May 26, 2014

ALBRIGHT FOOTBALL - Vanier 26, Albright 13 (International Exhibition)

A WOLnews Photo
A pair of 50-yard defensive touchdowns and an unfamiliar Canadian football rule led Vanier past the Albright College Lions 26-13 in an international exhibition, Sunday on the campus of Concordia-Loyola in Montreal.

Under NCAA rules, teams are allowed to travel outside the United States to play a spring season game once every three years. They are also allowed an additional 10 padded practices in preparation for that contest.

With 19 starters graduating after 2013 and several other key players injured, the Lions (in their brand-new gray uniforms with red trim) were able to try out new contributors in almost every position.

The go-ahead touchdown came with 9:42 remaining in the game. Vanier's punter recovered his own kick, in a Canadian rule that allows players behind the ball at the time it is kicked (generally only the punter) to do so. Two plays later, the same Cheetah player caught a 47-yard touchdown for a 19-13 lead.

Vanier blocked an Albright punt, and later went ahead by two scores on the team's second 50-yard pick-six of the contest.

Albright lost despite allowing just 10 first downs. The Lion defense combined for 13 tackles for loss, including multiple big plays from Rich Kuhn (2 sacks), Quashon Mayes (3.0 TFLs), Gabriel Frias (2.0 TFLs) and Ethan Martin (2.0 TFLs, 1 sack).

Offensively, Vinny Williams caught four passes for 52 yards. Starting quarterback Ryan Wade was 6-of-16 for 95 yards, and also rushed for 11 yards.

The Lions trailed 13-10 at halftime after Vanier's #33 intercepted two second quarter passes, returning one 50 yards for a touchdown and stopping another Albright drive at the 10-yard line just before halftime.

Kali Boyce intercepted Vanier's quarterback on their first drive of the day, setting up Wade's 17-yard fade pass to Malik Gilmore to open the scoring. Daniel Sobolewski added a 28-yard field goal for a 10-0 first quarter lead.

Vanier cut the deficit to 10-6, with Albright's Jamal Hayden blocking the PAT attempt. Wade nearly had Williams on a wide-open deep ball in the second quarter, but the pass was dropped. Wade also extended a drive with a tough scramble on 3rd-and-7, before an interception ended the threat.

The Lion defenders made several good plays in the first half. Kuhn had a 12-yard sack on third down to end one Cheetah drive, and Frias ended the second quarter with consecutive tackles for loss.

The Lions will open their 2014 regular season on Friday, September 5 at Kean University.

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