October 31, 2015

Albright Football - Ryan, Defense Lead Lions to 38-28 Win at King's

Photo courtesy of Albright Athletics
WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- Senior linebacker Colton Ryan intercepted two passes, and returned one 100 yards for a touchdown, helping to lead 24th-ranked Albright to a 38-28 Middle Atlantic Conference victory over King's at McCarthy Stadium on Saturday.

Ryan intercepted a pass deep in Albright territory at the end of the second quarter and raced the length of the field for the touchdown. The interception return is the second-longest return in school history behind only the school record 102-yard return set by Dick Riffle in 1937 against City College of New York.

The return also ties Ryan for the second-longest return in school history as he ties Tom Olivo who had a 100-yard punt return in 1958 and Jeff Rogers who had a 100-yard kickoff return in 1998.

The Albright defense was not done on the day as Kali Boyce picked off a pass and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to help the Lions seal the victory.

Albright entered the game ninth in the country and defensive touchdowns with three and nearly doubled that ouput on Saturday afternoon.

Albright fell behind early and then used a 24-0 scoring streak to take control of the game. The Lions held off a late King's charge to improve to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in the MAC.

The Lions victory keeps them tied for first place in the conference standings with Delaware Valley who topped Lebanon Valley, and Stevenson who defeated Wilkes.

Albright was ranked 15th in the nation in interceptions heading into the contest and came away with four more against the Monarchs with Ryan's two interceptions leading the way. Steve Barroso also picked off a pass for Albright to push its season total to 17. It marked the third time this season that Albright has intercepted at least four passes in a game as the Lions snared five interceptions versus Misericordia and FDU-Florham.

Demonya Womack also helped lead the Albright defensive effort as he recorded a career-high 13 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. JaVaughn Patterson and Barroso each had seven tackles for Albright, which also received sacks from Jamal Hayden,Rich Kuhn and Isaiah Baylor.

Freshman Mike Knight threw a pair of touchdown passes and Alec Vignola came off the bench to throw a touchdown strike to lead the offense.

King's, which dropped to 3-5 overall and 3-4 in conference play, jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. The Monarchs drove 77 yards in 14 plays and Gabe Brown capped the drive with a 1-yard scoring plunge to give King's a 7-0 lead with 6:50 to play in the first quarter.

Albright got on the scoreboard late in the first quarter when Daniel Sobolewskiconnected on a 41-yard field goal to cut the Monarchs lead to 7-3 with 3:40 to play in the first.

The Lions then outscored King's 21-0 in the second quarter to take the lead for good.

Knight found Malik Gilmore from 10 yards out with 10:58 to play before halftime to put Albright ahead to stay at 10-7.

Vignola then came off the bench and found Khari Jefferson from 35 yards out to push the Albright lead to 17-7 with 5:52 to play in the second quarter.

With King's driving for an apparent touchdown, Ryan then turned the game solidly in the Lions favor as he intercepted a pass and went the length of the field to extend the Lions lead to 24-7 with 15 seconds to play before halftime.

Albright upped the lead to 31-7 when Knight hit Jefferson for a 2-yard touchdown with 8:32 remaining in the third quarter.

King's climbed back into the game with back-to-back touchdowns and were threatening for more when Boyce iced the game with a 34-yard interception return with 8:11 to play in the game which increased the lead to 38-21.

King's added a late touchdown on a 28-yard pitch-and-catch from Zach Whitehead to Mike Palmer.

Albright will return to action on Saturday (Nov. 7) when it visits Stevenson for a critical MAC game scheduled for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
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