Time of Poss.
The Albright College football team earned a big Senior Day win on Saturday, knocking off rival and 22nd-ranked Lebanon Valley College 40-25 in Shirk Stadium.
LVC still left with quite the consolation prize- earning the school's first-ever NCAA tournament bid after Delaware Valley's comeback win over Widener. The Dutchmen ended as co-MAC champions with Lycoming.
Senior linebacker Matt Filosa led an Albright defense that forced four turnovers, including three that were crucial to the victory. He returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter, and then caused a fumble on the opening play of the third quarter.
Filosa finished with a team-high six tackles (five solo). Classmate Drew Peterson intercepted his eighth pass of the season, and also had a pass breakup.
The Lions rushed for 216 yards as a team, including 130 from fifth-year senior Ty Hughes (34 carries). Hughes also threw a 65-yard TD pass and added a fumble recovery on special teams. Also contributing in the air and on the ground was quarterback TJ Luddy (173 passing yards, two passing TDs, 80 rushing yards).
Albright struggled to get momentum early, but turned it around in a flash with two touchdowns off turnovers in an 11-second span of the second quarter.
With the game tied 7-7 and Albright punting, Sean Cunningham jarred the ball loose and Hughes picked it up and brought it all the way down to the two yard line. Luddy then hit a wide-open Devron Clark (112 yards, 2 TDs) in the end zone.
On the very next play from scrimmage, Filosa intercepted Brian Murphy's pass and took it all the way for a 20-7 Albright lead.
Turnovers continued to play a major factor as Filosa stripped Brendan Irving on the first play of the third quarter and Matthew Hnatiuk recovered it. Hughes completed the drive for a 30-14 Lion lead.
With the game, and sole possession of the MAC title, slipping away, LVC bounced back immediately as Murphy went deep to Jake Zeigler (6 catches, 146 yards) for a 75-yard touchdown on the opening play of the Dutchmen's next possession.
Albright answered with some trickery late in the third quarter. Luddy pitched out to Hughes, who hit Clark with a pass; the senior cut left and out-ran the defense for a 65-yard score.
Down 7-0 after a 20-yard Murphy keeper, Albright converted third downs to three different receivers, and then a fourth-and-10 to Daniel McNair. Vinny Williams' 9-yard TD catch completed an 18-play, 91-yard, 8:55 drive.
LVC had a long TD drive of their own late in the second quarter, but Albright went 56 plays in just 50 seconds to set up a Daniel Sobolewski field goal and a 23-14 halftime lead.
The Lions honored one of their largest senior classes ever, with 29 graduating student-athletes recognized before kickoff.
Albright concludes its 2013 regular season with a record of 7-3 overall and 6-3 in the MAC, and will await ECAC bowl game selections to see if they will be playing next weekend.