Football falls in home opener to Albright, 24-17

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – The Ursinus College football team opened the season for the first time with a night game at newly renovated Patterson Field. In front of an overflow crowd, Albright (1-0) spoiled the party as the Lions scored 17 straight points to defeat the Bears (0-1) 24-17.

Ursinus had a chance to tie it late, but, the Bears final drive came to an end on the Lions' 25 as sophomore quarterback Chris Curran (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) threw an interception that was picked off by Albright sophomore defensive back David Webb at the Lions 10 yard line.

Curran, starting for the first time collegiately, was 18-for-34 for 193 yards and one touchdown pass. Curran threw to nine different receivers, with senior wide out Al Desiderio (Philadelphia, Pa./Roman Catholic) catching three passes for 63 yards. Curran also rushed for a score and tallied 14 yards rushing on seven attempts. On the ground, Ursinus got 63 yards from freshman running back Bryan Ellis (Owings Mills, Md./McDonogh School).

Albright was led by senior tailback Josan Holmes who had 110 yards on 22 carries. Junior quarterback Adam Galczynski was 6-for-9 with 133 yards and a score.  Holmes also led the Lions in receiving with three catches for 69 yards, the bulk of which came on a 63-yard screen pass. 

Defensively, Ursinus forced three turnovers (two interceptions and a fumble recovery). Senior linebacker Greg Martell (Levittown, Pa./Neshaminy), who had a game-best 11 tackles including ten solo stops, had a sack and a fumble recovery. Senior defensive back Mike Rissmiller (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) and junior defensive back Chris Rountree (Lawnside, N.J./Haddon Heights) each had interceptions. Rissmiller finished with ten stops.

Senior defensive end Sean Whelan (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks East) had a forced fumble.

For Albright, senior cornerback Mark Bergery had ten stops.

Ursinus scored on its first drive, which came via a turnover as Rissmiller intercepted Albright sophomore quarterback T.J. Luddy at the Bears' 40 yard line and raced down to the Lions' 31. Seven plays later, Curran completed a five-yard TD pass to senior tight end Seth Cardene (Hainesport, N.J./Rancocas Valley) with 9:53 left for a 7-0 lead.

Albright tied the score on its next drive as Holmes capped a 71-yard, ten-play drive with a 24-yard scoring run with 4:42 left for a 7-7 deadlock.

In the second quarter, Albright looked to take the field but its drive was halted at the Bears' 2 yard line as Rountree intercepted a pass and returned it to the 7-yard line with 10:33 left.

From there, the Bears put together a 15-yard, 86-yard drive in 7:43, capped by a field goal from sophomore kicker Michael Bennett (Maple Glen, Pa./LaSalle College HS) from 25 yards out for a 10-7 lead.

Albright's next drive was a short one as on third-and-8, Luddy was sacked by Whelan at the Lions' 30 yard line forcing a fumble which was recovered by Martell. From there, Ursinus went four plays and 25 yards in 1:32, with Curran ending the drive with a 1-yard scoring sneak for a 17-7 Ursinus lead with 24 seconds left.

Rissmiller put the Bears in good field position to start the second half, as he returned the kickoff 34 yards to the Ursinus 42, which was followed by a facemask penalty, putting Ursinus at the Lion 48. However, Ursinus would only get to the 30-yard line before turning the ball over on downs.

Albright then pulled with in three at 17-14 as on second-and-3 from the Albright 37, Holmes took a screen pass 63 yards for a score with 10:26 left.

Ursinus attempted to answer back with a score of its own, but, Bennett's 21-yard field goal with 8:20 left in the third quarter was blocked by Albright junior cornerback Ed Leech. Albright then put together a 14-play, 80-yard drive spanning 7:20, ending on a 1-yard run off tackle by sophomore tailback Uriah Brickhouse with one minute left in the third for a 21-17 Lion lead.

Ursinus' first drive in the fourth quarter resulted in a punt at the Bears' 46 yard line with 10:55 left. Albright went up 24-17 on a 21-yard field goal with 4:14 left by freshman kicker Jordan Loiodice. The field goal was the end of a 12-play, 77-yard drive that took up 6:46.

Ursinus will be at Gettysburg on Saturday, starting off the Centennial Conference slate.