Nov. 28, 2009

Courtesy of Albright

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - History was truly made Saturday afternoon as the Lions (11-1) claimed the programs first ever 11th victory, defeating MAC rival Delaware Valley College (10-2) by the final score of 27-3 at James Work Memorial Stadium. The victory also marked the end to a seven game losing streak that Albright had suffered at the hands of the Aggies.

Saturday’s contest was one of those games where the players knew they had nothing to lose and everything to gain. After suffering an embarrassing loss to the Aggies three weeks ago, Albright looked to get some retribution against the 2009 MAC champions. From the opening whistle the Lions showed a type of aggressiveness and composure that was not seen all season long.

They knew on every play that this was going to be their opportunity to end the Aggies' championship run. Not only did that happen, but Albright also kept Delaware Valley to just a field goal for the first time in over 30 years. The only other times where Albright had limited the Aggies to three points or less and won was in 1976 (35-0), 1972 (24-2), 1965 (30-0), 1964 (35-0), and 1963 (63-0).

Guiding the Lions offense to the huge win was senior wide receiver Nate Romig who totaled 14 catches for 182 total yards and one touchdown. Sophomore tailback Josan Holmes rushed for one touchdown and caught another to end the afternoon with 65 yards of total offense. Senior Tyrell Drumgo also found the end zone Saturday afternoon and rushed for a team best 35 yards.

Quarterback Tanner Kelly stepped in and threw for 302 yards and was 26-for-39 with only one interception. The hero in recent weeks, senior Patrick Subers also saw time in the Saturday’s win, but his playing time and season were cut short after suffering a broken leg in the first half.

Defensively, senior linebacker Bob Harper made the play that changed the outcome of Saturday’s contest, with an interception in opening minutes of the fourth quarter. He also ended the day with 4.5 tackles. Josh Hare led the defense with 5.5 tackles, followed by Brendan Bresnahan with five stops.

Combined the Lions defense totaled six sacks, seven tackles for a loss, one pick, three force fumbles, and broke up two passes.

The Aggies offense was led by the tough duo of Mike Isgro and Matt Cook. Isgro threw for 130 yards and was 10-for-29. The MAC Co-offensive player of the year also added an additional 20 yards of rushing.

Delaware Valley’s defense totaled four sacks of their own and was led by Mike Jaskowski’s 8.5 tackles.

On the opening drive for the Lions, Kelly helped his team claw their way up the field on great catches by Romig and Luke Wallace to get deep into the Aggies territory. Unfortunately, Albright’s efforts fell short as Delaware Valley intercepted the ball in the far corner of their own end zone with about six minutes to play in the first quarter.

Starting from their own 20-yard line, the Aggies wasted little time getting their offense back in gear led by Isgro. However they met a tough challenge in Albright’s D-Line that recorded the games first sack at around midfield. Following two penalties on the Aggies, Delaware Valley was put in a third and 19 situation.

Sophomore Alvin Thomas came up with the huge stop to force the Aggies punt, in which Holmes recorded a great return to the Albright 45-yard line with less than a minute to play in the quarter. After two great plays by the Lions and a personal foul penalty by the Aggies, the red and white ended up deep in Delaware Valley territory for the second time of the afternoon.

With fourth and 17 on the scoreboard the red and white chose to go for it with 14 minutes to play. Kelly looking for a big play was stopped dead as his protection broke down and gave the Aggies their first sack of the day.

After trading possessions, Delaware Valley with Cook as the driving force worked their way up the field to the Albright 33-yard line. On fourth and one Cook rushed the ball right up the gut to give his squad a new set of downs. From there the Lions came up with three big stops, forcing the Aggies field goal attempt. Freshman kicker Jake Sobchak came on and split the up-rights to give the contest its first three points on the 35-yarder with five minutes left in the first half.

In the final moments of the half, the Lions were hit hard when Subers suffered the broken leg. Looking to honor their fallen player Albright tried to mount a quick offensive surge, and with 1:10 on the clock the red and white were in a third and 4 situation. Kelly back at the helm connected with Holmes to get the Lions the crucial first down at the Aggies 29-yard line.

Following two great plays by Kelly and Romig the Lions looked to get the ball in the end zone with less than a second to play. In a final effort to get on the scoreboard Albright fell just 2-yards short and ended the half down 3-0.

To start off the second half the Lions defense got off to a great start forcing their second sack of the day and giving the Lions great field position after the Aggies punt was held up by the wind. Still in the hunt for their first score of the afternoon, Kelly used a variety of receivers to get deep into the Aggies territory. On a dangerous pass Romig made the catch broke three tackles and powered into the end zone to give the Lions a 6-3 lead. John Whelan than added the extra point to give Albright a 7-3 lead with 11 minutes to play in the third quarter.

For the Aggies, their offense made it to the Lions 46-yard line on their next possession, Albright looking for a big stop got it in the form of a Delaware Valley fumble. Forcing the turnover was Bresnahan which was followed up by a Rob Mancinelli fumble recovery. Not wasting the great stop by the defense, Albright drove 54 yards on 13 plays and on a Drumgo diving play gave Albright a 13-3 lead with 2:05 left in the quarter. Following the Whelan extra point the Lions then made it an 11 point game.

After a very tough third quarter for Delaware Valley, the fourth quarter did not get off to a great start as Harper picked up a huge interception in the opening seconds of the final quarter. The chains continued to move in favor of the Lions following the game changing interception. Holmes then gave the Lions some more breathing room on the scoreboard on a 12-yard run to cap off an eight play 55-yard drive.

The point after attempt was blocked keeping the score at 20-6 with exactly 11 minutes to play in the quarter. In what became the continuing trend of Saturday’s contest, the Lions defense dominated the Aggies offense with back-to-back sacks to make third down and 33 with less than 10 minutes to play.

Following the Delaware Valley punt, the Lions continued to work up the field in hopes of scoring the game clinching score, which they got in the form of a Holmes TD reception with 4:21 left in the game to make it 27-3.

With 3:17 left in the game, Albright would earn one more turnover on downs followed by another huge stop to secure the 27-3 victory and a date with No. 1 Mount Union College. The third round of the NCAA tournament is scheduled to begin at noon from Alliance, OH.