NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Sophomore receiver Gralyn Crawford returned the opening kick 92 yards for a touchdown as SFA rolled to a 59-14 victory over Albany Saturday evening at Homer Bryce Stadium. The 10th-ranked Lumberjacks improved to 1-1 on the season, while Albany dropped to 1-1 on the year.
"We talked all week about the importance of playing fast and starting early and tonight I think we were ready to go," said SFA head coach J.C. Harper. "I felt we were playing a heck of a football team in Albany who showed me that they are going to be really good this season, we were just a better team tonight."
Despite the fact that Albany had the football for nearly 15 minutes longer than SFA, the Lumberjacks recorded nearly twice the yards of total offense (463-295). The Lumberjacks scored on five of their first six possessions, including touchdowns on their first three touches.
The SFA special teams set the tone for the night, after returning the opening kickoff for a score, the 'Jacks special teams were back on the field with an eight-point lead. Freshman Caleb Nelson blocked Paul Layton's punt and SFA recovered the football on Albany's 17-yard line. Senior Jeremy Moses found Crawford in the end zone three plays later for the score.
Crawford's night, however, wasn't done. Leading 46-7, Crawford fielded a punt at his own 28-yard line and returned it 72 yards for the score. It was Crawford's third touchdown of the night. The Palestine, Texas native finished the night with seven catches for 55 yards, and 233 all-purpose yards and three scores.
"Gralyn is a special player and he is going to make plays for us," said Harper. "We know that and he has added something for us on special teams. We needed someone to step up on that side of things and he did that for us. Overall I was really pleased with our special teams tonight."
Preseason All-Americans Jabara Williams and Devin Ducote lived up to the preseason hype finishing with double-digit tackles. Williams recorded a game-high 19, while Ducote added 16 tackles, and picked off a pass, which he returned for a score.
SFA was able to spread the wealth in front of the home crowd recording a touchdown reception, a rushing touchdown, returning a punt and a kick for a score as well as returning an interception for a touchdown.
SFA returns to action Saturday when they travel to Cedar Falls, Iowa, to take on Northern Iowa. The game against the Panthers is slated to begin at 4:05 p.m. from the UNI Dome.