LISLE, Ill.--Adrian College Football saw its five-game winning streak come to a stunning end on Saturday as quarterback Ryan Sample's touchdown plunge from 2 yards out with 1 minute and 5 seconds left in the game gave host Benedictine a thrilling 35-28 comeback victory.
= Final Score: Benedictine University 35, Adrian College 28
= Location: Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex
= Records: Benedictine Eagles (2-1); Adrian Bulldogs (1-1)
= Junior running back David Nutter rushed for a game-best 75 yards on 23 carries and three touchdowns, which is a career best in a Bulldogs uniform.
= Junior lineman Damon Fuller led the AC defense with three of the team's four sacks, dropping the quarterback for 15 yards. He also had a forced fumble and a QB hurry among his four tackles.
= Sample finished with 19 of 31 passing for 350 yards and three TDs and ran for another 61 yards and two scores for 401 yards of total offense.
= Elijah Walker and Jesse Kilbourn tied for a game-high seven receptions with the former getting 159 yards to lead all players and the latter gaining 107.
= Victor Johnson led four Eagles in double-digit tackles with 16 total. Mark Hammond (8 total) and Maison Bittner (6) led all student-athletes with five solos.
HOW IT HAPPENED
= The Eagles held leads of 7-0, 14-7 and 27-14 before escaping with the last-minute victory.
= Benedictine had 483 total yards, including 350 via the air.
= Both teams provided thrilling moments in the final 2:35. Adrian took its first lead of the afternoon, 28-27, after Nutter crossed the goal line from 2 yards out to cap a 79-yard drive in 16 plays over 8:07 and the extra point was good. But on the ensuing possession, Sample engineered a nine-play, 75-yard scoring drive in just 90 seconds and threw a 2-point conversion to Jake Valas to complete the seven-point comeback win.
= Adrian held a significant time of possession (38:42 to 21:18), but committed nine penalties for 82 yards. The Eagles had five infractions for 60 yards.
= Four of five Benedictine's scoring drives were 3:15 or less in elapsed time. The Eagles capitalized on an Adrian turnover to open the second half as Kilbourn caught a 20-yard TD pass from Sample just 6 seconds in, making the score 27-14.
= Sample and Co. marched 75 yards on three plays on the game's opening drive for a 24-yard Sample to Walker TD strike. BU led 7-0 at 14:21 of the first quarter.
= Adrian got good field position on its first TD scoring play at 1:25 remaining in the first. The Bulldogs worked 10 plays for 34 yards in 4:58 and Nutter crossed the goal line from the BU1 and the PAT tied it 7-7.
= The teams alternated TD scoring drives for the rest of the first half: Walker 10-yard reception from Sample at 13:10 of the second quarter for Benedictine, Gaines 18-yard catch from Milarch at 9:23 for Adrian, and Sample a 10-yard rush at 1:08 for BU. That run finished off a 94-yard, 13-play, 4:06 TOP drive--all highs for the Eagles on the day. It was 21-14 at halftime in favor of the home team.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
= Adrian was ranked 25th in the NCAA Division III preseason poll by The Sporting News.
= Benedictine won for the first time in five all-time meetings. Adrian won the previous four games by a combined score of 127-19.
= The Bulldogs lost for only the 10th time in 34 road games under Coach Jim Deere.
= Reigning conference and D3football.com special teams player of the week Cameron Cook, a junior, made all four PATs to remain perfect on the season. He is 7-for-7 on extra-points and 3-for-3 on field goal attempts.
= With 181 punting yards today, junior Connor Storms now has 4,197 for his career. That ranks seventh on the all-time chart in AC history. (No. 6: 4,327 yards by Jim Allshouse, 1974-75)
= Fuller now has three sacks to increase his career total to 23-1/2, which is second on the Bulldogs' career list.
= Adrian will have its home opener next Saturday during its Homecoming game versus Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Kickoff at Docking Stadium is scheduled for 4 p.m.
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