FREELAND, Mich.--The 2019 Adrian College football team is picked to finish in a fourth-place tie with Olivet according to the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association preseason coaches' poll, released today by the league office. The Bulldogs and Comets both earned 30 points.
Adrian was 4-6 overall and 2-5 in MIAA play last season. Sophomore quarterback Jack Wurzer (Pinckney/Pinckney Community High School) had a standout rookie season last fall, leading the MIAA in passing with 18 touchdown passes and 224.3 yards per game in league contests. Overall, he established school records with 25 touchdown passes and 161.7 efficiency for 28th and 16th, respectively, in NCAA Division III. Clarence Madison (So., RB, Romulus, Mich./Woodhaven) also returns after featuring 63.7 yards receiving per MIAA game a year ago. Seniors running back Colton Randle (Royal Oak/Lake Shore HS) and defensive back Shawn Starks (New Boston, Mich./Woodhaven HS) are the top returners in their positions with 332 rushing yards and 45 tackles overall.
The MIAA football coaches' ballots view the 2019 campaign as one of the closer races of recent history.
Hope, a team that has finished the MIAA season in second place each of the past three seasons, is predicted to emerge as the MIAA champion by conference coaches after earning four first-place votes to total 11 points.
However, both Albion and defending MIAA champion Trine garnered 14 total points and two first-place votes apiece to tie for second in the preseason poll as all three teams have the capabilities to prevail this fall.
Adrian and Olivet tied for fourth in the preseason tally with 30 points, followed by Kalamazoo with 36 points to rank sixth. Alma (40 points) and Finlandia (49 points) concluded the poll. The preseason poll for MIAA football awards one point for a first-place vote, two points for a second-place vote, et cetera. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own programs.
The 2019 MIAA football season gets underway Thursday, Sept. 5 when Trine travels to Manchester at 7:30 p.m. The Bulldogs open up on Saturday, Sept. 7 (6 p.m.), against Heidelberg at home. The MIAA will host members of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference week 3, with the bye week falling on week 4. MIAA play begins Saturday, Oct. 5, a day highlighted by Adrian hosting Kalamazoo in a 5 p.m. kickoff.
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