READING, Pa. – The Salisbury University football team hit the road for its 2017 season opener at Albright College and despite trailing late, the Sea Gulls fought back, tying the contest late in regulation, forcing overtime, but the Lions were able to capitalize in the extra session for a 38-35 victory.
Salisbury trailed 28-21 with just over two minutes remaining in regulation, when the Sea Gulls took possession after the defense held the Lions (1-0) just outside of field goal range, forcing a punt.
The Sea Gulls drove 80 yards over eight plays to tie the game, including two passes of more than 30 yards from senior Brandon Lewis to wide receiver Brian Hammond – the second of which went for 32 yards as Hammond won the ball in double coverage down the middle.
Senior super back Malique Pratt finished off the drive, pound the ball up the middle from 3 yards out for the touchdown and senior Alex Potocko's point after tied the contest with 31 seconds left in regulation. Pratt rushed for 59 yards in the game, and two scores.
In the overtime period, Salisbury's defense held on the opening possession, holding Albright to just 2 yards, settling for a 40-yard field goal attempt, which sailed through the uprights to give the Lions the 38-35 lead.
Salisbury gained a first down on its opening play in the overtime period, but could move no further, ultimately attempting a 48-yard field goal that missed the mark, giving the Lions the victory.
The Lions began the game by scoring the first two touchdowns, in the game's first eight minutes, but Salisbury came back with the next three score, finding the end zone on two Lewis runs and a Lewis pass to Sean Rowland from 9 yards out, taking a 21-14 lead late in the second quarter. Lewis completed 7-of-13 passes for 163 yards while rushing for 65 yards.
Albright tied the game just before halftime on Mike Jordan's leaping catch in the corner of the end zone, as he just got one foot in bounds, sending the game to the break knotted at 21-21.
Neither team scored in the third quarter, with the Salisbury defense coming up big on the goal line. Keith Payne broke up a Lions pass just in the end zone, and later Mark Davis Jr., got his first interception of the year, ending an Albright drive at the Salisbury 3-yard line.
Payne broke up three passes in the game, while sophomore Harold Kwigova led the defensive effort with seven tackles.
Pratt's second touchdown run of the game – 31-yard burst up the middle – gave Salisbury a 28-21 lead one play into the fourth quarter, but a pair of Lions touchdowns over the next five minutes gave the home team a 35-28 lead that Salisbury was able to erase, but not overcome.
The Sea Gulls return home on Saturday, September 9 hosting William Paterson University in the New Jersey Athletic Conference opener for each team. That contest at Sea Gull Stadium will begin at noon.