Friday, November 17, 2017

Albright Football Hosts Susquehanna in Bowl Game Saturday

A MAC Football News Photo
READING, Pa. – The Albright football team will play in the third-annual Centennial-MAC Bowl Series against Susquehanna on Saturday at 12 p.m. This will be the second straight season that the Lions will be hosting a game in the series after defeating Franklin & Marshall last season. Last week, Albright used 21 first quarter points to defeat rival Lebanon Valley 28-14 at home.

The Lions forced five turnovers against Lebanon Valley on Saturday, which led to all 28 points scored on the day. Albright forced fumbles on the first three Dutchmen drives of the game, highlighted by a 98-yard fumble return for a touchdown by senior Kyven Jones that extended the Lions lead to 14-0. The fumble return is currently the longest fumble return in program history. 

Albright intercepted two Dutchmen passes as well in the game, none bigger than the second one that came in the 4th quarter to stop a Dutchmen offense that advanced to the Lions 44-yard line looking to tie the game. The Lions have forced 16 turnovers in their last four games.

The Albright Lions football program had 10 players earn 12 All-Middle Atlantic Conference Team accolades as voted on by the leagues head coaches. In total, the Lions had six first-team selections, five second-team selections, and one honorable mention selection. Albright had the second most selections of the MAC teams with Delaware Valley leading the way with 19 selections.

Earning First-Team All-Conference honors were senior wide receiver Malik Jackson, junior kicker Kevin Goetz, senior defensive lineman Isaiah Baylor, senior linebacker Grant Boehler, and senior defensive back Alex Isaac. Boehler also earned First-Team honors for special teams as well. 

Senior tight end Milton Cordero, junior wide receiver Kyle Dickerson, junior defensive lineman David Sanchez, and senior defensive back Kali Boyce were each selected to the Second-Team. Dickerson also earned second-team honors as a returner. Sophomore wide receiver Mike Jordan rounded out the Albright selections by making the Honorable Mention team.

Senior Kali Boyce earned MAC Defensive Player of the Week honors for the first time in his collegiate career after a big day against Lebanon Valley. Boyce had two takeaways, including his team-leading sixth interception of the season. His six interceptions are tied for first in the MAC and 18th in NCAA Division III. With one more interception, Boyce can break into a tie for eighth in program history for most interceptions in a single season.

Coming into the season, Boyce had just three interceptions in two seasons played and has now doubled that output in one season. As a team, the Lions rank just behind Delaware Valley in total interceptions with 15. Boyce is also the second Lion to win Defensive player of the Week after classmate Isaiah Baylor won the award in early October.

Albright had three players attempt a pass against the Dutchmen on Saturday to combine for 247 yards and two touchdown passes. Sophomore Jimmy Lahay started the game for the Lions and led the team with 160 passing yards and a first quarter touchdown pass to senior Milton Cordero. Senior Alec Vignola tallied 75 passing yards and a 37-yard touchdown pass in the 4th quarter to sophomore Mike Jordan that put away the game.

Junior Kyle Dickerson was the third player to throw a pass on the day for Albright which came in the 1st quarter on a 16-yard completion to senior Malik Jackson. Dickerson, working primarily out of the wildcat, attempted his first pass since throwing a touchdown in the season opener against Salisbury.

Senior Grant Boehler registered a game-high 11 tackles against Lebanon Valley, all of which were solo. That matched his season-high in tackles after posting 11 total tackles against Salisbury. He leads the team in total tackles with 74, while being tied for 14th in the MAC. However, Boehler does rank fourth in the conference in solo tackles with 50.
He has already eclipsed his career-high in tackles for a single-season, while registering his third double-digit tackle output of the season.

With one forced fumble on Saturday, Isaiah Baylor now stands alone atop NCAA Division III in forced fumbles with six. The forced fumble now has Baylor tied for most fumbles forced in a single season in program history with Toby Ranck, and in a three-way tie for career forced fumbles with Mike McCoy and Mark Capetola. Baylor can now set two school records in his final game as an Albright Lion with one more forced fumble against Susquehanna.

The River Hawks will be making their first appearance in the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series after finishing third in the Centennial Conference this season with a 7-3 overall record and 6-3 record in conference play. Susquehanna earned the tie-breaker over Muhlenberg to get into this game thanks to a 14-11 win over Mules back in September. Last Saturday, the River Hawks edged rival Juniata 28-21 behind an early fourth quarter touchdown.

Quarterback Nick Crusco passed for 228 yards and three touchdowns in the win, while wide receiver Terrell Brown caught five passes for 102 yards and one touchdown.

Susquehanna is built on strong defense as they rank among the top-five in the Centennial in the major defensive categories. The River Hawks ranked first in total defense by limiting their opponents to just 278.3 yards per game. They also featured the best pass defense in the conference with just an average of 167.2 yards through the air allowed, and the third-best run defense at 111.1 yards per game. In addition to the defense, Susquehanna also features the Centennials top rusher in running back Cameron Ott, who has tallied 936 yards on the ground.

Along with the Lions, three additional MAC teams will be participating in postseason play this weekend, headlined by Delaware Valley hosting Western New England at 12 p.m. in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Widener will travel to face Franklin & Marshall in the other Centennial-MAC Bowl series game at 12 p.m., while Stevenson will play in the James Lynah Bowl against Alfred as a part of the ECAC Football Fest held at University of Delaware on Sunday at 12 p.m.
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