Reading, PA - Two third quarter fumble recoveries led to 10 points for the Fairleigh Dickinson University football team to give it a 16-7 lead and an eventual 16-14 victory in the Pretzel Bowl over defending Middle Atlantic Conference-Commonwealth champion Albright College today in Reading, PA. The Devils improve to 2-5, while the Lions fall to 3-4.
Junior cornerback Dave Dondero recovered an Albright fumble and returned it 23 yards to the Lions 32 yard line with 8:55 left in the third quarter. Senior quarterback Mike Morgan hooked up with freshman wideout Quadir Muhammed for 23 yards on two receptions to put the Devils on the Albright five yard line. Junior kicker Rich Dwyer then converted a 22 yard field goal for a 9-7 FDU lead with 6:10 on the third period clock. FDU sophomore Keith O'Hara then recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to give the Devils the ball on the Lions 33 yard line. Morgan then hit sophomore Mike Kuziemski on third and 11 for a 20 yard gain to put FDU on the Albright 14 yard line. Following a seven yard sack, Morgan connected for six yards to sophomore receiver Mike Quigley to make it third and 11 from the Lions 15 yard line. Junior receiver Fred Peters then caught a tipped pass in the end zone with 3:46 left in the third quarter. Dwyer's kick was good and the Devils led 16-7.
Albright came back on their first drive of the final period when quarterback Jeff Haberl found Eric Nemec for a 14 yard gain on third and four to put the Lions on the FDU 49 yard line.Four plays later, Haberl capped the drive, finding Nemec across the middle for an 11 yard score. George Merrill was good on the kick to leave Albright trailing, 16-14, with 11:25 left in the game. The Lions threatened again late in the game, with the ball on the FDU 26 yard line and 1:15 remaining. However, Haberl was picked off by junior linebacker Erik Stanislawczyk with 1:09 left to play.
The Devils took a 6-0 lead on their second drive of the game when sophomore quarterback Mark Pollifrone took a quarterback draw 21 yards for a TD. Albright came back with a score of their own when tailback Matt Santoro leaped over the goal line on 4th and goal for a one yard TD with 10:30 to go in the second quarter. Merrill was good on the kick and the Lions owned a 7-6 lead.
Pollifrone ended the day completing six of 11 passes for 83 yards, and rushing for 33 yards and a TD on 7 carries. Morgan was 8-18 for 123 yards and a TD, with one interception. Peters caught six passes for 84 yards and a score, while Kuziemski mad three receptions for 79 yards. Senior Bill Bachman rushed for 78 yards on 16 carries. Junior defensive end Jon Roman was named the Devils MVP for the Pretzel Bowl after making 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks for nine yards. Junior linebacker Tom Pouliot made a team high 15 tackles (seven solo) to give him a school record 107 tackles for the year.