Friday, September 1, 2017

MACfb News - Albright Tops Salisbury in Overtime Thriller, 38-35

Photo Courtesy of Albright Sports Information
READING, Pa. – The Albright football team took a ride on the roller coaster of emotions in Friday night's season opener against Salisbury at Shirk Stadium.

The Lions jumped out to a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter only to see Salisbury come back with 21 straight points. Then, it appeared as if the Lions had the game sewn up in the final minutes of the fourth quarter as they held a 35-28 lead. But an 80-yard drive by the Sea Gulls led to the game-tying score with just 31 seconds to play to force overtime.

In overtime, Albright got the ball first but only gained two yards. Kevin Goetz made a 40-yard field goal to give the Lions a 38-35 lead. Salisbury moved to the 14 on its first play from scrimmage, but the Lions' defense tightened. Albright forced an intentional grounding, a fumble on a bad pitch and a sack by David Sanchez and Trevor Leone.

That set up a 48-yard field goal attempt by Alex Potocko to tie the game and send it into a second overtime. His kick was well short and to the left to seal the victory for the Lions.

The game's momentum swings started in Albright's (1-0) favor. Enosh Motachwa forced the first of four Salisbury turnovers with a strip of quarterback Brandon Lewis at the Salisbury 26. On the second play of the ensuing drive, Albright got tricky with a lateral to Kyle Dickerson. He passed to Malik Jackson for a 21-yard touchdown strike to make it 7-0. Jackson finished with seven receptions for 78 yards.

Kali Boyce forced the next turnover with an interception at the Albright 18 on Salisbury's next possession. He returned it to the 40. Nigel Sealey rushed 47 yards on the third play of the drive to make it 14-0 Albright with 7:17 left in the first quarter.

Salisbury responded. Lewis ran for a pair of 1-yard touchdowns sandwiched around a pass to Sean Rowland from nine yards out. The second of the short runs made it 21-14 Salisbury with less than two minutes remaining in the first half. Albright marched 68 yards before the intermission, though, capping the drive with a Mike Jordan touchdown reception from 16 yards out.

The score stayed tied at 21 until the fourth. Salisbury scored on the first play of the period on a 31-yard touchdown run by Malique Pratt, but Jordan caught his second touchdown from five yards out on the ensuing possession.

Trevan Harris-Dorman returned another fumble 13 yards for a touchdown to give Albright a 35-28 lead with 10:52 left in regulation. David Sanchez forced the fumble for the Lions.
The score stayed there until Salisbury's last-gasp drive. Lewis completed two long passes – 36 and 32 yards – to Brian Hammond on the drive to convert a pair of third downs. Pratt capped the drive with a pile pushing run from three yards out to tie the score in the final minute.

Albright quarterback Alec Vignola completed 20-of-35 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. Sealey finished with 59 rushing yards while Vignola had 38 and Chris Dawson had 35. Milton Corderotied Jackson for the team-high in receptions, pulling in seven passes for 74 yards.

On the defensive side, Grant Boehler led the Lions with 11 tackles. He also had the fourth turnover for the defense, intercepting a pass and returning it nine yards. Harris-Dorman and Sanchez each had eight tackles. Harris-Dorman had a sack, and Sanchez had 1.5 sacks.

Albright plays at Misericordia next Saturday at 1 p.m.