FB: Colonels take Homecoming victory with 27-0 blowout

EDWARDSVILLE, Pa. – Family, friends, fans and alumni all helped celebrate the 27-0 Colonel shutout win over Albright College for the homecoming day game.
“It was great (to get a homecoming win),” said head coach Jonathan Drach. “It was fun to get that kind of fan support and I think our guys played really-really hard.”
Wilkes won the toss at the beginning of the game but decided to defer and kicked the ball to the Lions. The Colonels held Albright’s drive, forcing them to punt at fourth and 12.

With the ball in Wilkes’ possession, seven plays in, junior running back Elijah Jules took a handoff from sophomore quarterback Isaiah Rodriguez for a 10 yard running touchdown. First-year kicker Nick Volpone’s extra point attempt was satisfactory, putting the Colonels up 7-0.

“Playing infront of some of the alumni was fun,” said Rodriguez. “We kept getting positive plays and kept the ball moving.”
The Colonels kept the Lions off of the scoreboard, stopping them seven plays in, forcing another Albright punt.
Wilkes then turned the ball over on downs and the Lions finished with possession as the play clock ran out for the first quarter.
Going into the second quarter, Albright’s possession did not last long as the Colonel’s defense forced another punt eight plays in. The Lions punt put Wilkes at the 20-yard line as it was a touchback in the end zone.

Rodriguez completed two passes for eight-yards along with rushing for one-yard to get to the 29-yard line.
After an offside call and then a false start, Wilkes capitalized on the extra time they were given between plays. Jules rushed for three-yards and then caught a pass for a 60-yard gain on a screen.

“My biggest key moment was the screen for 60-yards,” said Jules. “It was a third-down, a key down and to execute that in such a critical moment definitely stuck out to me.”
First and goal for the Colonels led to Rodriguez taking one in himself for an eight-yard rushing touchdown, putting Wilkes up 14-0 after another extra point from Volpone.
Albright was forced into another punting situation, but Wilkes was unable to take advantage of their last first-half drive. The Lions finished with possession of the ball to end the first-half.
“I think our defense did a really good job of getting in the run lanes,” said Drach. “Our defense was quicker and faster than their offense and we found the gaps.”
Wilkes started off with the ball in the third quarter after receiving a punt at the 33-yard line. The Colonels were forced to punt on their drive and Albright picked up a penalty on the play, putting them back on their own 22.
Three plays into their drive, the Lions were forced to punt again. Sophomore Zane Grover received the punt on the 44-yard line, fumbled it, but was able to recover it for no gain.
In a three and a half minute possession, Wilkes got the ball up the field and scored another touchdown as Jules rushed for a 10-yard run to put Wilkes up by three touchdowns. Volpone’s extra point put the Colonels at a secure 21-0 score.
“It felt great (scoring twice),” said Jules. “Being to do it (score) twice on homecoming is a special feeling I won’t forget”
Another forced punt by the Colonel defense led to Wilkes gaining possession for the remainder of the third.
The start of the fourth quarter led Wilkes to have the ball for over seven minutes, pulling off 12 plays.
On fourth and eight, the coaching staff decided to have Volpone attempt a field goal from the 27-yard line. The kick was good and Wilkes was now up 24-0.
Forcing another Albright punt, Wilkes regained the ball and went on to have Volpone kick another field goal from the 31-yard line. Another good kick put the Colonels up 27-0.
Personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct put the Lions at third and 37. Wilkes’ defense made it harder for Albright as they pushed them back another three-yards on a run attempt.
At fourth and 35 after a five-yard rush play, the Lions were forced to punt again.

Wilkes punted the ball on their drive as they made substitution changes on the field. Junior wide receiver and quarterback Xavier Powell had a few incomplete passes, leading to the punt decision. Albright did not capitalize on their drive and turned the ball over on downs at their own 38.
Wilkes finished out the play clock with two rushing plays to lock in the win. The Colonels will play on the road at Alvernia University this Saturday at noon.

Baylee Guedes
Baylee Guedes
Baylee Guedes