The Albright College football team set school single game records for both total offense and passing yards as the Lions beat visiting Wilkes University 65-26, Saturday afternoon at Shirk Stadium.
The Lions' 545 passing yards and 675 total yards were records, while the team's 30 first downs was tied for third most in school history and its 65-point output was fifth-most all-time. Albright's passing total was also second-most in Middle Atlantic Conference history, trailing only Juniata's 587 yards against Widener back in 1999. Their 675 yards was seventh-most ever in the MAC.
Individually, freshman kicker Jordan Loiodice equaled a school record with eight PAT attempts, making seven and missing that single game mark by one. His 10 points were tied for sixth-most ever by an Albright placekicker.
Senior Scott Pillar caught nine balls for 220 yards (the sixth-highest total in school history). Zach Groff led the rushing attack with 73 yards, while senior Josan Holmes had 60 rushing yards and two scores.
Albright's passing attack was nothing short of extrordinary, as Adam Galczynski, TJ Luddy and Griffin Eldridge combined for 545 yards on 29-of-35 passing. Galcynzki was 20-of-26 for 377 yards and three scores, and his completion percentage of 76.9% was fifth in the school record books. Luddy was a perfect 7-for-7, and Eldridge added two completions on his only attempts of the day.
The game was actually close for most of the first half until Albright blew their opponents out of the water with 27 unanswered points in a 7:39 span.
Holmes gave his side an 11-point lead with a one-yard dive in the final minute of the first half, putting the Lions ahead 24-13. Galczynski then threw three touchdown passes in the opening seven-plus minutes of the second half to put Albright up 44-13.
On the opening play of the second half, Galczynski found Pillar for a 40-yard gain and later converted a 4th-and-2 by scrambling across the marker when he couldn't find an open receiver. The drive ended in a three-yard TD catch by fullback Marty Reinhardt.
Wilkes had the ball for all of 90 seconds on their ensuing two drives, which ended in a Mark Capetola fumble recovery and a Mark Bergery interception, respectively. Both Albright drives were capped by touchdown receptions from senior Josh Bakala.
On the first drive, Holmes wiped out a 15-yard penalty with a 51-yard screen pass, leading to Bakala's catch at the back of the end zone. Bakala then got behind the Colonel defense for a outstanding diving 40-yard touchdown catch on Albright's next possession.
The Lions added three more touchdowns in a six-minute span, early in the fourth quarter. Luddy got in on the action with a 52-yard scoring bomb to Pillar to make it 51-20. Albright wouldn't even let their opponents punt the ball away as Wilkes' ensuing three-and-out led to a Sean Cunningham blocked punt that was recovered by David Webb in the endzone.
Albright's special teams actually blocked three kicks on the day, with sophomore Matthew Hnatiuk getting a hand on two extra-point attempts.
After Webb's touchdown, Hnatiuk recovered a fumble and Eldridge bought himself time on a fourth-and-long, hitting Qaudir Johnson at the left edge of the end zone for a 26-yard score.
Before the floodgates opened, the teams were almost even in first half yards (232-Wilkes, 234-Albright), and each converted 13 first downs. The big difference before the break came with 2:15 left in the first quarter. With Wilkes threatening to score and take a 7-3 lead, the Colonels fumbled on Albright's 10-yard line and Bergery recovered in the end zone for a touchback.
Almost lost in the scoring parade were solid defensive performances from players like Ryan Ott (team-high nine tackles, including three for a loss) and Francis Hall (Albright's only sack of the game).
Albright improves to 3-0 with the victory and moves to 1-0 in league play after winning its MAC opener. The Lions are on the road next weekend to face another Wilkes-Barre team, as Albright plays King's College at 1 p.m.