EDWARDSVILLE, Pa. – Holding onto an eight point lead with less than five minutes to play, Wilkes University (2-2/1-0 MAC) scored 14 unanswered points and took advantage of an interception to hand the Lions (2-2/0-1 MAC) their first conference loss to the 2010 season, with a 38-35 decision Saturday afternoon at the Ralston Athletic Field Complex.
Setting up what would be the game winning Chris Horn 30 yard field goal was an interception with only 45 seconds left in regulation. Senior captain Kevin Gerhart picked off an under thrown pass by freshman quarterback Ben Schaffle to put the Colonels in great field position.
After a seven yard run, Wilkes head coach Frank Sheptock turned to Horn for the win. The veteran kicker gladly accepted the challenge and with less than 15 seconds to play nailed the game-winner.
Now with only five seconds left on the clock, the Colonels kicked off to the Lions, and on a last ditch the return unit had no other choice but to try and return the kick for a touchdown. Unfortunately, Wilkes stopped the Lions dead in their tracks. A Colonels sack sealed the dramatic comeback.
It was a tough day overall for the Lions on both offense and defense. Missed tackles gave the Colonels great field position throughout Saturday's contest, while missed opportunities by the offense, kept Wilkes in the contest.
However in the second the red and white showed a great deal of intensity as they scored 21 points through the final two quarters. On the day, Albright totaled 373 yards of offense on 63 plays. Junior tailback Josan Holmes broke the 2,000 yard career rush mark with 99 yards on 20 carries. He also tied the all-time career rushing record with his eight TD of the year.
Quarterbacks Adam Galczynski and Ben Schaffle combined for 181 yards passing and were 11-for-22 respectively. Also helping out the late Albright surge was Ty Hughes on his 22 yard touchdown run and Clif LeGrand with his four yard touchdown run midway through the third quarter.
Defensively, junior Joe Arneth tallied two interceptions, while Mark Bergery added another. Don Gould had a career afternoon with nine tackles and the Lions only sack. Nick Goodling recovered his first fumble of the year, with Keith Bruno forcing the turnover.
With all the individual performances, the only true killer for the Lions was the penalties, especially the personal fouls. Early in the contest, the Lions had thought they stopped a Wilkes drive, but with a personal foul penalty called against the red and white, the Colonels got a second chance.
Looking to make something of their new found life, the Colonels continued to drive up the field, and would eventually score to take an early 7-0 lead.
Tying the game up at 7-7 in the first quarter was Luke Wallace who converted a 43 yard pass from Galczynski into his first TD reception of the year. On the day, Wallace totaled 71 yards on four catches.
Before the first quarter came to an end, Wilkes tacked on one more score to jump out to a 14-7 lead. They then extended that lead in the second with a touchdown and field goal. Albright tried to match their opposition, but was held to just one TD, a Holmes four yard run.
Football returns to action next Saturday when they host Lycoming College at 1 p.m. in a Middle Atlantic Conference game.