Bulldogs Return to Docking Stadium for MIAA Matchup with Visiting Albion

The offensive line works to find an open lane for Bulldogs all-time leading rusher Emmanuel Stewart. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
The offensive line works to find an open lane for Bulldogs all-time leading rusher Emmanuel Stewart. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

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ADRIAN, Mich.--The Adrian College football team hosts Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association rival Albion College on Saturday on Kapnick Field at Docking Stadium (capacity 3,500), kicking off at 1 p.m. before a live Buckeye Cable Sports Network regional audience. Originally, the teams were set to play at 5 p.m. Here's a preview of the contest: 

TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • This marks the 88th meeting between the longtime football rivals. Albion holds a 55-31-1 all-time lead in the series, but the Bulldogs have been victorious in three of the past four meetings--including that last two at home. Adrian is 18-28-1 at home versus the Britons.
  • Jim Deere '89 is 55-33 record (.625) in his ninth season as the Adrian head coach. He has piloted the Bulldogs to MIAA championships in 2012 and 14, and NCAA tournament bids in those seasons. 
  • Senior running back Emmanuel Stewart ranks second among ACTIVE NCAA Division III career leaders at 4,615 yards and third in all NCAA Divisions; No. 1 is Le'Anthony Reasnover (4,901) from Eureka College. Adrian's career rushing leader, Stewart currently ranks second in the MIAA with 125.7 rushing yards per game and has eight touchdowns for a second-place tie. He also is third among active Division III career leaders with 5,281 all-purpose yards.      
  • The Bulldogs' defensive unit is paced by senior inside linebacker Tim McPhee with a career-high 52 total tackles, including 19 solo, for third in the MIAA (8.7 per game). He also has two interceptions and four pass break-ups.
  • Senior ILB Nate Conner (16 solo, 24 assists) and senior outside linebacker Lawrence Austin (19 solo, 21 assists) are both second behind McPhee with 40 tackles. Junior defensive back Shawn Starks is tied for the team lead with 19 solo tackles (37 total).
  • Freshman quarterback Jack Wurzer has completed 55.9 percent (76-136) of his pass attempts for 1,267 yards and 14 touchdowns with two interceptions, ranking second in the MIAA for passing yards (253.4 per game) and TDs. He lists 25th in the nation in passing efficiency at 165.2, which--if the season ended today--would be a school benchmark. He also is 11th in Division III passing yards per completion (16.67) and 39th in TD passes.
  • Senior outside linebacker Chris Adams (23 tackles) and sophomore DB Danny White (20) lead the Bulldogs with five pass breakups each. Adams has 183 stops (115 solo, 68 assists) in his career to go along with 25 pass breakups--second in Adrian history. 
  • Senior wide receiver Jerron McGaw leads the MIAA in receptions (40), receiving yards (760), yards per catch (19.0--2nd) and TDs (9), with NCAA Division III national rankings of 47th (6.7 receptions/game), 12th and 12th, respectively.
  • Adrian is one of the best teams in the nation protecting the ball. The Bulldogs are third in fewest fumbles lost and also third with only four turnovers.
  • Records: Adrian 3-3 (1-2 MIAA), Albion 4-2 (1-2 MIAA); the visiting Britons were picked fifth (30 points) behind third-place Adrian (20) in the MIAA preseason coaches' poll. 

ADRIAN TWO-DEEP

ABOUT ALBION

  • Sophomore quarterback Kyle Thomas tops the MIAA statistical leaderboard with 264.5 yards passing per game and 15 TDs, completing 134 of 219 pass attempts for 61.2 percent.
  • His favorite receivers are freshman Justin Thomas (27 receptions, 335 yards, 3 TDs), senior tight end Brian Blanzy (24, 359, 3) and sophomore Kolby Canfield (21, 302, 2).
  • Senior Doug Freeman leads the Britons ground game with 87.0 yards rushing per game and five TDs. 
  • Sophomore LB Levi Ladd tops the defense with 40 total stops (22) and senior corner back Darrell McEntire leads the team with 27 solo tackles (36).
  • The Britons are the top offensive unit in the conference: 3,160 total yards, 526.7 yards per game, 1,720 passing yards, 16 passing TDs, 145 completions, 236 attempts, 168 first downs and 51 percent 3rd-down conversions (45-88).

LAST TIME OUT

  • Adrian hit the road for the first time in October last Saturday and turned back Alma College, 28-23, at 4,700-seat Bahlke Field.
  • Stewart rumbled for a game-high 163 yards on 26 carries and he scored two touchdowns.
  • Wurzer was efficient in the passing game by connecting on 17 for 25 attempts for 256 yards and two TDs against no interceptions. He also rushed for 13 yards.
  • McGaw was Wurzer's favorite target to the tune of six catches for a game-best 147 yards and a TD.
  • McPhee had a career-best 14 total tackles, including a season's best seven solo, to lead all student-athletes.
  • Freshman Clarence Madison continued his emergence as another offensive weapon with eight receptions for 82 yards and a TD.
  • The Bulldogs defense stuffed the Scots on fourth-and-1 at the Adrian 35-yard line and the offense was able to run out the clock after that to preserve the victory. Adrian also made Alma settle for a short field goal after a Scots' drive stalled at the 5.

LAST TIME OUT...vs Albion

  • Adrian rallied from a 13-point deficit in the first quarter to defeat rival Albion, 34-32, for Homecoming 2017.

  • Stewart rushed for season highs of 219 yards on 39 carries to pace all student-athletes. He also scored on touchdown runs of two and five yards.

  • McGaw led all receivers with eight catches and 84 yards.

  • Adams led the team's secondary with five tackles, two solo including a tackle for loss. Austin chipped in three solo stops (4 tackles), including a tackle for loss, and he had a 23-yard interception.

  • The Bulldogs dominated possession, 44:00 to 16:00, and outgained the Britons, 458 to 281 total yards.

WHAT'S NEXT

Adrian returns home the following Saturday (1 p.m.) to host first-time opponent Finlandia University. The Lions are an affiliate member of the conference in football only.

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