Alma, Mich. - The Alma College football team easily defeated Rockford University (IL) 51-16 on Saturday (Sept. 21) during Alma's Homecoming. It is the second time in three years the Scots have won their Homecoming game.
Alma (2-1) was led, as usual, by its rushing attack; the Scots outgained Rockford 261-132 on the ground. Austin Spratling (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Wyoming Kelloggsville) led the charge with 108 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown. Ryan Stevens (Lowell, Mich. / Lowell) had two rushing touchdowns while Dustin Soloman (Macomb, Mich. / Dakota High School) and Nathan Goralski (Romeo, Mich. / Romeo High School) each had one. Ten different Scots toted the ball in the game; five of them averaged at least five yards per carry.
The Scots jumped on Rockford quickly, scoring touchdowns on all six of their first-half possessions – excluding a run to end the half – and adding a seventh on their first possession of the third quarter. Two of those drives were one play long: a 25-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Schaefer (Lowell, Mich. / Lowell) and a seven-yard TD run from Spratling. Alma capitalized on a short field three times over that span, the longest of which was 49 yards. Stevens accounted for four of those scores, including the first three.
Stevens only threw eight passes all game and completed seven. Two of those completions were touchdowns: a 31-yarder to Chase Hinkle (Concord, Mich. / Concord) and the 25-yarder to Schaefer. Hinkle's was a highlight-reel one-handed grab with a defender draped over him to put Alma up 14-0 six minutes into the game. Despite only throwing 11 passes, the Scots gained over 14 yards per attempt, aided by the two touchdown passes and a 42-yard shot to Goralski on the game's opening drive.
Alex Yancy (Macomb, Mich. / L'Anse Creuse North) prevented the Regents from scoring just before the half with his first career interception. He got his hands under the ball at Alma's one-yard line before it hit the turf, allowing the Scots to take a 41-7 lead into the half.
Alma outdid Rockford in nearly every category. The Scots gained more first downs (26 to 16), were more efficient on third down (62 percent to 27 percent) and did not turn the ball over. Patrick Hite (Michigan Center, Mich. / Michigan Center) and Stephen White (Weidman, Mich. / Beal City High School) each had half a sack in the game. Rockford quarterbacks Delayno Mack and Tyler Burnham and running back Chris Hammonds all left due to injury.
The Scots have next week off before beginning conference play. They'll face the Albion Britons on October 5 at 1:00 p.m. Their next home game is October 12 against Trine.