Stafford Scores Late to Avoid Albemarle Upset

By: Scrimmage Play Email
By: Scrimmage Play Email

(Report provided by Scrimmage Play)

Everything looked like it had come together for Albemarle after three quarters of relative disappointment.

Thanks to a 35-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Alley to Matt Crist, the Patriots (1-5, 1-4) had the lead and five minutes to hang on. The previous three quarters, the Albemarle defense did just that, hang on as only one player, Stafford receiver Da’shawn Harris, truly hurt them.

But a three-minute 30 second drive that included a long reception to Harris and then a pass interference call on third and long put the Indians in scoring position late. Quarterback Billy Bolinski then made a play out of what looked like a tackle for a loss to put Stafford (3-4, 3-3) ahead with 89 seconds to go. An interception just moments later sealed Albemarle’s fate as they fell to their visitors, 28-22.

The game did not start well for Albemarle as while they took a 3-point lead on a field goal thanks to a 27-yard run from Niko Troche, Harris picked up his two touchdowns on the night on the next two Stafford drives. Harris pealed off an 80-yard run on the first play from scrimmage after the field goal, and then hauled in a 37-yard bomb from Bolinksi to make it 14-3.

The Patriots found a way to climb back into it though and it began with an interception from Crist. Behind Drake Bryant, Albemarle rumbled into scoring position before the running back punched in a 1-yarder to make it 14-10 at the half.

After a scoreless third quarter, a keeper from Bolinski made it 21-10 for Stafford. Albemarle regrouped and went on a long drive highlighted by a Crist reception for 21 yards. Receiver A.J. Willy then put the Patriots in position to score on a 20-yard reception and soon there after, Josh Letteri punched in a 1-yard rushing touchdown to cut it 21-16.

Albemarle took its first lead since the first quarter on its next possession with Crist coming back into the game and hauling in a 35-yard strike with five minutes to go. However, Stafford’s final drive made the difference.

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