Sports

Late surge pushes Albright past Wilkes

READING, Pa. - The Albright football team recorded its fourth fourth-quarter comeback of the season with its 26-23 win over Wilkes on Saturday at Shirk Stadium.Alec Vignola threw for 361 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions (6-2, 5-2) forced six turnovers on the day including five interceptions.

The second of Vignola's touchdowns gave the Lions the victory. On third-and-10 from the Wilkes 21, Vignola moved out of the pocket to his left, and he threw it on the move to Khari Jefferson in the back of the end zone. With the extra point, Albright had the 26-23 advantage with just 15 seconds left.

Kyven Jones wrapped the game with an interception on a desperation heave on Wilkes' first play of its next drive.

The score was tied at 16 heading into the fourth quarter, but Wilkes took the lead thanks to a defensive score early in the final period. Vignola fumbled while he was sacked at the 1 by Ian Brown. Vinnie Werner recovered it in the end zone for a Wilkes touchdown.

After the teams exchanged punts, Vignola completed his first six pass attempts on a drive that finally stalled at the Wilkes 11. Kevin Goetz kicked a 28-yard field goal to make it 23-19 with 5:38 to play. Wilkes got a first down on its ensuing drive, but the Lions forced a punt thanks to a sack by Isaiah Baylor and David Sanchez on third down.

That gave the ball back to the Lions with 1:47 left at their own 40. Vignola completed a 22-yard pass to Malik Jackson to get the drive rolling. He also completed a pass toKyle Dickerson for five yards on a fourth-and-1 play from the Wilkes 26. Three plays later, he found Jefferson in the back of the end zone.

Dickerson finished with 11 catches for 122 yards, and Jackson had nine catches for 130 yards. Jackson also made two special teams tackles.

Wilkes (0-8, 0-7) fought tooth-and-nail with the Lions throughout the game. Goetz opened the scoring with a 42-yard field goal, but after Nick Yanik fell on a loose ball in the end zone to make it 7-3, the Colonels didn't trail again until Vignola's pass to Jefferson in the final seconds.

The Albright defense held firm to keep it as a one-possession game throughout. Five different Lions had interceptions. Jones' pick in the final seconds joined interceptions by Nate Steffen, Ya'Meer Lowery, Grant Boehler and Kali Boyce.

Isaiah Baylor had a game-high 13 tackles. He also forced a fumble, and two tackles for loss and a half of a sack. He added a quarterback hurry to his disruptive day.

Albright special teams also blocked a kick for the second-straight week. This one came on a PAT try after Wilkes took a 16-10 lead late in the second quarter. That play proved large as the Lions came back to score a touchdown on a 16-yard pass from Vignola to Mike Jordan to tie the score at 16. Goetz's extra point try went wide right to keep the score even until the fourth quarter.

Jordan, the MAC leader in touchdown receptions with seven, finished with two grabs for 25 yards. Nigel Sealey also scored a touchdown for the Lions. It came with 10:02 remaining in the second quarter to tie the score at 10.

Albright returns to action on a short week when it plays at FDU-Florham on Friday night.

Information courtesy of Albright Athletics.


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