September 8, 2012

Sobolewski Forces Overtime as Lions Win Thriller

More news about: Albright
By Jimmy McCumber

Freshman kicker Daniel Sobolewski drilled a 47-yard field goal as time expired to force overtime, as the Albright College football team rallied to defeat Stevenson University 29-22, Saturday in Shirk Stadium.

Sobolewski's kick tied a school record on his first collegiate attempt. The powerful rookie also booted three touchbacks on five kickoffs, and recorded a special teams tackle.

Quarterback TJ Luddy was 16-of-21 for 185 yards and two scores, including the game-winner to senior Scott Pillar (eight catches, 94 yards, 1 TD). Senior running back Ty Hughes recorded his second consecutive 100-yard game, with 103 on 18 carries.

Stevenson scored the apparent game-winning touchdown with 41 seconds to play, as quarterback Anthony Reid ran it in from eight yards out and then found Travis Douglas on the conversion to make it 22-19.

Luddy calmly found Caleb Shilko across midfield however, and then completed a pass to Daniel McNair for six yards. With just six seconds remaining, Luddy hit McNair at the sideline for a 12-yard gain, setting up Sobolewski's heroics.

The fired-up Lion offense then took the ball in overtime and scored in three plays, as Luddy found Pillar for nine yards, and then a 13-yard catch up the middle for the winning score.

Stevenson could have tied it, after Paul Hobbs sacked Reid to set up third and long in the Mustangs' overtime chance. Reid hit Anthony Smith in stride, but the receiver couldn't hold the tying score and dropped it in the end zone.

Hobbs had a huge day defensively, totaling 16 tackles (11 solo stops). Nick Gjoni had six tackles and two sacks, and Mark Capetola recorded three sacks and four tackles in the backfield.

Stevenson had several big plays on their go-ahead drive, including an incredible one-handed grab by Smith for 17 yards on third-and-16. Jeromie Miller then broke a short pass for 54 yards, and a roughing the passer penalty brought the Mustangs down to the Albright 18. The Lions forced fourth down, but Reid dove up the middle in a spread formation to pick it up by inches following the measurement.

K.K. Smith broke for 55 yards on Stevenson's opening drive, and the Mustangs soon punched it in for a 7-0 lead. Albright's Zach Groff ran a fake punt for fourth down on his team's first possession, but the Lions were held scoreless until the final seconds of the half.

Albright's two-minute offense also produced a big score before halftime, taking over on their own 36 with 46 seconds to play. Hughes ran for 16 yards and Luddy found Shilko and Pillar, setting up his 23-yard touchdown pass to Griffin Eldridge to complete a 5-play, 64-yard drive.

Marty Reinhardt bullied his way into the end zone from 10 yards out, but the Lions failed on a costly conversion and led 13-7 after three quarters. Groff (54 yards on nine carries) scored to make it 19-14 late, setting up Stevenson's go-ahead drive.

There was a 55-minute lightning delay preceeding the start of the fourth quarter. The Mustangs took just 35 seconds to score following the resumption of play, with Albright committing a pair of unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

Albright improves to 2-0, and will travel to face 1-0 Wilkes University next Saturday, 2 p.m. in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
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