MEADVILLE, Pa. - Allegheny quarterback Logan Lee threw for four touchdowns, while the Gators totaled 436 yards of total offense, but visiting Wooster scored three unanswered touchdowns midway through the second half and showcased a powerful offense of its own to earn a 49-35 win on Community Day at Frank B. Fuhrer Field.
Lee fired four touchdown strikes for the second time in as many weeks, and the third time in his career, with Alex Victor the big beneficiary, as the speedster hauled in five catches for 159 yards and two scores, highlighted by an 80-yard bomb on the Gators' first play from scrimmage in the opening quarter.
The teams traded touchdowns into the middle stages of the third quarter, before Wooster scored three times in an eight-minute span to put the game away heading into the final stanza.
In the offensive showdown, Wooster out-gained Allegheny 496-436 in total offense, with quarterback Gary Muntean completing 23 of 28 passes for 364 yards and four scores.
Though Allegheny's offense turned in another solid performance, the team's defense got the team off to a strong start. On the opening drive of the game, Wooster methodically advanced up the field, with four Muntean completions and an Allegheny roughing the passer penalty eventually setting up a Scots' first down on the Allegheny 11. On second down, Jonah Tanner snuffed out a screen pass for a five-yard loss, before a Muntean incompletion made it fourth-and-13 on the 15 yardline. The Scots' 32-yard field goal attempt went wide right, and the game remained scoreless with just inside nine minutes left in the quarter.
The Gators wasted little time in cashing in on the momentum, as on their first play from scrimmage, Lee found Victor on a fly pattern down the middle of the field, and the speedster outraced the Wooster defense for the 85-yard touchdown.
The Fighting Scots needed just three plays and 58 seconds to tie the game at seven, as Muntean completed a pair of passes for 65 yards, knotting the game on a 39-yard scoring strike to Jacob Lewis.
Allegheny answered with a methodical drive to quickly re-gain the lead, with Lee firing first down passes to Tristan Rhoades and Ben Bachik to advance inside the Wooster 30, before connecting with Victor over the middle for a 27-yard touchdown to make it 14-7 with 2:31 left in the quarter.
After the teams traded punts to close the first stanza, Wooster used another lengthy drive to tie the game, as a 10-yard pass from Muntean to Nate Strausbaugh capped off a 10-play, 46-yard scoring drive, during which the Fighting Scots converted on a trio of third downs.
In keeping with the theme of the first half, the Gators quickly countered. A 12-yard pass from Lee to Austin French, followed by a 28-yard completion to Victor, set up first down inside the Wooster 20. A six-yard sneak from Lee and a five-yard run from Balla made it first and goal, before Lee connected with French for a nine-yard gain inside the one. Balla would then power through the middle to put the Gators up 21-14 with 4:45 left in the half.
The Scots would seize the momentum to enter the break, tying the game on a three-yard sneak from Muntean to close out six-play, 94-yard drive, before taking advantage of a Gator fumble on the ensuing possession to take a 28-21 lead on another Muntean sneak with less than a minute left in the quarter.
In the high-scoring first half, the Gators totaled 252 yards, led by Lee, who was a perfect 8-for-8 passing for 135 yards and the two scoring strikes to Victor, who had 140 first half receiving yards. Muntean was just as effective for Wooster, going 16-for-20 for 253 yards and two touchdowns.
Receiving the kick to start the second half, the Gators went back to work to forge the game's fourth tie. Victor opened the drive by scampering 48 yards on an end-around to the Wooster 27. A 14-yard completion to Bachick, followed by back-to-back six yard runs from Lee and Brandon Sellers, set up first and goal at the three, before Lee found Jake Wilson out of the backfield for a three-yard touchdown pass to tie it at 28.
The Gator tie was short-lived, however, as Wooster countered by marching 65 yards in seven plays to take a 35-28 lead on a 10-yard run by Antonio Bailey. Allegheny was forced to punt on the ensuing possession, but after a bad snap, the Scots took over in Gator territory on the 42. Five plays later, Muntean and Conor Allen hooked up for a five-yard touchdown pass to take a two-touchdown lead with 1:30 left in the quarter.
On the first drive of the fourth quarter, the Gators were again forced to punt, which was returned 36 yards, before being aided by a 15-yard Allegheny penalty that gave the Scots the ball on the Gator 20. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Muntean threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game, a 21-yarder to Strausbaugh, to go up 49-28.
Allegheny pulled to within 14 points midway through the fourth quarter, with a six-play, 56-yard drive that was highlighted by a 30-yard completion to Dwaine Barber and ended with a nine-yard touchdown pass to Austin French with 6:30 left in regulation.
French's first career touchdown ended up being the final offensive play of the game for Allegheny, as Wooster converted on a trio of third downs and took advantage of a pair of Allegheny penalties to chew up the final 6:22.
Lee finished with a line of 17-for-25 for 277 yards and four touchdowns, against just one sack and zero interceptions. In addition to his 159 receiving yards, Victor also rushed for a team-best 63 yards, while Balla ran for 39 yards. French set season-highs with four catches for 27 yards.
Defensively, reigning NCAC Defensive Player of the Week Freddy Ruiz totaled 11 tackles, including 1.5 for loss, while Colten Buzard finished with nine tackles, and a game-best 1.5 sacks.
Bailey paced Wooster's ground game with 79 yards on 24 tries, while Strausbaugh made four catches for 128 yards, and Allan five grabs for 54.
The Gators will now look for the first NCAC win of the season next Saturday, Sept. 16, playing host to Denison University at 3 p.m. at Frank B. Fuhrer Field.