Albert continues to be a threat for Tigers
Published on -10/8/2012, 10:26 AM
By CONOR NICHOLL
Treveon Albert was a highly touted quarterback from Atlanta in Fort Hays State University coach Chris Brown's first recruiting class in 2011. Albert wasn't labeled a quarterback by the Tigers, though. The coaches knew of Albert's speed and athleticism and called him "athlete" on the position sheet.
Through a year and a half, Albert has delivered in the multi-purpose role and had another strong game in Saturday's 20-17 loss to Lindenwood.
Fort Hays dropped to 1-5, 1-5 MIAA, while Lindenwood moved to 5-1, 4-1 MIAA.
Last year, Albert was solid as the Tigers' redshirt third-string quarterback. In the spring, FHSU moved him to wide receiver. This fall, Fort Hays lost running backs Andre and Ed Smith to season-ending knee injuries. Albert switched to a new position in early season.
"I had never played running back before," Albert said.
Two weeks ago, Albert had 10 carries for 81 yards and caught six passes for 72 yards, both team-highs. He also threw a 53-yard double pass for a score.
Against Lindenwood, Albert took over as true freshman Addie Brown -- the team's leading rusher this season -- had trouble. He led the team with 23 carries for 106 yards, both career-bests. Albert hauled in a Tiger-high four catches for 27 yards.
"He did a good job," Brown said. "He ran the ball very well for us, caught a couple of nice passes, has done some good things."
Albert and Brown have kept the Tigers' running game among the MIAA's best. Last year, FHSU averaged 189.2 rushing yards and 4.7 yards per carry, both the best since the program switched conferences seven years ago. This fall, Fort Hays is at 177.8 yards a game and 4.9 yards a carry.
"I just try to get out there and do the best that I can," Albert said. "The more and more that I am back there, the more and more that I get a feel for it."
Albert's lone miscue was a fumble, one of five turnovers for the Tigers.
"He had the one turnover that he has got to eliminate as well, but he really stepped up and did a good job for us," Brown said.
Fort Hays had four fumbles (three lost) on a night where the game-time temperature was 39 degrees and temperatures dipped below freezing.
"Honestly, on my fumble, it was just all me," Albert said. "It wasn't hard tonight, especially when you got warmed up."
Paul steps up for defense
Senior defensive Keke Paul is a returning all-MIAA honorable mention selection and a team captain. However, he had just 10 tackles, one interception for zero return yards and one pass breakup in the first five contests. Plus, Paul was beat several times for deep passes in a big Week 2 home loss to Washburn University.
"I might have took a couple of steps back in the Washburn game," Paul said.
On Saturday, Paul helped the Tigers' defense post a strong game. He recorded three tackles, picked off a pass in the end zone and returned it 60 yards and had a pass breakup. Paul tacked on a 59-yard kickoff return, too.
"I felt like I had to step up in this game," Paul said.
Lindenwood played nearly the entire game without starting quarterback Ben Gomez, who suffered a leg injury in the first couple minutes. The Lions had its lowest point total of the year and averaged 7.1 yards per pass attempt.
"They played hard and they played physical and that team puts up a lot of points, and we did a good job of holding them out of the end zone," Brown said.
Overall, Lindenwood has averaged 34.8 points and 8.5 yards per pass attempt. Paul often went against Lions' wideout Andrew Helmick, a pro prospect. He caught five passes for 99 yards, but one came on a 68-yard pass.
"For me, it's just like going against any other receiver," Paul said. "I really thought that I had to step up this game especially against him, since he is one of the better receivers in this conference. I feel like I had to step up and just show that I still have it."
Fort Hays still hasn't won back-to-back games in Brown's tenure. ... The Tigers' 373 yards of total offense marked its second-most of the year. ... FHSU will travel to Southwest Baptist University on Saturday in Bolivar. Mo.