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Albany keeps home shutout streak intact

C.J. Tarver scores twice to lead Mallers past Lackawanna

— Christian Brothers Academy has been a good home for the Albany Metro Mallers.

The Mallers (3-0) extended their home scoreless streak to eight quarters by beating the Lackawanna Dynasty 37-0 in Saturday night's non-league football game at CBA.

"It's still a work in progress. I'm not afraid to admit it," said Albany coach Tom Manny. "But the offense is getting better, and the defense is getting tougher."

Against Lackawanna, Albany's defense was at its toughest when it had its backs to the wall. The Dynasty drove inside the Mallers' 10-yard line twice, but they failed to capitalize.

The first time Lackawanna got close to the end zone proved to be the turning point of the game. With Albany ahead 7-0 late in the first quarter, Lackawanna had a third-and-goal at the Mallers' 4-yard line. Albany executed a perfect blitz, though, and stripped the ball out of quarterback Daniel Lewis' hands. The ball bounced back to Albany's 19-yard line, where Matthew Anderson scooped it up and raced 81 yard for the Mallers' second touchdown.

"M.A. (Anderson) is one of the more underrated pass rushers in the league. He's very quick, and he's powerful," said Manny.

Anderson's fumble return was one of six turnovers Albany forced. David Lumpkin and Dison Reynolds each had first-half interceptions, and Donald Murdock Jr. picked off a pass early in the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, Albany's offense barely touched the field in the first half. Not counting a punt, the Mallers had eight plays from scrimmage in the first 30 minutes, as Lackawanna took a deliberate approach to running its offense.

"They started out by running an unbalanced (offensive) line and tried to power the ball on us (with runs)," said Manny. "Then when that didn't work, they tried the spread offense to string us out."

While Albany's offense didn't see much playing time in the first half, it made the most of its opportunities. More specifically, quarterback C.J. Tarver made the most of his opportunities. The Bishop Maginn graduate scored the Mallers' first touchdown on a 32-yard scamper less than five minutes into the first quarter. Then, he repeated the feat with a 48-yard touchdown run with 44.8 seconds left in the second quarter to give Albany a 21-0 halftime lead.

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