August 30, 2018

Albright Football Set to Open Season Friday Night at Salisbury

Courtesy of Albright Sports Information
The Albright Lions football team will open their 2018 season on the road Friday against the Salisbury Sea Gulls at 7 p.m.
 
Albright is coming off an 8-3 record in 2017 behind a 5-0 start to the season. The Lions finished tied for second in the MAC with a 7-2 record in conference play, and earned a berth in the Centennial-MAC Bowl Series for the second straight season. Albright suffered a 28-9 loss to Susquehanna in the game as they once again hosted their bowl matchup.

 
Salisbury finished 7-4 overall last season, and 7-2 in NJAC play. The Sea Gulls finished the season by playing in the ECAC Scotty Whitelaw Bowl against Ithaca, where they fell 27-17 to the Bombers.
 
LAST MEETING
The Lions won a thrilling 38-35 contest that went to overtime in last season's opener at Shirk Stadium. Albright jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter before the Sea Gulls ran off 21-straight unanswered points to take a 21-14 lead late in the second quarter. Albright would tie the game with 16 seconds left in the half thanks to a touchdown grab from wide receiver Mike Jordan.
 
The teams went back and forth before Albright seemingly had the game in hand after safety Trevan Harris-Dorman returned a fumble 13 yards. However, the Sea Gulls scored with 31 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. In the extra period, Albright kicker Kevin Goetz hit a 40-yard field goal to give the Lions the lead for good before Salisbury missed the potential game-tying field goal on their possession.
 
RETURNING ALL-CONFERENCE SELECTIONS
Albright returns four All-MAC performers from last season. On the offensive side, senior Kyle Dickerson earned All-MAC Second Team honors as a returner and at wide receiver. Junior Mike Jordan earned honorable mention at wide receiver as well.
 
On the defensive side, senior David Sanchez anchors the defense after being named to the Second Team for the second-straight season. Senior kicker Kevin Goetz repeated as an All-MAC First Team selection.
 
OPENING WEEK SUCCESS
The Lions have won six of their last seven season openers after picking up a thrilling win against Salisbury last season. This will also be the fourth-straight season that Albright and Salisbury will face each other in the season opener. Albright has won two of the three season-opening meetings, while the home team has yet to lose during the short series.
 
LIONS PICKED FOURTH IN PRESEASON POLL
Albright was picked to finish fourth in the annual MAC Coaches' Preseason Poll. Albright finished with 73 points, just six points behind third place Widener. Of the 11 first-place votes, defending league champion Delaware Valley picked up eight, Stevenson had two in second place, and Widener had one.
 
CENTENNIAL-MAC BOWL SERIES CHANGES
The Centennial Conference and the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) will continue with its postseason bowl series in 2018 for a fourth-straight year.
 
This year, however, the format has changed with the bowl series adding one more game into the mix. The top seeds, second seeds and third seeds that did not make the NCAA DIII Tournament will face each other unless the teams have already played that season. In that case, the commissioners from each conference will determine new pairings. The Centennial Conference will host the top-seed and third-seed games and the MAC will host the second-seed game in even years, and vice versa in odd years.
 
This season, the bowl games are scheduled for Saturday, November 17. The Centennial Conference (teams) will host the No. 1 seed and No. 3 seed games, while the MAC (team) will host the No. 2 seed game this year.
 
The MAC has won four of the six bowl series games to date. The Centennial Conference won both games in 2017. Delaware Valley has picked up two of the victories over Moravian (2015) and Muhlenberg (2016), while Stevenson defeated Muhlenberg in 2015 and Albright defeated Franklin & Marshall in 2016.