By Jimmy McCumber
Senior quarterback Adam Galczynski
came off the bench and, with help from running back Ty Hughes
, led the Albright College football team back from 19 points down with just over a quarter to play, beating #14 Kean University 29-26 on Saturday night.
Hughes was a workhorse in his first game back after missing 2011 with an injury. He carried the ball 37 times for 142 yards and scored three times. Galczynski was 7-of-8 for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Junior Daniel McNair
led the receivers with six catches for 68 yards and an outstanding fourth-quarter touchdown. On defense, Ryan Ott
and Matt Filosa
forced fumbles while sophomore Chris Stephens
had an interception.
Stephens' pick came with 7:53 remaining in the third quarter, and set off the Lions' comeback. Galczynski converted a big 4-and-10 with a 14-yard scramble as the senior directed an effective 7:50 drive that finished with a Hughes touchdown, three seconds from the end of the third quarter.
Albright got a quick stop, and on the back of Hughes they quickly drove into scoring range again. McNair then snared an unbelievable touchdown catch, leaping backwards in the end zone and wrestling a Galczynski lofted pass away from the cornerback.
A Matt Pattison
sack on third down gave the Lions the ball again, and Galczynski found Eric Wade
for 23 yards, down to the Kean 25. Hughes had a big pick-up on third and 2, getting there by inches. Albright soon had third and goal on the half-yard line, and Hughes punched it in to complete a stunning comeback.
Galczynski ran in a naked bootleg on the two-point conversion to make the final score 29-26. Drew Peterson
and Ott had pass breakups to stifle the Cougars' final drive.
The Albright offense showed no sign of their impending first half struggles (they would have just 81 yards of total offense at halftime) when the Lions opened the game- grabbing first downs on their first three plays- a McNair catch and Hughes run, followed by a screen to Caleb Shilko
; but the drive stalled on a failed fourth down in Cougars territory.
Midway through the first quarter, Ott dislodged the ball in Kean territory, and junior Matthew Hnatiuk
recovered it. Albright couldn't score but Kean would soon fumble a punt snap, and Levi Myers
recovered on the five yard line.
On third-and-goal from the two, Hughes forced it in with a nice effort from the offensive line, staking the Lions to an early 7-0 lead. Deandre Fowlkes
took the ensuing kickoff back, but it was nullified for a holding penalty.
Kean's Louis Haynes
later made a fantastic tiptoe catch on the sideline, setting up Fowlkes' 43 yard catch-and-run touchdown to get the Cougars on the board. Albright still led 7-6 after Wade blocked the extra point.
The play that put Albright in such a big hole came with 23 seconds remaining in the second half. Kean took over on their own 20-yard line, but Darius Kinney
ran right up the middle and found daylight, breaking 80 yards for the score. Kinney then took the second half kickoff back 72 yards, giving him 152 all-purpose yards in a span of 34 seconds. Kean punched the ball in several plays later to lead 26-7.
There are 48 Lions from New Jersey on the roster, and Albright had a big crowd in attendance to witness one of the program's signature victories. Albright (1-0) will host Stevenson next Saturday in their home opener, 1 p.m. at Shirk Stadium.