KING'S FOOTBALL FALLS TO ALBRIGHT ON HOMECOMING, 48-29
WILKES-BARRE — Visiting Albright College broke open a 14-10 game at the half with a 21-7 third-quarter assault as the Lions posted a 48-29 victory over host King's College on the Monarchs' Homecoming Day Saturday at McCarthy Stadium.
With the win, Albright improved to 2-2 overall and 1-2 in the Middle Atlantic Conference. King's, meanwhile, slipped to 0-3 and 0-2 in the MAC.
Albright missed out on a scoring chance on the opening drive of the game when the Lions drove to the King's 11-yard line. Dan Sobolewski entered the game to attempt a 38 yards field goal but the Monarchs' Ron Garrett blocked the attempt to keep the game scoreless.
King's missed a chance on its next possession when Kyle McGrath and quarterback Tyler Hartranft ran for nine and 14 yards on successive plays to the Monarch 44. On the next play McGrath broke free for 47 yards to the Albright nine, but a penalty negated the play and pushed the back to the King's 34. The Monarchs were unable to advance and were forced to punt.
Two possessions later King's stuffed Albright at its own 14 and the Lions were forced to punt. Dan Kempa returned the offering eight yards to give the Monarchs excellent field position at the Albright 35. King's reached the 11 where the drive stalled and Kevin Mulvihill converted a 29-yard field goal to give the Monarchs a 3-0 lead with 2:42 left in the first quarter.
Early in the second quarter Albright forced the Monarchs to punt from their own 12 and Daniel McNair posted a 21-yard return to give the Lions a first-down at the Monarch 22. Four plays later and T.J. Luddy found fullback Josh McCloed for a two-yard scoring pass to put the Lions on top 7-3 with 12:56 left in the second quarter.
Later in the quarter Albright took over at its own following a King's punt. The Lions marched 66 yards on six plays, capped by a 29-yard touchdown pass from Luddy to Devron Clark to pus the Albright lead to 14-3 with 1:05 left in the half.
After a quick three-and-out for KIng's Albright assumed possession at its one 49 with 0:16 remaining in the half. Luddy then hooked up with Clark for a 17-yard completion to the King's 34. There, Albright brought in Sobolewski to attempt a 51-yard field goal with 0:04 on the clock. Sobolewski hit on a 51-yarder earlier in the season, but this time the kick was blocked again, this time by Kris Matthews. King's Anthony Martuccio picked up the loose ball and began to run toward the Albright end of the field. Martuccio was in the midst of being tackle but lateraled the ball to Garrett who raced the final 54 yards to the end zone to complete a bizarre end of the first half. Mulvihill added the point-after and King's clawed back to within 14-10 at the break. It marked the second straight week Garrett scored on a return. The senior defensive end scored on a 95-yard fimble return against Lebanon Valley a week ago.
In the second half King's would have the first possession and things quickly turned sour for the Monarchs. On a third-and-five play from its own 30, Hartranft was pressured and appeared to attempt to throw the ball into the ground but Albright's Matt Hnatiuk made a diving interception to give the Lions a first-down at the Monarch 30. Four plays later Albright capitalized when Ty Hughes scoffed on an eight-yard run to push the core to 21-10.
On King's next possession, Albright came up with another big defensive play. With the Monarchs able to advance the ball, King's was forced to punt. Eric Haenggi's offering was blocked by Chris Stephens at the Monarch 10 and recovered the ball in the end zone for another score. Sobolewski's point-after gave Albright 14 points over a 2:08 span to push the score to 28-10.
KIng's, however, would not go away and immediately responded on its next possession. On its first play of their next possession, Hartranft found Dan Kempa for an 84-yard touchdown reception. Mulvihill's extra-point kick brought the score to 28-17 with 9:43 remaining in the third quarter.
Albright, however, answered with a 12-play, 84-yard drive, capped by a two-yard run by Hughes to push the score to 35-17 with 5:37 left in the third quarter. Two possessions later KIng's responded with a six-play, 81-yard drive, culminated by a 24-yard touchdown run by McGrath with 14:20 left in the contest. Mulvihill's point-after attempt was blocked as the Monarchs drew to within 35-23 with 14:20 to play.
After the teams traded punts, Albright spoiled any hopes of a KIng's comeback with a five-play, 67-yard drive which ended with a five-yard pass from Luddy to McNair to push the score to 41-23 with 8:48 to remaining. The Lions forced KIng's to punt and put the game away with a four-play , 49-yard drive capped by a three-yard scoring run from Uriah Brickhouse to extend the Lion lead to 48-23 with 5:35 on the clock.
King's brought the final score to 48-29 when Tom Hehre tossed his first collegiate touchdown pass with a 55-yard strike to Kempa with 4:09 to play.
Albright out gained KIng's 483-to-369 in total yards and had 25 first downs compared to 10 for the Monarchs.
Luddy completed 24-of-35 passes for 305 yards with three touchdowns. McNair had nine catches for 139 yards and one score while Clark added 118 yards on seven receptions and a touchdown. Hughes rushed for 89 yards on 18 carries and scored twice.
For King's, Hartranft completed 13-of-26 passes for 243 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Kempa caught four passes for 166 yards. Defensively for King's Anthony Martuccio had 10 tackles while Nick Kaijala and Ron Garret had nine and eight tackles respectively.
Next week King's travels to nearby Dallas to face local rival Misericordia University at 1:00 p.m. In the Cougars' Homecoming Game at Mangelsdorf Field.