The Alma College football team concludes a three-game homestand, hosting Albion College at Bahlke Field. The Scots enter the game with a 4-2 record, including a 1-1 mark in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, while the Britons are 0-6 overall and 0-3 in the MIAA. Today is also Community Appreciation Day at Bahlke Field, with special events taking place before and after the game, as well as a presentation of the 10th annual Alma College Community Service Award at halftime.
SCOUTING THE BRITONS
Albion comes to Bahlke Field in search of its first win of the season and has played the 36th toughest schedule of any team in the country after seven weeks. Senior Chad Hamilton runs the offense and has completed 146 of his 253 passes for 10 TDs while averaging 255.5 yards per game. Hamilton likes to spread the ball around, as four different Brits have 20 or more receptions, led by sophomore Sean Koski, who has caught a team-high 30 balls. On the ground, sophomore Zach Serzo averages a team-high 49.2 yards per game. On defense, seniors Anthony Waite (50) and Jose Rodriguez (48) lead the way in tackles, while Rodriguez has a team-high 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. On special teams, sophomore Andrew Fabry is perfect 16-for-16 in extra point attempts and has made six of his 11 field goal tries, and sophomore Collin Poore handles kickoff returns, averaging 14.7 yards per return. Albion is coached by Craig Rundle, who is in his 20th season patrolling the sidelines and holds the distinction as the winningest football coach in Britons' history.
According to Alma College records, tonight's game is the 115th meeting between the Scots and Britons in a series that dates back to 1900. Albion leads the all-time series, 64-45-5, and has won the last seven games, including a 66-28 victory last season in Albion. Alma's last win over Albion came on November 15, 2008, when the Scots posted a 34-22 home victory.
Alma College is 3-0 all-time in night games at Bahlke Field and will play its first home night game of the season tonight. During those games, the Scots have outscored opponents by a 109-55 margin and are averaging 36.3 points per game.
THE RUNNING MAN
Nick Sullivan has carried the ball a school-record 164 times entering tonight's game, surpassing the record 163 times he toted the ball a year ago. Sullivan is the second player in school history to record 148 or more carries in two or more seasons, joining Mackenzie McGrady, who accomplished the feat in 2007 and 2009. Sullivan is averaging 111.5 yards per game rushing, 31st in NCAA Division III, and is seeking to become the Scots' first 1,000-yard rusher since 2005. He had rushed for over 100 yards in four of his last five games.
The Scots are averaging 242.3 yards per game on the ground, 28th-best in NCAA Division III and third-best in the MIAA behind Hope and Trine. Alma posted a season-high 358 yards rushing against Aurora last Saturday, marking the second straight season the Scots have run for 300 or more yards in a game. According to Alma College records, the Scots have rushed for more than 300 yards five times since 1997, and Saturday's total was the highest since the 1988 campaign.
Nick Sullivan became the 13th player in Alma College history to rush for 1,500 career yards on Saturday (Oct. 15) against Aurora, and the first player to hit the mark since Mackenzie McGrady, who totaled 1,583 yards from 2007-09.
10 = TOUCHDOWN
Nick Sullivan has scored a team-high 60 points after six games this season with 10 touchdowns on the ground, and is 10 points shy of the 70 he scored in 10 games a year ago. Sullivan ranks 13th in NCAA Division III for rushing touchdowns scored and is 22nd in the country for total points scored and total touchdowns. Sullivan has scored two or more times in three games this season and has scored in each of the last four games.
Dylan Zaborowski completed his 400th career pass on Saturday against Aurora, becoming the seventh quarterback in Alma College history to accomplish the feat. Zaborowski, who has 5,174 career passing yards, is the fifth signal-caller in Scots' history to throw for 1,500 yards and make 400 career completions. Zaborowski had a career day last week against Aurora, completing a career-best 70.8 percent of his passes (17-for-24) and rushing for a career-high 143 yards. In addition, Zaborowski's 37-yard run against the Spartans was the longest of his career.
Head Coach Greg Pscodna served on the Albion College football staff from 1990-95 as the defensive coordinator. Pscodna was a part of the staff when the Britons won the 1994 NCAA Division III Championship.
30 FOR 30
Alma is 4-0 this season when scoring 30 or more points. In addition, the Scots are 10-0 under Head Coach Greg Pscodna when putting 30 or more points on the board. The last time the Scots lost when scoring 30 or more points was September 24, 2011, in a 49-42 shootout at Washington and Lee.
ZABOROWSKI AGAINST THE BRITONS
In two career games against Albion College, Dylan Zaborowski has completed 30 of his 80 passes for 403 yards and five touchdowns, while the Britons' defense has intercepted him four times. On the ground, Zaborowski has carried the ball 38 times for 157 yards, averaging 4.1 yards per carry.
Danny Hugan II became 16th player in school history to record 100 or more career receptions with his 10 catches on Saturday against Aurora. Hugan now has 109 career catches for 1,368 yards and is 132 yards away from becoming one of 16 players in Alma history to post more than 1,500 career receiving yards.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES
The Scots are 26th in NCAA Division III with 19 sacks (3.17 per game), and rank 34th in team tackles for loss, averaging eight tackles per game behind the line of scrimmage. Individually, Troy Gahm is second in the MIAA and ranks 18th nationally in sacks with seven, and is 20th in Division III with 11.5 tackles for loss (1.9 per game).
Zac Peterson leads the Scots with sits atop the MIAA with 65 total tackles this season. He also ranks 39th in NCAA Division III, averaging 10.8 tackles per game. Peterson made a career-high 20 tackles two weeks ago versus Hope College, becoming the fourth player in school history to make 20 or more stops in a single game.
The Scots are 3-0 on the road this season, marking the first time since 2004 that Alma has won three straight road contests.
FAST STARTS ... SOLID FINISH
The Scots have scored first in each of the last five games and are outscoring opponents by a 58-21 margin in the first quarter this season. Alma is being outscored only in the third quarter, but is closing out games with a 44-28 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter.
- The Scots have recovered a fumble and tallied an interception in all but one game this season.
- Troy Gahm and Dustin Tripp have recorded at least one tackle for loss each in every game this season.
- Over the last five games, Alma is 21-for-24 inside the red zone, scoring 18 touchdowns and converting three field goal.
OTHER NOTES FROM THE AURORA GAME ...
- Alma's 32 first downs marked the second time this season the Scots have posted 30 or more first downs in a game, becoming the first team since 2009 to accomplish the feat.
- The Alma defense held Aurora to nine first downs, the fewest by an opponent since 2010.
- The Scots put together their most time-consuming drive of the season, covering 69 yards in 15 plays over a span of 6:45.
- Joe Hernandez assisted on his first career sack.
- Essa Kellah's 40 yard run was his longest of the season.
- Nick Cozart set career-highs for yards and longest catch with his 37-yard reception.
- Caleb Reinhart set season-highs for carries (13) and yards (42).
Alma will take to the road for the next two games, starting on Saturday, Oct. 29, with a 1:00 p.m. game at Olivet College. The Scots next home game will be on Saturday, November 12, when they host Adrian College in the regular-season finale.