The Alma College football team wraps up a three-game road trip this week, traveling to Albion, Mich., to face the Albion College Britons. The Scots have won three of their last four games and are 1-1 in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, while the Britons have fallen in their last three games and own an 0-3 mark in conference play.
SCOUTING THE BRITONS
Albion is still looking for its first win in league play and has dropped its last nine MIAA games, dating back to the 2016 campaign. Freshman Kyle Thomas has taken the most snaps under center for the Britons, and is completing nearly 55 percent of his passes for an average of 192 yards per game. He has also thrown nine touchdowns, including four to junior Collin Poore, who leads the receiving corps in scores. Thomas has a trio of targets - junior Brian Blanzy, junior Sean Koski, and Poore - that have each caught 18 or more passes, while sophomore Marlon Martin has 11 catches for three scores. On the ground, Thomas is also the team's leading rusher, averaging 53 yards per game, while sophomore Patrick Czarnecki is the lead back and has four touchdowns to go along with a 38 yards-per-game average. On defense, senior Jose Rodriguez has a team-high 69 tackles, while junior Michael Harvey has posted four interceptions to lead the squad. Albion is under the direction of Craig Rundle, who is in his 21st season on the sidelines.
According to Alma records, today's game is the 116th meeting between the Scots and Brits in a series that began in 1900. Albion owns a 64-46-5 advantage and has won seven of the last eight meetings. The Scots snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Britons last year with a 37-14 victory at Bahlke Field and are looking for their first back-to-back wins over Albion since the 2007-08 campaigns.
LAST GAME – Alma 27, at Aurora (IL) 19
Alma overcame a nine-point deficit on the road, scoring 17 unanswered points - including 14 in the fourth quarter - to defeat Aurora University, 27-19, on a rain-filled afternoon at Vago Field. The game was played almost entirely in the rain, and kickoff was delayed 35 minutes due to flooding on the field after heavy showers covered the Aurora area. Dylan Zaborowski rushed for 126 yards and two touchdowns for his third consecutive 100-yard game, and also completed 14 of his 26 passes for a season-high 223 yards and a score. Alex Yancy caught a career-high eight passes for a career-best 122 yards, including a 53-yard catch-and-run for a score. Brandon Moore, Colton Tyson, and Zac Peterson led the defense with seven tackles each while the Scots held Aurora to 65 yards rushing and forced three turnovers.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
- Alma is looking for its first win at Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium since 2007.
- Dylan Zaborowski has posted three consecutive 100-yard rushing games. He enters today's game 108 yards away from becoming the sixth player in Alma College history to run for 2,000 or more yards in a career.
- Zaborowski also enters today's game 14 yards away from becoming the third player in Scots' history to throw for 7,000 or more yards in a career.
- Head Coach Greg Pscodna was a member of the Britons' football staff from 1990-95 and was the defensive coordinator/secondary coach on Albion's 1994 NCAA III championship team.
RUSH, RUSH, RUSHING AWAY ...
Caleb Reinhart ranks second in the MIAA with 11 rushing touchdowns – 12th-best in NCAA Division III – and is the league's third-leading rusher with an average of 125.0 yards per game. Reinhart ranks 26th among NCAA III rushers with a 6.38 yards per carry average. He missed the Aurora game due to injury.
FINDING THE END ZONE
Caleb Reinhart ranks 10th among NCAA Division III players with 72 total points scored and is also fifth nationally with an 14.4 points per game average. In addition, he is ninth in NCAA III with 12 total touchdowns. After five games, Reinhart is tied for the 11th-best single-season scoring total in Alma College history. The record is 108 points, scored by Ray Dawood in 1997.
DUAL-THREAT FOR THE AGES
Dylan Zaborowski, in his fourth season as the starting signal-caller for the Scots, ranks third in Alma College history in passing yards (6,986) entering this week's game. He is 813 yards away from second place, held by Mackenzie McGrady (2007-09). Zaborowski is the top running quarterback in Alma College history with 486 carries for 1,892 yards. Among active NCAA III players, Zaborowski is second among quarterbacks that have thrown for at least 4,000 yards and run for at least 1,000 yard. In addition, he ranks ninth among dual-threat quarterbacks across all NCAA divisions.
ZABOROWSKI AMONG THE NCAA'S BEST ...
According to the lastest NCAA statistics, Dylan Zaborowski leads all active players in NCAA III for total plays, taking part in 1,553 plays during his four year career. That mark also ranks eighth among active players across all NCAA divisions. In addition, Zaborowski is fourth among active NCAA III players with 8,873 yards of total offense. Zaborowski also ranks 10th for career passing yards with 6,983.
Alma's red-zone offense is 14th in NCAA III, with the Scots scoring in 91 percent of their opportunities inside the 20-yard line. The Scots have scored on 21 of their 23 trips into the red zone this season, including 16 touchdowns.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Dustin Tripp currently leads the MIAA with 7.5 sacks, a mark that ranks seventh nationally. In addition, he is 21st in NCAA Division III with an average of 1.8 tackles for loss per game.
- Colton Tyson is the MIAA's fourth-ranked tackler with 10.3 stops per game.
- The Scots are 22nd nationally in rushing offense, averaging 243.8 yards per game.
- Alma has taken the fewest penalties of any team in the MIAA, and ranks eighth in NCAA III for fewest infractions.
- Dylan Zaborowski has rushed for over 100 yards in each of the last three games, and has six career 100-yard efforts.
- Alex Yancy posted his first career 100-yard receiving game with eight catches for 122 yards at Aurora. In addition, his 53-yard TD catch was a career long.
MURRAY NAMED SEMIFINALIST FOR CAMPBELL TROPHY
Senior wide receiver Lars Murray was named a semifinalist for the 2017 Campbell Trophy, awarded by the National Football Foundation to the top scholar-athlete across all divisions in college football. Murray has a 3.895 GPA and is a business administration major. The 12-14 finalists will be announced on November 1, with each finalist receiving an $18,000 post graduate scholarship.
NEXT UP ...
The Scots return to Bahlke Field for the first time since September 30 to host Olivet College. Kickoff for the contest is scheduled for 1 p.m., with Alma looking to snap a three-game losing streak to the Comets. The game is also designated as Alumni Day, with members of past Alma College football teams returning to campus for the game.