WILLIAMSPORT — A career game by quarterback Tanner Kelly of Clearfield led Albright College to a thrilling come-from-behind 42-35 Middle Atlantic Football Conference win over Lycoming in front of a near-capacity Senior Day crowd of 2,104 fans at David Person Field Saturday.
The redshirt freshman earned MAC Player of the Week honors for the second time this season by passing for 334 yards and three touchdowns, running for 82 yards and a touchdown and leading the game-winning, 75-yard drive after the Lions fell behind 35-34 with just 1:12 remaining.
Kelly completed passes of 17, 12 and 27 yards to help position the Lions for Vinnie Andrews\’ five-yard TD with 19 seconds left. Kelly then passed for the two extra points to make it a seven-point lead.
In the Williamsport Sun-Gazette game story, sports writer Wes Brink quoted Kelly as saying, \”We knew it was go-time. The line blocked great and the receivers did a heck of a job getting open and made some good catches. Then Vinnie punched it in at the end. It was a great drive. It was very exciting and emotional. It\’s a big win.\”
Albright coach E.J. Sandusky\’s comments to Brink on his evaluation of Kelly\’s last-drive performance were, \”He\’s very calm under pressure and believes in himself, and his teammates believe in him. He did a heck of a job leading that drive.\”
Kelly triggered the scoring derby, and Albright\’s first road win against Lycoming since 1977, when he scrambled away from a rush and ran 51 yards for his second touchdown of the season. He put the Lions ahead 14-7 with a seven-yard scoring pass in the second quarter and 21-14 with a five-yard TD pass early in the third period. His third touchdown pass, a 29-yarder, came on a what was described as a fourth down rope that hit the receiver in stride between two defenders to give the Lions a 34-21 cushion.
After Lycoming (3-5) rallied to go ahead, Kelly needed only 47 seconds to guide Albright (2-7, 2-6 in the MAC) to the deciding score, which ended a four-game losing streak.
Kelly completed 21 of 33 passes and hit season highs with his 82 rushing yards on 10 carries and his 416 yards in total offense. In addition, he punted three times for a 38.3 average.
Kelly, who missed one game and came off the bench in two others before taking over as starter, leads the MAC in completions (143), completion percentage (61.9), yards (1,747), passing yards average (281.4) and total offense average (245.2). He is second in passing efficiency (142.53). His season totals include 231 pass attempts, 56 carries for 215 yards and 23 punts for a 32.8 average.
Albright, which tops the MAC in passing offense (234.9) and total offense (366.6), hosts Lebanon Valley in its finale Saturday.
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MEADVILLE — Edinboro doomed Shippensburg to a losing season by rolling to a 47-24 halftime lead and departing Allegheny College\’s Frank B. Fuhrer Field with a 54-30 victory in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division game witnessed by only 500 fans Saturday.
The loss gives the Red Raiders a 4-6 record, 2-3 in the PSAC, for the final game Saturday at home against Clarion.
Right halfback Dave Richards of Clearfield carried five times for 46 yards, tops for the Red Raiders who mustered only 44 yards for 29 attempts, and caught one pass for five yards. One of his runs was a season-long 28 yards.
A redshirt junior, Richards has 314 yards for 63 carries and 152 yards for 13 receptions. He has returned three kickoffs for 32 yards.
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DOYLESTOWN — Freshman defensive back Beau Ryan of Clearfield had two solo tackles for Juniata College in a 21-0 Middle Atlantic Conference loss to host Lebanon Valley that drew 1,500 fans to James Work Memorial Field Saturday.
Lebanon Valley is 7-2, 6-2 in the MAC, while Juniata is 1-8, 1-7 going to its season finale at home against FDU-Fordham Saturday.