November 15, 2014

Albright Football - Gilmore Block Seals Lions Victory Over Lebanon Valley

So WR Malik Gilmore
Photo courtesy of Albright Sports Information
ANNVILLE, Pa. -- Throughout its recent winning streak the Albright football team has gotten contributions from virtually every player on the roster. That trend continued on Saturday as Malik Gilmore blocked a game-tying 28-yard field goal attempt with 34 seconds left in the game and freshman Romello Monroe rushed for a career-best 116 yards leading the Lions to a 17-14 victory over Lebanon Valley in the regular-season finale for both teams at Arnold Field.

Gilmore, who leads the team with four blocks, got a hand on the kick by Matthew Smoluk which clinched Albright's fifth consecutive victory to close out the regular season. The bigger surprise was the play of Monroe who entered the game with three carries on the season, but erupted for 116 yards on 23 carries and scored two touchdowns.

With the win Albright improved to 6-4 on the season and finished conference play with a 5-4 mark. The Lions have put themselves into position to continue their season with a possible ECAC Bowl game berth. The NCAA playoff field will be announced on Sunday evening and the ECAC will determine its participants on Monday.

Albright scored on its opening possession of the game to get on the scoreboard early. Monroe rushed for 36 yards during the drive and capped the possession with a two-yard bull rush up the middle giving the Lions a 7-0 lead with 9:46 to play in the opening quarter.

Albright looked to extend the lead early in the second quarter, but the Lions turned the ball over on downs after failing to connect on a pass attempt on 4th-and-goal from the Lebanon Valley three-yard line.

The Dutchmen, who finished the season with a 3-7 overall mark and a 3-6 record in conference play, then marched 97 yards in 14 plays to tie the score at 7-7. Lebanon Valley tied the game when quarterback Brian Murphy connected with Tyler George for a nine-yard scoring pass with 7:47 left in the first half.

The Lions would regain the lead just before halftime.

Quarterback Patrick Wise threw for 41 yards on the drive and Daniel Sobolewski capped the drive by converting a 33-yard field goal with 1:19 to play in the opening half.

Albright extended the lead to 17-7 by taking the second-half kickoff and marching right down the field.

Using seven rushing plays and five passing plays the Lions went 63 yards and Monroe capped the drive with a 3-yard run with 8:29 remaining in the third quarter.

Lebanon Valley got back into the game by scoring near the end of the third quarter. Brendon Irving scored from three yards out with 19 seconds left in the quarter to bring the Dutchmen to within 17-14.

With 7:42 remaining in the game, Lebanon Valley took over on its own 26-yard line and produced a methodical march down the field. The Albright defense, which has made big plays all year long, stopped the Dutchmen on 3-and-7 from the Albright 10-yard line to force the field goal attempt.

Wise finished the game 16-28 for 182 yards and also added 46 yards on the ground. Dan Grillo and Vinny Williams each had four catches to lead the receiving corp.

Colton Ryan and Steve Barroso each turned in spectacular outings for the Albright defense. Ryan had 15 tackles, 2.0 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss, while Barroso had 13 tackles, a sack and 2.0 tackles for loss.