October 24, 2015

Widener Football - Big First Quarter Propel Stevenson Past The Pride

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. (Oct. 24, 2015) – Kiandre Burrell rushed for a pair of touchdowns and Jimmy Lauer picked off three passes to lead Stevenson to a 31-20 victory over the Widener University football team in a pivotal Middle Atlantic Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon at Mustang Stadium. The hosts fed off the energy of a sold out Homecoming Weekend crowd by scoring 24 points in the first quarter and never looked back.

Stevenson improved to 6-1 overall and 5-1 in MAC play with the victory and moved into a three-way tie for first place in the standings with Delaware Valley and Albright. Widener dropped to 4-3 overall and 4-2 in league action.

After Widener started with the ball on its own 25, junior Alex Krivda (Sellersville, Pa.) had his first pass which was intended for senior Phil Ragona (Oceanside, N.Y.) intercepted by Jimmy Lauer on the Pride’s third play of the drive. Stevenson failed to score with excellent field position, but a 35-yard punt return by Austin Tennessee set the Mustang offense up on the Widener six-yard line. Burrell then plowed through the Widener defense for a two-yard touchdown run to make it 7-0 at the 10:57 mark.

The Mustangs then added to their lead by taking advantage of Widener’s second turnover of the opening quarter. A fumble by Seth Klein led to a 27-yard field goal by Tim Sternfield with 7:36 left.

Stevenson continued to steamroll its way through the Widener defense, as Preston Addo caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Brad Harmon and then corralled a 38-yarder to place the Mustangs on the one-yard line. Burrell scored on the next play, giving the hosts their second rushing touchdown of the game after they had only one through their first six games of the season. The play gave Stevenson and their sellout crowd a 24-0 advantage through one quarter of action.

Widener, which trailed 31-0 at the break after a Krivda pick led to another Mustang touchdown, began chipping away at the deficit in the second half. The Pride scored 13 points in the third quarter, as senior Philip Ragona (Oceanside, N.Y.) and junior Blaine Price (Jefferson, Md.) each caught touchdown passes from Krivda.

The Pride continued attempting to rally in the fourth and got more life when senior Vaughn Nichols-Taylor intercepted a pass early in the frame. The offense then responded, as Krivda connected with Price for a 53-yard touchdown pass down the far right sideline with nine minutes left.

Widener appeared to be primed to receive excellent field position when the defense forced Stevenson to punt on a fourth and five from the Mustang 15, but Alex Stewart committed a costly penalty by roughing the kicker with just over six minutes remaining to keep the drive alive and allow the hosts to run down the clock.

The Pride had another chance to make it a one-possession game after a punt placed the ball on the Widener 21 with 3:56 left. Krivda, however, threw his fourth pick of the day on the ensuing drive and his fifth interception with just over a minute remaining to put the game out of reach.

Ragona and Price paced the Pride’s offensive effort, as Ragona had nine catches for 104 yards and Price caught eight balls for 108. The duo combined to catch all three touchdown passes from Krivda, who threw for 335 yards and was also picked five times. Junior Jacob Behorner (New Castle, Del.) led the defensive effort with nine tackles, while senior Stacey Sunnerville (Freehold, N.J.) had an interception he returned for 46 yards.

In addition to Burrell, Stevenson got strong contributions on offense from Addo and Harmon. Harmon threw a pair of touchdowns and was 25-for-36 on pass attempts, while Addo caught five passes for 83 yards along with scoring a touchdown. Lauer led the defense by returning three interceptions for a combined 65 yards. He also had seven tackles, including five solo, in the game.

Widener will regroup and return to action when it entertains Lycoming at Leslie C. Quick Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 1:00 p.m.