Albright Rallies Again to Win ECAC Title, 45-34 Over Visiting Juniata
The Albright College football team scored 24 straight points in the second half, coming back to win the 2013 ECAC Southwest Bowl 45-34 over Juniata in Shirk Stadium.
It was the second consecutive year that the Lions came from behind in the fourth quarter to beat a Centennial Conference team for the ECAC title. Albright won at Franklin & Marshall 38-34 last year after trailing by 14 in the final period.
Senior quarterback TJ Luddy was named the game's Most Outstanding Player after totaling four touchdowns. He threw for 201 yards and two scores, while rushing for 71 yards and another pair of TDs.
It was Luddy's 52-yard scramble into the end zone with exactly five minutes to play that made the difference, giving Albright a 38-28 lead.
Two plays from scrimmage later, senior Levi Myers picked off Ward Udinski's pass and took it 45 yards the other way for the icing points and a 45-28 scoreline.
Senior Ty Hughes had 70 yards rushing on the day to eclipse 1,000 for the season. Devron Clark caught six balls for 76 yards and a touchdown.
Senior Paul Hobbs led the defense with eight tackles on the day. Matt Pattison totaled 1.5 sacks, and Tyler Hamlet had a sack and four QB hurries.
The Lions defense had appeared to force a turnover in the second quarter when Matthew Hnatiuk stripped Udinski following a long run. The play was blown dead however, with Udinski scoring soon after on another keeper for a 21-14 lead.
Albright trailed 14-0 after a disastrous opening five minutes. Juniata returned the opening kickoff to midfield and took the lead on a Udinski nine-yard run. Albright then carried the kickoff out of bounds deep in their own end before going 3-and-out, and Juniata punched it in on three plays when Luddy's punt only reached the 25 yard line.
Daniel McNair gave the Lions some much-needed momentum with a good kickoff return, and then made a nice catch down to the 10-yard line. Luddy ran it in from six yards out to get Albright on the board.
Luddy hit Clark from 22 yards out to tie the game early in the second quarter, and then found McNair late in the period to pull even again at 21-21.
Albright kicker Daniel Sobolewski booted a 47-yarder in the third quarter following another Juniata score, and the Lions finally took their first lead, 31-28, with 6:54 remaining on a Hughes rush.
Linebacker Matt Filosa had chased down Udinski to stop a fourth down try on the possession preceding that touchdown. Cunningham then broke up a third down pass on the next Eagle drive with a hard shot on Aaron O'Brien as the Juniata freshman tried to make a catch.
Udinski threw for 223 yards and a score, while rushing for 95 yards and two more touchdowns. Centennial Conference Defensive Player of the Year Brandon Felus had a big day on the line with 2.0 sacks, 3.0 tackles for loss and two pass breakups.
The Lions finish their season at 8-3 with an ECAC championship, the same as in 2012. Juniata concludes its campaign with a 7-4 mark.