Albright was looking to take top-ranked Mount Union to a place it hadn’t been for a while, a meaningful football game in the fourth quarter. The Purple Raiders put an end to the quest by striking for 35 first-half points on their way to a 66-7 victory over the Lions in a second round game of the NCAA playoffs on Saturday at Mount Union Stadium.
Albright was seeking to get off to a fast start on Saturday much like it did in its 49-0 victory over Norwich in the opening round of the playoffs, but it was the Purple Raiders who got off to the fast start.
Mount Union took over after an Albright three-and-out and marched 70 yards in 13 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Taurice Scott connected with Jordan Hargrove for a 19-yard touchdown with 8:31 to play in the first quarter.
The Purple Raiders turned in their first big play of the afternoon on the Lions next drive. Brian Groves blocked a Kevin Goetz punt and Kollyn Crenshaw recovered the blocked punt in the end zone increasing the Mount Union lead to 14-0 with 6:28 to play in the first quarter.
Mount Union took over at midfield following another Albright three-and-out and needed just five plays to extend the lead to 21-0. Logan Nemeth plunged in from a yard out to extend the Purple Raiders lead with 2:44 to play in the first period.
The Lions appeared poised to get back into the game early in the second quarter.
Senior linebacker Steve Barroso intercepted a Scott pass at the Albright 19-yard line to halt a Purple Raider scoring opportunity.
Quarterback Mike Knight connected with Gerrod Gainer for 45 yards on the Lions first play following the interception, but Knight was sacked on a third-down play later in the drive and Albright was forced to punt.
The Purple Raiders responded with a back-breaking touchdown drive. Mount Union drove 90 yards in 15 plays and chewed up 6:30 on the clock to extend the lead to 28-0 when Nemeth scored from two yards out.
Albright got on the scoreboard late in the first half. The Lions marched 73 yards in seven plays and Knight capped the scoring drive with a 30-yard hookup with Khari Jefferson to cut the lead to 28-7.
Mount Union answered the Lions touchdown drive with one of its own right before halftime. The Purple Raiders took a 35-7 lead into the intermission when Scott connected with Tim Kennedy for a 4-yard scoring pass.
Nemeth, who rushed for 185 yards and three touchdowns, pushed the Mount Union lead to 42-7 when he scampered in from 47 yards out on the Purple Raiders first drive of the second half.
Mount Union outscored Albright 24-0 for the remainder of the game.
Albright concludes its season with a 10-2 overall record, while Mount Union improves to 12-0 on the season and advances to the quarterfinal round.
Knight finished the game 13-of-22 for 186 yards and the touchdown pass to Jefferson. Alec Vignola came off the bench and was 2-of-7 for nine yards.
Roemello Monroe led the Albright ground attack with 13 yards rushing as the Lions were held to -23 yards rushing as Mount Union sacked Knight and Vignola a combined 11 times.
Vinny Williams and Malik Jackson each had four receptions to pace the receivers, while Gainer led the Lions with 59 receiving yards.
Donte Thomas and Colton Ryan each had nine tackles to lead the Albright defensive effort. Barroso finished with an interception and five tackles while Isaiah Baylor had a sack and two tackles.