Alma, Mich. - The Alma College football team fell to Adrian College 28-23 on Saturday (Oct. 13). The game was the Scots' cAres game for cancer awareness. The players wore pink and grey jerseys and had the name of a loved one affected by cancer on the backs of their jerseys.
Alma (1-5, 0-3 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) put up 291 yards of offense, 161 of which were on the ground. Mason Ippel (Jenison, Mich. / Jenison) led the rushing attack with 68 yards on 14 carries. Ryan Stevens (Lowell, Mich. / Lowell) and Steven Sowa (Lincoln Park, Mich. / St. Frances Cabrini) also contributed to the balanced attack with 50 and 42 yards, respectively. Sowa added a score on the ground.
The Scots used a two-quarterback system with Ippel and Stevens. Stevens had 78 yards passing and two touchdowns, one to Joseph Schaefer (Lowell, Mich. / Lowell) and the other to Chase Hinkle (Concord, Mich. / Concord). Ippel completed eight of 18 passes for 52 yards.
Adrian (3-3, 1-2 MIAA) quarterback Jack Wurzer throw for 256 yards and two scored on 17-of-25 passing. Wide receiver Jerron McGaw was a big-play threat — he had six catches for 147 yards and one score for 58 yards. Running back Emmanuel Stewart put up 147 yards and a score on the ground.
How It Happened
- Alma received the ball to begin the game and kicked a field goal after a 14 play, 70-yard drive that took over seven minutes off the clock. The longest play of the drive was a 15 yards rush from Ippel - also his longest rush of the day - to get the Scots to the Adrian 30 yard line. Alma was stopped at the five-yard line after two rushes and an incomplete pass.
- Adrian tied the game on the next possession with a similar drive. It converted multiple short gains to get into scoring range but was forced into a field goal after three incomplete passes at Alma's 13-yard line.
- Alma scored the game's first touchdown on the next drive. Stevens got the team into scoring range with a 20-yard pass up the seam to Schaefer on 3rd and one. On the next play, Stevens took the snap and sprinted to his left as if he were going to run, but ended up passing to Hinkle in the flat. With blockers ahead of him and nine yards to the end zone, Hinkle made two defenders miss and dove past the goal line to give Alma a 10-3 lead.
- The Bulldogs came right back with a big play on the next drive. On 2nd and two at their own 45-yard line, McGaw caught a 55-yard bomb from Wurzer to tie the game once again in the blink of an eye.
- Ippel handled the ball the entire next Alma possession. He had seven rushes for 34 yards on the drive, but the Scots failed to convert a 4th and three after a holding penalty forced them backward. Adrian would score on the ensuing drive, an 11-yard pass from Wurzer to Clarence Madison to give the Bulldogs their first lead at 16-10 after the extra point was blocked.
- The two teams traded punts until the final possession of the half when kicker Jacob Plisko (Livonia, Mich. / Livonia Stevenson) missed a 40-yard field goal.
- Emmanuel Stewart dominated the opening possession of the second half. He started the drive with a 32-yard run and added a 21-yard scamper later to get the Bulldogs down to Alma's four-yard line. He scored on the next play to put Adrian up 12, but failed to score on the two-point conversion.
- Two Alma possessions later, Sowa scored from 18 yards out as a huge hole opened up on the right side of the offensive line. He got to the second level and baited the safety toward the middle of the field before beating him to the outside and the pylon to get the Scots back within six.
- The score would not last long, though, as the Bulldogs found another big play and capped it with a short scoring run by Stewart to take a 28-16 lead.
- Alma responded on its next defensive possession when it forced Adrian to punt from their own 35-yard line, but the punt was fumbled and recovered by the Scots for a short field. The Scots waiting until fourth down to capitalize on the turnover, but they did. Stevens found Schaefer up the seam once more - he caught the ball right on the goal line and maintained possession to being the Scot back to within five at 28-23.
- Alma forced a three-and-out on Adrian's next possession, which set them up to drive for the game-winning score with 4:12 remaining. The Scots had rushes of four, three and two yards to set up 4th and one, on which Sowa got stuffed at the line. The Bulldogs went on to run out the clock.
- Two touchdown passes is a career-high for Ryan Stevens. Fifty rushing yards is also a career-high.
- Joseph Schaefer is the team leader in receiving touchdowns with four.
- Chase Hinkle's receiving touchdown was the first since the opening game of the season when he caught two.
- Max Kretzschmar (Marine City, Mich. / Marine City) had a career-high 10 tackles in the game.
- Mason Ippel averages 64.3 rushing yards per game, the eighth-most in the conference and most among any quarterback.
- Punter Zach Clements (Clarkston, Mich. / Brandon) owns the best average in the MIAA at 41.8 yards per punt. He averaged 49 yards on three punts against Adrian.
- Alma was called for three penalties in the game to Adrian's nine.
What He Said
"Tonight was a special night, our players had an opportunity to play for someone that was affected by cancer. It puts into perspective that some things are bigger than a game. We're proud of our efforts and how our guys continued to respond. We are fortunate that Alma College is a wonderful institution and supports a great charity in Angel Wings."
- Head Coach Jason Couch
Alma heads back on the road to face Kalamazoo College on Saturday, October 20 for a 2 p.m. kickoff. The Scots final home game of the season is October 27 against Hope College.