September 9, 2018

Albright Football Drops Home Opener to #2 Mary Hardin-Baylor

READING, Pa. – The Albright football team faced a tough challenge coming into Saturday afternoon's contest against No. 2 ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor, and the Cru flexed their muscle with a 91-7 win over the Lions in non-conference action.

With the loss, the Lions fall to 0-2 on the season in their final non-conference game of the season. Meanwhile, the Cru of the America Southwest Conference (ASC) improve to 1-0 in their first game of the season.

The Lions used two freshman quarterbacks on Saturday with Kai Vargas making his collegiate debut and went 3-of-8 for 28 yards with one touchdown. Classmate Todd Shelley threw for 31 yards in the loss and no touchdowns. Senior Kyle Dickerson led the team with 26 yards receiving on two catches while junior Zack Miller made two catches for 16 yards and hauled in his first collegiate touchdown. Freshman Tony Thorpe led the team in rushing with 51 yards on 14 carries.

Both teams traded three-and-outs to start the game before the Lions began to move the ball. Following a roughing the passer penalty on third down, Shelley found Dickerson for 23 yards into Cru territory at the 33-yard line. However two plays later, a fumble from freshman Will Dogba gave the ball back to Mary Hardin-Baylor. The Cru then moved the ball quick and scored on a three-yard touchdown to make it 7-0 with 7:03 left in the first quarter. Freshman Jaylan Lawson then gave the Lions a spark with a 55-yard kick return to the Cru 27-line yard. But the Lions turned the ball back over again three plays later on a one-handed interception by Jalen Martin at the Cru 14-yard line. On the second play of the new drive for Mary Hardin-Baylor, Aaron Sims took a screen pass 71 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0. The Cru forced a three-and-out and then extended their lead to 20-0 on a 61-yard catch and run.

The second quarter started with two more touchdown drives for Mary Hardin-Baylor following a pair of Lions three-and outs to make it 41-0 with 6:33 left in the first half. The Cru then extended its lead following another Lions interception on the first play of the ensuing drive. Thorpe led the way on the Lions next drive with four runs which included a conversion on 4th and 1. Unfortunately for the Lions, a third interception gave the ball back to the Cru, who would score again on the following drive.

Albright tried to catch the Cru off guard to open the second half with an onside kick, but Derek Sides quickly grabbed the ball and raced 45 yards for a touchdown to make it 58-0. A fourth interception to start the Lions next drive quickly gave it back to the Cru, who scored a touchdown again 10 plays later. The Lions moved into Cru territory for the first time since the first quarter on their next drive before being stopped on 4th and 1. Albright would then finally break on the scoreboard with 2:28 left in the third quarter on a 12-yard touchdown pass from Vargas to Miller. The Lions ran seven times on the scoring drive that last 10 plays for 56 yards. Mary Hardin-Baylor would add three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter to close the game.
On defense, freshman Aaron Dawson led the Lions with eight tackles (six solo) and blocked an extra point. Sophomore Nate Steffen and junior Tyler Foster each tallied six tackles as well (three solo each). Senior kicker Kevin Goetz had another great day of punting by averaging 40.1 yards per punt on seven kicks. Two of them were 50-plus yards and one landed inside the 20.

The Cru amassed 659 total offensive yards on the game with 366 of them coming through the air. Jase Hammack went 7-of-12 for 270 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Markeith Miller scored six touchdowns and added 97 yards rushing.

The Lions will return to action on Saturday, September 15th when they will open MAC conference play versus Stevenson at 1 p.m. for the 68th annual Rajah Shrine Pretzel Bowl.

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