OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Highlighted by three interceptions by junior Jimmy Lauer, the Stevenson football team posted a 31-20 victory over Middle Atlantic Conference opponent Widener on Homecoming Saturday afternoon at Mustang Stadium.
With the win, the Mustangs (6-1, 5-1 MAC) move into a three-way tie with Albright and Delaware Valley atop the standings. The win was also the second-straight Homecoming victory and first-ever over the Pride in front of a sold out crowd of 3,500 fans.
Stevenson, who totaled its eighth-straight victory at Mustang Stadium and 13th in the last 17 games, recorded six defensive turnovers, including five interceptions. It was also the 29th-consectuive game the Mustangs have forced a turnover and fifth time this season they have totaled at least five.
Lauer, who entered the game with two career interceptions, picked off Alex Krivda as his pass was thrown slightly behind the receiver on the first drive of the game. But the Mustangs went three-and-out on their first offensive drive.
Following a shanked 12-yard punt by the Pride, sophomore Austin Tennessee grabbed the bouncing ball on the sideline and ran it down to the six-yard line. Freshman Kiandre Burrell scored his second touchdown of the season on a two-yard run following a four-yard carry by junior Paki Brown.
On the Pride's (4-3, 4-2 MAC) ensuing possession, Seth Klein bobbled the snap and started to run but tripped and lost control of the ball. Junior Cory Pietrzyk was there to grab it out of the air, for his second fumble recovery this season and fourth of his career.
Making his first career start and appearing in his first career game, freshman Bradley Harmon completed three-straight throws to move the Mustangs inside the red-zone. Junior Tim Sternfeld connected on a 27-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-0. Stevenson was 4-for-4 inside the red-zone, including three touchdowns.
Widener lost 13 yards on its next possession as Pietrzyk and junior Austin Meyers combined for a sack before Razonte Dunn dropped Klein for a loss of seven on third down. The Pride totaled three three-and-out's in the opening half.
Starting from the Pride's 41 yard line, Burrell ran for an eight-yard gain prior to Harmon connecting with sophomore Preston Addo on a 31-yard strike. It was the first career touchdown pass and catch for Harmon and Addo, respectively.
On the following Mustangs offensive possession, Harmon found Addo for 38-yard pass and catch on third down to get down to the one. Burrell ran it in on the next play for the second rushing touchdown of the game. Stevenson entered the game with just one rushing touchdown in six games.
After three-straight combined punts, Tennessee intercepted Krivda and returned it 37 yards to the Widener six. Harmon then found senior Andrew Wysocki for his second career receiving touchdown and first this season.
The Pride entered the Mustangs territory for the first time on their eighth drive of the game with just over 5:00 remaining in the second quarter. But the visitors gained just 26 yards on the drive. Widener totaled just 87 yards in the opening half compared to 180 for Stevenson.
Widener used a nine-play, 71-yard drive in 3:09 on its first possession of the second half to get on the board with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Krivda to Philip Ragona but the extra-point was blocked by sophomore Charles Brown.
Following a three-and-out by Stevenson, the Pride went 80 yards in 3:43 on 10 plays to get within 31-13. Krivda found Blaine Price, one of the league's top receivers along with Ragona, for an eight-yard pass to the back corner of the end zone.
The Mustangs offense went three-and-out again but the Pride's momentum was stalled as Lauer came up with his second interception of the day.
Krivda and Price connected once again, this time on a 53-yard strike with 8:54 remaining in regulation. Widener however, would total just 22 more yards as Krivda was intercepted by senior Brady Kempa and Lauer on the final two possessions.
The Pride were held to zero net rushing yards while Harmon finished 25-for-36 with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
The Mustangs defense recorded six sacks, including one and a half by Meyers. The team has totaled 26 sacks this season, including at least five sacks in four of the seven games.
Kempa led the defense with nine tackles, including seven solo while Pietryzk and Lauer added eight and seven tackles, respectively.
Stevenson returns to action on Saturday, October 31 when the Mustangs travel to Wilkes in a Middle Atlantic Conference contest beginning at 12:00 p.m.