Albright Football Shuts Down FDU

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By Jimmy McCumber

The Albright College football team recorded a shutout on Saturday in Shirk Stadium, blanking a short-handed FDU-Florham squad 45-0.

It was Albright's first shutout since a 16-0 win over King's in 2008. The Devils had been ravaged by injuries on offense in the last week, losing top receiver Anthony Fruncillo, starting quarterback Mike Santos and their top two running backs, and had a key lineman playing hurt as well.

MAC receptions leader Scott Pillar lined up in the backfield on numerous occasions, totaling 114 yards on five carries (with one score). He also caught two passes for 20 yards and a touchdown.

Pillar broke for a 94-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter to put the Lions up 14-0. It was the third-longest rush in school history, and the longest run by a Lion since 1951 (96 yards, Willie Smith).

Senior Ty Hughes (nine carries, 69 yards) and Marty Reinhardt (nine carries, 67 yards) were each effective out of the backfield, averaging over seven yards per rush. As a team, the Lions rushed for 389 yards and totaled 543 yards of offense.

Daniel McNair totaled four catches for 75 yards. Quarterback TJ Luddy was 6-of-7 for 89 yards and two TDs before leaving the game with the lead secure. He also punted one time for 44 yards.

No one made more than four tackles in a balanced defensive effort, as Albright held FDU to just 153 yards and eight first downs. Joe Magosin had four solo stops and a forced fumble, while Nick Gjoni and Matthew Hnatiuk each recorded four total tackles as well.

FDU rookie quarterback Anthony Ognibene just barely escaped Mark Capetola's grasp to avoid a safety on the Devils' first drive. He then broke another tackle for a tough first down pickup on third-and-long.

All that resulted in a 13-yard punt however, and Hughes rumbled right up the middle for 27 yards to open the scoring. FDU's Dan DiProfio did better, pinning a 40-yard punt at the one-yard line, but Pillar soon broke his run to make it 14-0 Lions.

The Devils had their only sustained drive of the game at the end of the first quarter, but linebacker Ryan Ott stuffed a fourth-and-one to end the threat. Albright then survived 25 yards of penalties to pick up a first down, and got down near the goalline after McNair grabbed a 36-yard simultaneous possession catch.

Pillar made it 21-0 with a seven-yard score, and junior Griffin Eldridge added another touchdown 19 seconds before halftime, after Mark Krisak blocked a punt in the final minute of the second quarter.

Five minutes after halftime, running back Zach Groff bounced outside left and went 17 yards for another Albright TD. Uriah Brickhouse added the final Lion touchdown, in the fourth quarter.

Freshman kicker Daniel Sobolewski drilled a 37-yarder and attempted a school-record 48-yard kick, missing it short. In a strange moment he also threw an interception to FDU's Mike Mancino, following a bad snap on another field goal try.

Albright's Ethan Martin forced a fumble in the fourth quarter, and Ed Leech brought it all the way for a touchdown. The play was called back after a Lion penalty.

The Lions improve to 4-2, 3-2 with the win, and will host King's next Saturday on Homecoming weekend.

Dec. 14: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 24, Mount Union 16
@ Woodforest Bank Stadium; Shenandoah, Texas
Box Score Recap Photos
Dec. 8: All times Eastern
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 31, UW-Whitewater 14
Box Score Recap Photos
at Mount Union 28, Johns Hopkins 20
Video Box Score Recap Photos
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