September 20, 2014

No. 24 Widener Stays Undefeated With 41-23 Triumph Over Albright

Photo Courtesy of Widener Sports Information
Twenty-eight first-quarter points and some big plays in the second half proved to be more than enough for 24th-ranked Widener, which remained undefeated with a 41-23 Middle Atlantic Conference victory over Albright at Leslie C. Quick Jr. Stadium.

The Pride scored touchdowns on all four of their first-quarter possessions and moved to 3-0 (2-0 in the MAC) for the third time in the last four seasons.  The squad also improved its record at Quick Stadium to 82-26 as it began its 21st season there.

Widener received the opening kickoff and marched 70 yards, which ended when sophomore Seth Klein (Wernersville, PA) ran it in from four yards just 3:49 into the contest for a 7-0 lead.

A defensive stand from senior linebacker Kevin Burns (Collingdale, PA), stopping Chris Dawson on a fourth and one, gave Widener the ball at its 38 yard line.  The drive's second play saw the Pride going to the bag of tricks via a flea flicker, with Klein completing a 52-yard pass to sophomore Blaine Price (Jefferson, MD) at the three yard line.

The Pride scored on the next play with Klein finding junior Robert Getz (Kunkletown, PA) on a three-yard toss with 7:18 left in the period for a 14-0 lead.

The third drive went 64 yards, ending with junior Philip Ragona (Oceanside, NY) hauling in a 49-yard scoring pass from Klein with 3:34 left for a 21-0 cushion.

Albright (1-2, 0-2) scored the initial first-half touchdown given up by Widener all season when Brian Wickkiser ran it in from one yard with 1:34 remaining for a 21-7 game.  The 21-point lead was quickly restored 59 seconds later with Klein finding junior Eric Sharpe (Odenton, MD) on a 52-yard touchdown pass.

Widener in the period owned a 212-52 edge in passing yards, a 257-51 advantage in total offense and converted 10 first downs.

After Albright's Colton Ryan blocked a punt from junior Michael Bennett (Maple Glen, PA), Andrew Romeo hauled in an 11-yard touchdown pass from Pat Wise with 9:36 left in the first half for a 28-14 deficit.  Andrew Sobolewski's 32-yard field goal with 3:10 to play sent Albright into the locker room down 28-17.

While the third quarter featured no scoring, it might have had the game's biggest play.  Albright faced second down and three on Widener's 18 when Gerrod Gainer took a reverse, was stripped by junior Shakore Philip (Bay Shore, NY) and senior Jarard Stewart(Bowie, MD) recovered for Widener's 12th caused turnover this season.

The ensuing drive gave the Pride some much-needed breathing room.  An 89-yard march required just eight plays and ended when Klein snuck it in from the one early in the fourth quarter for a 34-17 contest.

Gainer made up for his fumble by catching a nine-yard scoring pass from Wise with 5:27 left for a 34-23 game.  The Lions went for the onside kick and had a shot during a mad scramble, but Stewart again was on the spot with a big recovery.

Senior Terrant Morrison (Smyrna, DE) hauled in Klein's fourth touchdown pass for the final, a 17-yard reception with 1:49 to go.

Klein threw for 378 yards, the 17th-best total in school history and only 14 yards of his personal best set last season vs. Lebanon Valley.  He completed 22-of-27 passes and now has 336 completions for his career, moving him into sixth place in school history.

Senior Anthony Davis (Upland, PA) had 96 yards receiving to become the school's all-time leader in all-purpose yards with 5,415, breaking the mark of 5,404 previously held by the legendary Billy "White Shoes" Johnson.  Davis also had five receptions, extending his own school record to 203.

Burns had a day with 10 tackles that included seven solos and 6 1/2 tackles for a loss.  This all helped the Pride hold the Lions to just 57 yards rushing and force them to go 5-for-15 on third down.

Wise completed 25-of-36 passes for 265 yards and two scores with Vinny Williams getting eight receptions for 135 yards.  Ryan had nine tackles and Rich Kuhn amassed eight with three sacks and 4 1/2 tackles for a loss.

Widener is back on the road next Saturday at FDU-Florham, starting at 1:00 pm in Madison, NJ.