Huge Ground Game Leads Scots to Season-Closing Win

Huge Ground Game Leads Scots to Season-Closing Win

Hancock, Mich. - The Alma College football team defeated Finlandia 37-0 on Saturday (Nov. 11) to close the 2018 regular season.

The Scots amassed 233 rushing yards, the second-most in any game this season. Senior running back Brenden Newvine (Clarkston, Mich. / Notre Dame Prep) had a career night with three rushing touchdowns and 87 yards on 13 attempts. Sophomore running back Steven Sowa (Lincoln Park, Mich. / St. Frances Cabrini) also had a strong performance with 77 yards on 15 carries. Chase Hinkle (Concord, Mich. / Concord) added two carries for 25 yards and a score.

Alma (2-8, 1-6 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) held the Lions (0-10, 0-7 MIAA) to 163 yards of total offense, including 93 yards rushing on 42 attempts. The Scots also forced three turnovers from Finlandia.

What Happened

  • Alma scored on its second possession - a 22-yard rush by Hinkle. The Scots ran the ball on each of its six plays on the drive, covering 61 yards, of which Sowa put up 28.
  • Chris Luckhurst (Ovid, Mich. / Ovid-Elsie) intercepted De'Llontae Johnson on the Lions' next drive. The running game got the Scots down to Finlandia's 11-yard line, but Alma was stopped on 4th and 1 on a rush by Sowa.
  • The Lions would go three-and-out on the ensuing possession, which led to Newvine's first score. He handled the rock on five of Alma's six plays on the drive, including the eight-yard run that put the Scots ahead 14-0.
  • Finlandia struggled mightily on its next possession, turning it over on downs after failing to convert a 4th and 29. Alma got the ball on the Lions' 12 yard line, and Newvine again brought Alma home, this time with a one-yard score.
  • Newvine stayed hot on the Scots' next possession. He completed a 42-yard pass to Chase Krueger (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Forest Hills Eastern) to get down to Finlandia's 15 yard line, then ran it in, himself, from 15 yards out to put Alma up 28-0.
  • Alma got the ball back with 37 seconds remaining in the first half. Quarterback Mason Ippel (Jenison, Mich. / Jenison) completed a pair of 12-yard passes before being intercepted in the end zone.
  • Finlandia had its longest drive of the day to open the second half - 15 plays and 56 yards. It converted one third down and one fourth down to get to Alma's three yard line where Alec Blank was intercepted by Zeke Ramirez (Homer, Mich. / Homer) who returned it 98 yards for a score.
  • Neither team scored on the next six possessions. Alma punted from midfield and pinned the Lions on their own one yard line with under three minutes left. Justin Headlee (Marine City, Mich. / Marine City) recorded a safety on a DJ Davis run to close out the game.


  • Brenden Newvine set career-highs in rushing yards (87), rushing touchdowns (three) and passing yards (42).
  • Steven Sowa (Lincoln Park, Mich. / St. Frances Cabrini) had a career-high 15 carries and 77 yards.
  • Chase Hinkle's rushing score was the first of his career.
  • Eleven Scots had at least one carry in the game and seven players had at least two attempts.
  • Alma averaged 5.3 yards per rush, the second-most by the Scots in a game this season. Conversely, Alma allowed just 2.2 yards per rush to the Lions.
  • The two teams combined for just 31 passing attempts.
  • Defensive lineman Jack Carter (Harbor Springs, Mich. / Harbor Springs) had both of Alma's two sacks in the game.
  • Zeke Ramirez's pick-six was the first touchdown of his career.
  • The Scots made 12 tackles for loss.
  • Finlandia won the time of possession battle, 32 minutes to 28.

What He Said

"I'm very proud of our seniors. It's wonderful they were able to cap off their careers with a win. Great day to be a Scot!"

- Head Coach Jason Couch