Manchester, Ind. - The Alma College football team earned a decisive 35-7 win over Manchester University (IN) on Saturday (Sept. 14) evening.
The Scots (1-1) ran the ball through, over and around Manchester; Alma had 281 rushing yards on 44 attempts, good for 6.4 yards per carry. Quarterback Ryan Stevens (Lowell, Mich. / Lowell) led the attack with 63 yards on eight carries. Austin Spratling (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Wyoming Kelloggsville) had eight rushes for 33 yards and Brendan Hamilton (Cass City, Mich. / Cass City) went for 30 yards on six attempts. Dustin Soloman (Macomb, Mich. / Dakota High School), Steven Sowa (Allen Park, Mich. / St. Frances Cabrini) and Chase Hinkle (Concord, Mich. / Concord) all scored on the ground while Hinkle also had a punt return turchdown. In all, 11 Scots toted the ball at least twice as Alma outrushed the Spartans 281-160.
Alma recovered three fumbles and got to the quarterback once in the game; Zeke Ramirez (Homer, Mich. / Homer) had tallies in both those categories. Jack Lawrence (Byron, Mich. / Byron Area) found himself with two fumble recoveries. Alex Yancy (Macomb, Mich. / L'Anse Creuse North) led all Alma defensive players with seven tackles.
After forcing a three-and-out on the game's opening possession, Sowa capped off a 55 yard, 11 play drive with a four-yard score. Hamilton earlier kept the drive alive with a seven-yard run on 4th and 1; he was responsible for 30 of Alma's yards on the drive.
The Scots went pass-heavy on their next scoring drive. Stevens found three different receivers in the short game before connecting with Chase Krueger (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Forest Hills Eastern) on a 51-yard broken-play touchdown. Manchester's Logan Poll nearly brought Stevens down for a sack but the junior quarterback was able to escape and find Krueger behind the defense.
After a Manchester touchdown on its first possession of the second half, the Scots turned a fumble deep in the Spartans' own end to a four-yard score from Hinkle. Later, Hinkle would open the fourth quarter with a 42-yard punt return touchdown. Soloman would seal the win with a 41-yard scamper.
Alma's next game is against Rockford University (IL) on Saturday (Sept. 21), Alma's Homecoming Day. Kickoff is set for 2:00 p.m. The athletics department will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1994 football and softball teams during the game.