Saturday, September 24, 2016

Delaware Valley Football - Albright defeats Delaware Valley 20-17

Photo Courtesy of Delaware Valley University Athletics
DOYLESTOWN (PA) – Quarterback Alec Vignola connected with wide receiver Malik Jackson for a 14-yard touchdown pass with just 6.3 seconds remaining as defending Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) champion Albright College came from behind on the road to down 13th-ranked Delaware Valley University, 20-17.

The Lions won their second straight to improve to 2-2 overall and 2-1 in conference play while the Aggies lost for the first time in 2016 as they fell to 3-1 and 2-1.

DelVal took a 17-13 lead on Devauntay Ellis’ one-yard touchdown plunge with 3:57 remaining. Following a touchback, Vignola and Albright took over at its own 25-yard line. Three straight completions moved the ball near midfield. A few plays later, the Lions faced a fourth-and-seven from the Aggie 49 when Vignola found Vinny Williams for 16 yards and a first down.

On the next play, Vignola was sacked by Christian Snowden and the ball popped loose, but Albright’s John McKeever fell on the ball to keep possession at the DelVal 40. Following a timeout, Vignola hit Williams for 18 yards and a first down at the 22-yard line. A nine-yard pass to Milton Cordero followed, but he could not get out of bounds and the Lions called their last timeout with 36 seconds to go.

Vignola scrambled and lost a yard on the next play to bring up third-and-two from the DelVal 14. With the clock winding down, Vignola rolled to his right and had plenty of time to find Jackson open in the back of the end zone for the game-winning touchdown that completed a 12-play, 75-yard drive. DelVal’s Hail Mary attempt was batted down to end the contest.

Albright wasted no time to hit the scoreboard as Kyle Dickerson took the opening kickoff and went 87 yards for a touchdown. Ironically, the Aggies had done the same thing two weeks earlier in their home opener against Misericordia University.

DelVal answered on its ensuing drive as it marched 64 yards on six plays. Mike Jensen caught a pair of Dashawn Darden passes for 49 yards on the drive, including the final 13 yards for a touchdown. Nick Restaino added the extra-point for a 7-7 ballgame just 3:24 into the contest.

The Aggies stopped the Lions and took over at their own 15-yard line. They moved the ball down to the Albright eight and Restaino booted a 25-yard field goal for a 10-7 DelVal lead with 2:41 remaining in the first quarter.

Neither team scored until late in the third quarter when Albright took over at the Aggie five-yard line following an Alex Issac interception. The Lions moved the ball to the one on the next play, but DelVal had a goal line stand and Albright settled for a Kevin Goetz 19-yard field goal to tie the game at 10-10 with 2:02 left in the quarter.

Goetz added a 32-yard field goal three minutes into the fourth for a three-point lead. The Aggies answered with a 14-play, 74-yard drive that took more than seven minutes off the clock. They had a big fourth-down conversion when Darden and Jensen teamed up for a 16-yard pass to the Albright 27. They later followed with a pair of third-down conversions, the last on a seven-yard scramble by Darden to put the ball at the three-yard line. Two plays later, Ellis found the end zone and Restaino added the point-after for a 17-13 Aggie lead. However, Albright came back for the last-second heroics and the road win.

DelVal outgained the Lions, 356-230, including a 141-28 margin in rushing yardage. Darden completed 17 of 33 passes for 215 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. He also led the Aggies with 66 yards on 13 rushes. Ellis had 49 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries while Jensen caught five passes for 106 yards and a touchdown.

On the defensive side of the ball, Nicholas DiGati and Nick Wright led the way with six tackles apiece. Snowden had four tackles and two of the team’s five sacks.

Vignola was 18-for-30 for 202 yards and one touchdown. Williams had 10 grabs for 99 yards while Jackson had three receptions for 62 yards and the game-winning score. JaVaughn Patterson had 11 tackles while Grant Boehler added nine tackles and one sack.

DelVal will travel to Lebanon Valley College for a MAC contest on Saturday, October 1 (1 p.m.).

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