Fourth Quarter TDs, Late Interception Lift Mustangs to Homecoming Victory

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – A pair of fourth quarter touchdown passes by Dan Williams and a late interception by Brian Latham lifted Stevenson University to a 26-23 Middle Atlantic Conference football victory over Albright College in front of a sold-out Homecoming crowd at Mustang Stadium Saturday afternoon.

With the win, Stevenson (4-3, 4-2 MAC) moves into a three-way tie for third in the conference standings with Albright (5-2, 4-2 MAC) and Lebanon Valley.  The Lions dropped their second straight contest after starting the season 5-0.

Stevenson, which trailed 16-12 entering the fourth quarter, retook the lead with 10:20 to go as a five-play, 68-yard drive ended with a 45-yard completion as Williams found Riley Hodge all alone on the right side as he scampered in for his second touchdown of the season to put the Mustangs up 19-16.

After an Albright drive that stalled at midfield after a sack by junior Ashton Leschke and senior Dan Miller, Stevenson increased its lead to 26-16 with 5:48 remaining as Williams and senior Preston Addo hooked up for a 61-yard completion.  The Lions responded with a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to pull within three, 26-23, with 3:33 left as backup quarterback Jimmy Lahay, on his only throw of the day, found Malik Jackson for a two-yard completion.

Stevenson had moved into Albright territory and forced the Lions to burn all three of their timeouts on third-and-9 with 1:14 to go when Williams threw an interception, which Albright's Kali Boyce returned to the 35 with 1:03 to go.

The Lions marched down to the Mustang 39 and on 2nd-and-10, a pass by Alec Vignola was intercepted by Latham at the 16.  Latham returned it 19 yards to the Albright 35, and a final knee by Williams ended the game.

Stevenson took a 2-0 with 11:37 left in the second quarter as a snap on an Albright punt attempt on its own 31 on 4th and 19 sailed over the head of punter Kevin Goetz into the end zone, with Goetz batting it back for a safety.  On the ensuing Mustang possession, Williams was picked off at midfield, and the Lions went 49 yards in five plays and 1:54 for a touchdown to take a 7-2 lead with 7:54 left in the second.

The Mustangs started their next possession at their own 34 following a 30-yard punt return by Addo and went 48 yards before stalling out at the Albright 18.  Freshman Ian Gould, who had an earlier field goal attempt blocked, connected from 35 yards to make it 7-5 with 4:11 on the clock.

Following a 46-yard punt return, Albright started in Stevenson territory and closed out the first half scoring as Goetz booted a 31-yard field goal with 1:34 on the clock to increase the guests' lead to 10-5.

Stevenson's first lead of the game was set up by a takeaway as Leschke forced a fumble at the Albright 21 that was recovered by JT Arias at the Lion 22.  After a 21-yard completion from Williams to junior Sebastien Vainqueur to set Stevenson up at the 1, Williams rolled out and found junior tight end Patrick Najmola for a completion and the touchdown with 10:12 to go in the third.  After the Mustangs were whistled for a hold on what appeared to be a successful two-point try by Kenneth Scott-Kelow, Gould booted a 30-yard extra point to make it 12-10.

Albright responded with a seven-play, 73-yard drive capped by a 40-yard completion from Vignola to Kyle Dickerson where Dickerson slipped through two tacklers and in for the touchdown.  A pass on the two-point try sailed high as the Lions reclaimed the lead, 16-12, with 6:08 to go in the third.

Williams finished 26-40 passing foe 381 yards and three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.  Addo caught eight balls for 165 yards, while Vainqueur had six grabs for 73 yards.  Junior Isaiah Austin carried 20 times for 69 yards.  Senior Wade Korvin had five punts for 222 yards (44.4 yards per punt), including a 61-yard boot following Stevenson's first drive of the second half that pinned Albright inside their own 1.

Vignola was 17-34 passing for 309 yards and a pair of touchdowns, with Milton Cordero catching seven passes for 84 yards.

Defensively, Leschke led Stevenson with eight tackles in addition to his forced fumble and sack.  Latham, Jake Clayton and Cory Pietrzyk each had six stops.

Stevenson outgained Albright 462-377, including 381-311 through the air, while both teams amassed 20 first downs.  Both teams were penalized eight times, with the Mustangs having 80 yards of penalty yardage and the Lions 65.  Albright won the time of possession battle, holding the ball for just over 32 minutes.

Stevenson is home for the second straight week next Saturday when it hosts Widener in a 1:00 MAC contest at Mustang Stadium.  The Pride currently sit second in the MAC standings.