Thursday, October 26, 2017

Wilkes Travels to Reading for Albright Matchup

A "Game of the Week" Photo
Wilkes University remains on the road to face Albright College in Reading, Pa. at Gene L. Shirk Stadium on Saturday. The Colonels are coming off a 49-31 road loss to FDU-Florham last Saturday while Albright looks to end a two-game skid after losing to Delaware Valley and Stevenson in its most recent games. The Lions had been receiving votes in the Top 25 Poll through the first seven weeks of the season.

Trey Brown (Colorado ‘93) is in his fourth season at the helm of the Wilkes football program following his hiring prior to the 2014 season. In just three years, Brown has coached 22 Colonels who earned All-MAC honors including first team tight end Jeremy Hartman in 2014, defensive end Jason Ugwu in 2015 and tight end Garrett Armstrong in 2016. Under Brown’s guidance, the Colonels offense ranked in the top five in several offensive statistical categories including passing yards and plays per-game. In a game at Delaware Valley in 2014, the Wilkes offense ran 113 plays, a Division III regulation game record. In 2016, the Colonels recorded one of the biggest upset victories in the program’s history when it bested No. 12 Stevenson University 38-35 on the road. Brown came to Wilkes after four years serving as the quarterbacks and special teams’ coordinator at Muhlenberg. In his role with the Mules, Brown was responsible for coaching the quarterbacks, wide receivers, and special teams as well as the installation of the pass game. Prior to his time at Muhlenberg, Brown spent four seasons as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Lehigh University.

Head coach John Marzka is in his 11th season at the helm of the Albright football program. Named head coach in 2007, he and his staff inherited a 2-8 team and have since directed one of the most impressive turnarounds in NCAA history. The Lions have amassed seven post-season wins since Marzka’s arrival. His 74 percent win ratio prior to the start of the 2010 season was the best for any Albright football coach with at least three seasons leading the program, while his 26 wins are the most of any Lions gridiron coach in his first three years on the job. The Lions topped Franklin and Marshall in a thrilling fashion to win the 2016 MAC-Centennial Bowl Series.

This will be the 41st meeting between the two schools as Albright holds a 24-16 advantage in the series. The Lions posted a 69-13 win over Wilkes last season at Schmidt Stadium. The last Colonels win came in 2010 with a 38-35 victory at home.

Wilkes returns home for its final home game of the season when they face Stevenson University for Senior Day on Saturday, November 4 at 12:00 p.m.

- Wilkes is tenth in the MAC in scoring offense (13.1), tenth in total offense (263.6), seventh in rushing offense (98.6), and ninth in passing offense (165.0).
- Freshman quarterback Nicholas Geimer made his first career start last Saturday against FDU-Florham. He went 25-of-41 for 181 yards. He threw three touchdowns and two interceptions and also rushed 29 times for 100 yards and another touchdown. Fellow freshman quarterback Wade Rippeon started the previous four games.

On the season Rippeon is 92-of-153 for 693 yards with three touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

- The top target in the Wilkes passing game is Pre-season All-American and All-MAC selection Garrett Armstrong. The senior leads the team with 45 receptions for 392 yards and four touchdowns from the tight end position. His 45 catches rank fifth in the MAC. Armstrong set a career-high with 11 receptions against FDU-Florham. He now has 116 receptions for 1,116 yards and 12 touchdowns in his Wilkes career.
- Senior wide receiver Aaron Coyne is second on the team with 26 receptions and three touchdowns. Junior Jeff Steeber has made 21 catches for 195 yards and has added 17 carries for 80 yards. Freshman Nick Yanik made a career-best six catches for 63 yards and found the end zone for the first time in his career last Saturday against FDU-Florham.
- Sophomore running back Shane Deemer is the leading rusher for Wilkes with 69 carries for 221 yards and one touchdown. His 221 yards rank him 13th in the MAC among the rushing leaders. Junior running back Jacob Kadis rushed eight times for a career-high 36 yards against FDU-Florham and now has 22 carries for 79 yards on the season.

- Wilkes is tied for eighth in the MAC in scoring defense (41.1), ninth in total defense (467.0), ninth in rushing defense (230.1), and seventh in passing defense (236.9).
- Sophomore linebacker Bud Moyer’s 71 tackles are second in the MAC. Moyer is second on the team with 3.5 tackles-for-loss and has 1.5 sacks. Junior linebacker Lukas Wood is tied for fourth in the conference with 64 tackles. Senior safety Jacob Brook is sixth with 62 tackles. He also made an interception against Widener and has forced a fumble.
- Senior defensive back Isaiah Robinson is tied for eighth in the conference with 54 tackles and has a team-high 8.0 tackles-for-loss. Robinson is also tied for third in the conference with two forced fumbles. He had two interceptions against Misericordia including one that he returned for a touchdown.
- Junior defensive back Devin Fink made a season-high five tackles against FDU-Florham and freshman defensive back Amari Peterson recorded four tackles and intercepted his first career pass. Sophomore defensive lineman Derek Schneider leads the team with 2.0 sacks.

- The Lions rank fourth in the MAC in scoring offense (25.9), fifth in total offense (363.1), ninth in rushing offense (81.9) and fourth in passing offense (281.3).
- Senior quarterback Alec Vignola is fourth in the conference with 1,870 passing yards and is tied for seventh with 69 rushing attempts. He is the leading rusher on the Lions team in terms of attempts and has scored two rushing touchdowns to go along with his 10 passing touchdowns.
- Senior wide receiver Malik Jackson and sophomore Mike Jordan are seventh and eighth in the MAC with 482 and 480 receiving yards respectively. Jordan’s six touchdown receptions rank in a tie for third in the conference. Junior Kyle Dickerson leads the Lions with 34 receptions.
- Sophomore running back Nigel Sealey is Albright’s leading rusher with 215 yards.

- Albright ranks sixth in the MAC in scoring defense (24.9), fifth in total defense (355.9), fifth in rushing defense (124.6), and sixth in passing defense (231.3).
- Senior linebacker Grant Boehler ranks fourth in the MAC with 33 solo tackles and has three interceptions. He was a First Team All-MAC selection a season ago.
- Senior defensive end Isaiah Baylor leads the team and is third in the conference with 11.5 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 sacks on the season.
- Kali Boyce, a senior defensive back, is tied for the conference lead with four interceptions.

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