FB: Colonels break 17-year homecoming drought

Kirsten Peters, Co-Sports Editor

On Saturday, Wilkes football battled back-and-forth against Albright College, ultimately coming out on top in the final seconds of the game with a touchdown by senior wide receiver Jeff Steeber to give the Colonels the 47-43 victory.

With this win, the Colonels ended a 17-year Homecoming drought, indicating the level of improvement that the program is having under new head coach Jon Drach’s leadership.

In the first quarter, the Colonels got the ball rolling and took the

7-0 lead after junior quarterback Jose Tabora and Steeber worked as a unit for a 22-yard pitch-and-catch.

However, the Lions answered back with a touchdown of their own after capitalizing off of an error by the Colonels.

After a Tabora fumble, Albright’s Kyle Dickerson tied the game 7-7 with a short-field touchdown.

In the second quarter, the Colonels regained the lead when wide receiver Nick Yanik received a 66-yard touchdown pass from Tabora. The extra point was no good, as the Albright special team’s unit blocked the kick and kept the Colonels lead to six points.

This missed extra point proved to be detrimental for Wilkes, as Albright’s Tony Thorpe was able to score on a 14-yard run before the end of the quarter, giving the Lions the 14-13 point lead going into halftime, rather than the 14-14 tie if Wilkes’s extra point attempt would have been successful.

After Tabora’s first pass of the third quarter was intercepted, the Lions expanded upon their one-point lead a minute and 35 seconds into the quarter with a 12-yard reception by Kevin Zehner, increasing Albright’s lead to 21-13.

After scoring 14 unanswered points, the Colonels attempted to score another touchdown, but Steeber dropped the pass on fourth and nine in the endzone.

With 3:39 left in the quarter, Wilkes made their way to the endzone again. This time the Colonels were able to complete the pass when fullback Joseph Leszczynski caught one for six-yards from Tabora for his first career touchdown. Rather than going for the extra point, the Colonels tried to get back the extra point that was unsuccessful earlier in the game after their second touchdown. However, Wilkes’s two-point conversion attempt was unsuccessful, leaving them behind 21-19.

Although the Colonels two-point conversion was unsuccessful, their momentum changed when defensive back Shane Montague had a 56-yard interception return to make it into the endzone. With a successful extra point attempt by freshman kicker David Kutteroff, Wilkes gained the five-point lead 26-21 going into the final quarter.

Only 10 seconds into the fourth quarter, Albright regained the lead with a 44-yard touchdown reception by Zack Miller. Instead of going for the extra point attempt, the Lions decided to show the Colonels how it’s done by going for their own two-point conversion, putting them ahead 29-26.

The back-and-forth contest continued, as wide receiver Derek Nelson completed the 28 yard pass from Tabora to put the Colonels ahead 33-29.

However, this lead did not last long, as Albright’s Miller scored again, gaining the three-point lead again at 36-33.

With three minutes left in the game, three touchdowns were completed, two on Wilkes’s end and one on Albright’s, continuing their back-and-forth action.

With 2:37 left in the game, Steeber completed an 18-yard touchdown pass to make the score 40-36.

Albright answered back with their final touchdown of the game when Dickerson completed a 32-yard pass to put them ahead 43-40.

With 11 seconds left in the game, Steeber and Tabora connected again in the endzone for a 14-yard touchdown reception and a successful extra point attempt by Kutteroff to bring the Colonels to a 47-43 point victory.

Tabora threw for 368 yards and a school-record six touchdowns.

The Colonels will face FDU-Florham on Oct. 12 at 7:00 p.m. in MAC play.