READING (PA) – Brandon Snyder kicked a 25-yard field goal with no time remaining to give No. 21 Delaware Valley College a thrilling, 20-17 road victory over Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) rival Albright College in the 63rd annual Rajah Shriners Pretzel Bowl.
The win improved the Aggies to 3-0 overall (2-0 MAC) with two of their triumphs occurring in comeback fashion late in the fourth quarter. In the season opener, Delaware Valley scored 28 unanswered points in the fourth to turn a 27-7 deficit into a 35-27 win. Saturday's triumph also sets up a meeting of the two remaining undefeated teams in the conference (overall record) as the Aggies will host 3-0 Stevenson University for Homecoming on September 28.
Delaware Valley trailed 20-17 in the final quarter when it took over at its own 29-yard line and they moved down to the Albright 20. The drive stalled, but Snyder boomed a 37-yard field to tie the game at 17-17 with 7:16 on the clock.
After a touchback on the kickoff, Albright (1-2, 0-2 MAC) used big runs by Hughes to quickly move into Delaware Valley territory. The Lions reached the 18-yard line for a third-and-one play. Hughes was topped shy of the sticks and, after a timeout, the team elected to go for it with 2:36 to go. Hughes got the call but he was stopped as Danny Wynne and Rashaad Lighty got credited with the tackles and Delaware Valley took over at its own 18 with 2:31 to go and all three of its timeouts.
On the first play after the stop, quarterback Aaron Wilmer hit Rasheed Bailey on a deep slant over the middle to the Albright 49 for a 33-yard play. Wilmer called his own number and hurdled over a player for 10 yards and a first down. Kyle Schuberth got a yard on the next play and lost four on the next to make it third-and-13 from the Albright 42-yard line with 52.7 seconds left on the clock. Schuberth took the handoff on a draw and had daylight for 18 yards and a first down.
Two plays later, Delaware Valley had a third-and-eight from Lion 22-yard line. Wilmer ran for four yards, but a holding call moved the ball back to the 28 for third-and-14. Wilmer found a wide-open Danny Lopez in the middle for a 20-yard gain to the eight-yard line and a first down. They let the clock run down to 2.4 seconds and Snyder came out for the 25-yard field goal attempt. Albright calls a pair of timeouts to try to freeze him, but Snyder easily put it through uprights to set off a celebration. Snyder, who played high school three miles away from Albright's stadium, was named the team's Most Valuable Player of the Pretzel Bowl, which is an annual game that benefits Shriner Hospitals for Children.
The first quarter was battle of field position. Near the end of the quarter, a Dave Faraldo punt was downed at the Albright two-yard line. The Aggie defense forced a three-and-out and, following a punt, the offense took over at the Lion 44.
Thanks to some big runs by Schuberth, they had a first-and-goal at the five-yard line. On third down from the eight, Wilmer found Bailey in the end zone for a touchdown. Smnder added the extra-point for a 7-0 Delaware Valley lead with 12:13 left in the first half.
Albright took advantage of an Aggie turnover to tie the contest with 3:47 remaining in the half as it stripped the ball away on a punt return and recovered it at the Delaware Valley 22-yard line. Three plays later, Ty Hughes bulled his way into the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown run.
The Aggies responded right away as it took the ensuing kickoff and drove 71 yards on just five plays. Wilmer and Bailey teamed up for a 34-yard pass down to the Albright 16. Schuberth then went up the middle and was stopped at the one-yard line. Schuberth then took the next handoff and found the end zone. Snyder's boot made it 14-7 with 2:10 to go before intermission. Daniel Sobloewski countered with a 31-yard field goal to pull the Lions to within four, 14-10, at the break.
Albright took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove to the Aggie 44 where it faced a second-and-1. Luddy went deep down the left sideline and Daniel McNair made a diving reception at the one-yard line. Hughes took it in on the next play for a 17-14 Lion advantage five minutes into the third.
Albright had a first-and-goal from the five and Hughes came up one yard shy of the end zone to end the third quarter. On the first play of the fourth, Hughes was stopped at the line to bring up third down. A snap went through the hands of Luddy and Albright kept possession at the 11. Then, Sobloewski missed the 28-yard field goal attempt as Delaware Valley dodged a huge bullet. That kept the Aggies within three and eventually led to Snyder's heroics.
Schuberth saw his first action of the season after missing the first two games with an injury. He carried the ball 23 times for 148 yards and one score. Wilmer was 10-for-24 for 164 yards for one score and also rushed 17 times for 63 yards. Wynne had nine tackles to pace the defense.
Hughes had 33 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns for Albright. Luddy was 13-for-25 for 214 yards.