November 1, 2014

Wilkes Football - Colonels have big second had to force Ot in 36-35 loss to Albright

Photo courtesy of Wilkes Sports Information
EDWARDSVILLE –After falling behind 23-0 at the half, the Wilkes University football team scored 29 second half points to force overtime only to fall on a failed two-point conversion in the extra frame to drop a 36-35 decision to visiting Albright College Saturday afternoon at Schmidt Stadium.

With the heart-breaking loss Wilkes falls to 2-6 overall and 2-5 in MAC play. Albright moves to 4-4 overall and 4-3 in league games extending its winning streak to three games.

It was a tale of two halves for Wilkes as the Colonels were unable to get anything going offensively in the first two quarters. Albright used an opening drive touchdown and three Daniel Sobolewski field goals to take a 16-0 lead late in the first half. Another Lions score with just over two minutes left in the second quarter put Albright up 23-0 heading into the break.

From there it was all Wilkes as the Colonels exited the halftime locker room with a renewed sense of motivation.  The Colonels started the comeback with an eight-play, 50-yard drive capped by a Ryan Dailey to Jeremy Hartman pitch-and-catch from 17-yards out to cut the lead to 23-7. On the ensuing kickoff Wilkes took advantage of an Albright miscue recovering a fumble on the kick to setup the Colonels offense at the Albright 38. Dailey hit his senior tight end again this time for a 25-yard pass play to move Wilkes down to the Albright 13. Dailey then called his own number running in from two yards out three plays later to cut the Albright lead to 23-14 just three minutes into the third quarter.

Sobolewski added his fourth field goal of the game late in the third to extend the Albright lead to 26-14 heading into the final frame.

Following an Albright punt, the Colonel offense was at it again starting its scoring drive at its own 16. Thanks to a roughing the kicker penalty on Albright, the Wilkes drive stayed alive after a quick three plays only moved the ball four yards. With the drive back on track, PJ Incremona began to pick up steam in the Colonels backfield running for gains of eight, seven and 11 yards to move Wilkes down to the Albright 28. After a Dailey strike to Ryan Behrman moved Wilkes inside the ten, Incremona finished off the drive from eight yards out on a direct snap to move Wilkes to within five at 26-21 with 9:09 left in the game.

The Wilkes defense came up big on Albright’s following drive forcing a Sobolewski field goal to keep the Colonels within eight at 29-21 with 2:29 left on the clock.

Wilkes then used a 14-play, 66-yard drive to tie the game when Dailey hit Hartman for a two-yard touchdown pass to pull Wilkes to within two. The two point conversion was true when Jonathan Conklin took a pitch and threw the ball to a wide open Tim Bousson in the back of the end zone to tie the game at 29-29 with 1:02 left.

Albright had one last chance left at the end of regulation, but a Sobolewski 44-yard field goal attempt came up short sending the teams into the extra frame.

Albright received the ball first in the overtime period and wasted little time rumbling to the end zone as Chris Dawson scored on the ground from three yards out on the drives eighth play. Following the extra point, Albright led 36-29 forcing Wilkes to score a touchdown and kick an extra point on its possession to keep the teams playing.

It only took two plays for the Colonels to do the first feat as Dailey connected with Hartman for the combo’s third touchdown of the day from 13 yards out. Wilkes head coach Trey Brown decided to go for the win opting for the two-point conversion instead of the extra point. Dailey looked for a slanting Bousson in the end zone but an Albright defender made a last-second effort to bat the ball away sealing the win for the Lions in the process.

After struggling in the first half including throwing two interceptions, Dailey settled nicely in the second half throwing for three touchdowns and finishing the game 23-of-40 for 219 yards. Hartman enjoyed a career-day catching six balls for 76 yards and three scores.

Incremona led the Wilkes ground game with 15 carries for 46 yards and one score.

Tanner Stengel was all over the field on defense for Wilkes finishing with a career-high 15 tackles including nine solo stops in the contest. Jared Powell and Omar Richardson each picked off one pass in a sound effort in the Wilkes secondary.

Wilkes takes to the road next Saturday for the last time in 2014 traveling to Owings Mills, Maryland to face MAC foe Stevenson University at 1:00 p.m.