Adrian, Mich. – Adrian College won their season opener against Defiance College, 31-13, Saturday evening at Docking Stadium. Sophomore Emanuel Stewart led the Bulldog's rushing attack with 181 yards and junior quarterback Stephen Milarch added three total touchdowns, two rushing one passing, in the victory. Senior linebacker Dontrell Tucker added a touchdown of his own with a pick six in the third quarter.
Adrian cracked the scoreboard first with a field goal from sophomore Conner Cook, making the score 3-0 with exactly five minutes left in the first quarter. The Bulldogs followed up the scoring drive with a strong defensive stop as John Carlin intercepted the ball at Defiance's 35 yard line. But Adrian failed to capitalize on the turnover.
The scoreboard remained unchanged until Milarch followed his center into the end zone to put the first touchdown of the game on the board with 11 minutes remaining in the second quarter. Cook added the PAT extending Adrian's lead to 10-0.
The Bulldogs kept the momentum while on defense stopping the Yellow Jackets on fourth down. Adrian would make this turnover count when Milarch once again did it himself and scored his second rushing touchdown of the game with a minute left in the first half. Cook once again followed up with a PAT making the score 17-0 heading into half time.
The second half started slowly for the Bulldogs as the Defiance defense forced a punt and a missed field goal in Adrian's first two drives in the half. On the next Yellow Jacket drive Adrian's Dontrell Tucker intercepted a pass from Defiance's senior quarterback Logan Scott at the 40 yard line and took it to the house. Cook would remain perfect on PATs making the score 24-0 with nine minutes left in the third quarter.
Defiance College would finally respond on their next possession, driving the ball sixty yards and coming away with a touchdown on a run by junior Cody Wilson. The Yellow Jackets couldn't convert the extra point leaving the score at 24-6 with seven minutes in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter the Bulldogs score their final touchdown with a thirteen play, 88 yard drive capped with a twenty yard passing touchdown from Milarch to sophomore tight end Joey Kosielski putting the score at 31-6 Adrian. Defiance would score on a 90 yard fumble recovery by junior corner back Kenny Jones putting the score at 31-13 with 39 seconds left in regulation.
The Bulldogs travel to Wheaton (Ill.) to face the seventh ranked Wheaton College Thunder next Saturday September 12, kickoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.