the Lions, while junior Chris Stephens intercepted a pass. The Albright defense recorded seven sacks, including 2.5 from senior JT HardingTyler Hamlet had a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss, while Matt Pattison had 1.5 sacks and two total tackles in the backfield.

The Lions had the ball first in overtime and went three-and-out, setting up a 39-yard try for sophomore kicker Daniel Sobolewski. The attempt was blocked by C.J. Arhontakis however to open the door for the hosts. Albright had taken a 17-14 lead with 9:36remaining, as quarterback TJ Luddy hit Williams over the top for a 75-yard score. Unfortunately the Lions gave up two backbreaking third down conversions, as the Warriors marched off a nine-plus-minute drive to set up a 35-yard Czap field goal to force OT.


PREVIOUS MEETING:

Albright came within a 30-yard hail mary of upsetting #12 Widener University on the road but fell short, 34-29, due in large part to a fourth quarter goal-line stand by the Pride.

Trailing 31-22 midway through the fourth, the Lions drove to first-and-goal on the Widener two yard line. After a Marty Reinhardt rush to the one, a Ty Hughes sweep was stopped. Albright called two straight plunges by Reinhardt but the Pride stuffed both to escape a major threat. Widener tacked on a field goal but the Lions drove down and scored to make it 34-29 with 39 seconds left on senior Scott Pillar's third touchdown catch of the day.

Daniel Sobolewski's onside kick was recovered by Levi Myers, and Adam Galczynski foundDaniel McNair down to the 30-yard line with 20 seconds remaining. Four passes fell incomplete however, including a final heave into the end zone, as Albright's comeback bid came up short.

BREAST CANCER AWARENESS "READY, SET, GO PINK!":

The Albright College community will be holding its 4th Annual Breast Cancer Awareness Event this weekend. The Ready, Set, Go Pink! fundraiser event will be Friday in the Campus Center Main Lounge. The PINK Game will be Saturday, with the help of the Albright College football team. Multiple student groups will be involved in helping out with the event and raising money for The American Cancer Society for breast cancer research. Volunteers will be selling dri-fit pink t-shirts for $15.00, and there will also be raffles for a chance to win prizes during the game.

NATIONAL WEEKLY HONORS:

Freshman Vinny Williams was an honorable mention Rookie of the Week selection by USA College Football last week, after his 75-yard touchdown catch against Lycoming.

After a week one victory over Kean University, Albright kicker Daniel Sobolewski (three FGs, 3-3 PATs, 2 touchbacks) was named a BSN National Special Teams Player of the Week, the USA College Football National Special Teams Player of the Week, and was listed on the D3football.com Team of the Week. Safety Drew Peterson (two interceptions) was also named to the D3football.com Team of the Week, and earned honorable mention honors from USA College Football.

Chris Stephens earned an honorable mention USA College Football nod after blocking a punt and recovering it in the end zone vs. King's. TJ Luddy was mentioned after his punting performance vs. Wilkes.

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANS:

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.

SERIES:

Widener holds a 42-17 advantage in a series that dates all the way back to 1916.

HEAD COACHES:

John Marzka, in his seventh season at Albright, holds a career mark of 49-25. Bobby Acosta takes over in his first year at Widener, and is 5-2.

ALBRIGHT OFFENSE:

Freshman Vinny Williams caught a 75-yard go-ahead TD pass in the fourth quarter of Albright's eventual 20-17 overtime loss at Lycoming last weekend. Quarterback TJ Luddyhas 10 TDs to five interceptions on the year, while fifth-year senior Ty Hughes has rushed for nine scores this season.

ALBRIGHT DEFENSE:

Despite not intercepting a pass last week in a loss to Lycoming, senior safety Drew Petersonis still the only player in the nation with six picks this season. The Albright defense recorded seven sacks in that Lycoming game, including 2.5 from senior JT HardingTyler Hamlet had a sack and 2.5 tackles for loss, while Matt Pattison had 1.5 sacks and two total tackles in the backfield.

ALBRIGHT SPECIAL TEAMS:

Sophomore kicker Daniel Sobolewski was named this week to the Mitchell Award October Recognition List, after being one of just four D3 kickers named to the September release. The Mitchell Award is given to the nation's top collegiate place-kicker among more than 750 FCS, Division II, III, NAIA and NJCAA football teams. Sobolewski has made 8-of-14 field goals and 24-of-25 PATs, while averaging over 60 yards on kickoffs.

WIDENER OFFENSE:

Looking to replace All-American and former Gagliardi Trophy finalist Chris Haupt, freshman quarterback Seth Klein has completed a remarkable 77.8% of his passes, which leads the nation.

Junior wide receiver Anthony Davis could have the rare chance to earn All-American honors in every college football season- a third team BSN selection at kick returner as a freshman, he earned second team honors at receiver last year and was listed on numerous Preseason All-American teams in 2013. He has 62 receptions this season, which is tied for fifth nationally.

WIDENER DEFENSE:

Safety Colin Masterson was a BSN, D3 Senior Classic and USA College Football Preseason All-American this summer, and leads the team with 31 solo tackles and two interceptions this season. Fellow senior Dylan Ditmer also has 31 solo tackles to go with three sacks and four forced fumbles. Stacey Sunnerville has nine sacks on the year.

WIDENER SPECIAL TEAMS:

In his first season as a starter, sophomore kicker Ryan O'Hara has made 4-of-5 field goals and 27-of-27 PAT attempts.

ECAC SOUTH-EAST CHAMPIONS:

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, juniorDaniel 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 8:33left to put the Lions ahead 35-28.

JT HARDING HONORED BY NFF/NCSA:

Albright fifth-year senior JT Harding has been selected as a national semifinalist for the National Football Foundation Campbell Trophy, the most pretigious Scholar-Athlete award in college football. Selected as the best and brightest from the college gridiron, The National Football Foundation (NFF) announced this week the 170 semifinalists for the 2013 William V. Campbell Trophy, endowed by HealthSouth, which recognizes an individual as the absolute best scholar-athlete in the nation.

This is actually the second straight year Harding was selected as a national semifinalist. By the time he was chosen in 2012, he had already taken a medical redshirt following a serious injury in the Lions' second game of the season. Albright then withdrew him from consideration, since candidates must be in their final year of eligibility.

This summer, Harding was also the only NCAA football player named to the Inaugural NCSA Athleader All-American team. A business and marketing major, Harding has maintained a 3.75 GPA at Albright. He was also named to the Dean's List five times and had a perfect 4.0 GPA in the spring 2012 and spring 2013 semesters. He is a two-time team captain, starts on the defensive line, and is considered one of the top Division III long snappers in the nation.

MAC STANDINGS:

It seems that the MAC has produced another surprise upset every week, and this time it was King's with an overtime win over Delaware Valley. Albright lost a chance to control their own destiny for a share of the title by losing at Lycoming last weekend. Lycoming, Widener and Lebanon Valley are all tied for first place at 5-1 in conference play.

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