NEW YORK - On Saturday, September 24, Columbia will begin its six-game home schedule vs. Albany on Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium, where the Lions are 5-2 in their last seven games. It will be the first meeting ever between the two programs.
The game will also mark Columbia's first Northern Manhattan Neighbors Appreciation Day, where neighborhood residents receive free admission with proof of residency.
"We are excited for tomorrow's Northern Manhattan Neighbors Appreciation Day. We look forward to a festive day at The Baker Athletics Complex, rain or shine," Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Director Intercollegiate Athletics and Physical Education said. "We are very excited about our home opener and look forward to welcoming our neighbors, fans, students, parents, faculty, staff and alumni all season long."
Both Columbia and Albany are looking for their first victories of the season. Columbia was unable to rally from a second-half deficit and fell at the hands of Fordham, 21-14, in the Bronx last week. Albany has played two tough non-league opponents during its early schedule. Colgate defeated the Great Danes 37-34 in overtime in their season opener and Maine downed Albany last week, 31-15.
Tickets for Saturday's game are available online or by calling the athletics ticket office at 888-LIONS-11. Fans also still have the opportunity to purchase season tickets online before Saturday's contest. Those who cannot make it to Robert K. Kraft Field can follow all the action online at gocolumbialions.com with Jerry Recco and Sal Licata providing the call.
This is the first-ever game between Albany and Columbia. Albany began its 39th year of varsity football on September 3, 2011, while Columbia entered its 121st season of varsity football on September 17, 2011.
CATCH AND RELEASE
Versus Fordham, seniors Mike Stephens and Kurt Williams each totaled more than 100 yards receiving, marking the first time since 2003 that two Columbia receivers have done so in the same game. On October 11, 2003 vs. Lafayette, Travis Chmelka hauled in nine passes for 116 yards and Zach Van Zant caught seven balls for 123 yards and a touchdown.
GRINDING TO A HALT
Last Saturday, Columbia held Fordham to just 77 yards rushing behind the stellar play of its defensive line. The line combined for 17 tackles, three sacks and five tackles for a loss. In particular, Seyi Adebayo posted three tackles for a loss and added a sack.
Players that missed most of last season due to injury had quite a season opener. Senior wide receiver Mike Stephens recorded a career-high 105 yards receiving with a touchdown and 47 yards returning, while senior defensive lineman Owen Fraser had four solo tackles and a sack in the loss to Fordham.
LAST TIME OUT FOR COLUMBIA
Fordham pulled ahead 14-7 in the third quarter and despite a late Columbia rally, the Rams edged the Lions 21-14 in the Bronx in Columbia’s season opener.
LAST TIME OUT FOR ALBANY
QB Warren Smith passed for two touchdowns and Pushuan Brown rushed for 125 yards and one score in leading Maine to a 31-15 victory over UAlbany on Sept. 17.
YOUR 2011 COLUMBIA FOOTBALL CAPTAINS
Seniors Mike Stephens, Ross Morand, Bob Hauschildt and junior Sean Brackett were elected as captains for the 2011 Columbia Football season.
Sophomore linebacker Zach Olinger had a huge game in the season opener at Fordham on Sept. 17. Olinger registered a team-high 12 tackles, forced two fumbles and recovered one of those and added a pass breakup.
LOTS OF HOME COOKING
For the second straight season, Columbia will play six home games on Robert K. Kraft Field at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium. The Lions have not played six home games in consecutive seasons since the 1980 and 1981 campaigns. Columbia is 5-2 in its last seven games at home.
MARTIN STANDING TALL
Junior linebacker Josh Martin continued his fine play from a season ago in the season opener at Fordham. In the game, Martin had six tackles, one for a loss. He also registered a sack and blocked a 41-yard field goal attempt by Fordham’s Patrick Murray midway through the second quarter.
You can follow the Columbia Lions on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!
FOLLOW THE LIONS ONLINE
Columbia fans who can’t make it to the game can follow the action LIVE online via the SideLION Pass, the live blog and live stats. Fans can also follow Columbia Athletics all season long on Facebook and Twitter!
2011 ANNOUNCERS ON GOCOLUMBIALIONS.COM
Catch live Columbia Football audio and video broadcasts online on gocolumbialions.com. Local New York sportscaster Jerry Recco returns for his fifth year of play-by-play on gocolumbialions.com, and will be joined by SNY personality Sal Licata for the 2011 season. Starting in 2011, audio broadcasts are also available on your Android-powered mobile device.