Bulldogs Battle MIAA Leader Olivet on the Road in 21-17 Loss

Clarence Madison. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Clarence Madison. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

OLIVET, Mich.--Adrian College sophomore Clarence Madison led all receivers with six receptions and 87 yards with a touchdown, but it wasn't enough as host Olivet generated a Bulldogs turnover in the closing minutes to preserve a 21-17 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football win on Saturday.

= Final Score: Olivet College 21, Adrian College 17

= Location: Cutler Athletic Complex; Weather: Sunny, 45 degrees, Wind SW 14 mph

= Records: Olivet Comets 5-0 overall, 2-0 MIAA; Adrian Bulldogs 2-3 overall, 1-1 MIAA

TOP DAWGS
= Sophomore quarterback Jack Wurzer was 16-for-31 with 212 yards passing, a pair of touchdowns and an interception.

= On defense, sophomore defensive back Brandon Kwiatkowski posted game-bests of six tackles and 11 total, plus he forced a fumble. Freshman lineman Kevin Smitherman (5 solo), sophomore defensive back Steven Moses (5 solo) and junior defensive back Danny White (5 solo) added eight, seven and five total tackles, respectively.

THE OPPOSITION
= Kaleb Jarrett threw for 210 yards on 14 completions in 26 attempts and a TD.

= Noah McMinn had game highs of 30 carries and 237 yards, plus a TD.

= Spencer Mort grabbed three catches for a team-best 74 yards with a TD.

= Andrew Campbell led the Comets defense with six stops and seven total.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Late in the fourth quarter and Olivet holding a slim 21-17 lead, the Adrian defense stopped Noah McMinn on a 2-yard rushing loss on 4th and 1 to the Adrian 48-yard line, turning the ball over to the offense on downs with great field position. The Bulldogs' last drive started with 7 minutes and 10 seconds left as Wurzer found junior wide receiver Henry Wilson on a 26-yard completion to the OC 31 on 3rd and 8. Two plays later, Anthony Merriman dashed Adrian's hopes for a comeback when he intercepted a pass that tipped off the hands of an AC receiver at the 6, returning it to his own 35. The Comets ran out the final 3:44 to earn the victory on Homecoming.

= The Comets took the lead for good at the 13:46 mark when McMinn ran up the middle for a 34-yard TD and the extra point gave OC a four-point lead.

= Olivet had a chance to add to its lead about 2 minutes later, but Kwiatkowski punched the ball out of McMinn's hands for the fumble after a gain of 63 yards to the AC 20 where Moses recovered. Despite the fact that Adrian couldn't score on its next possession after the takeaway, the would-be TD was negated to keep the Bulldogs in the contest. 

= The Bulldogs took the lead at 2:53 of the third quarter when Madison hauled in a 52-yard TD catch-and-run. Adrian led 17-14.

= Olivet opened the second-half scoring on a Jake Trujillo 6-yard TD run for a 14-10 advantage.

= Adrian took its first lead of the afternoon just 4 seconds into the second quarter. Senior running back Colton Randle caught a 4-yard TD pass from Wurzer to make it 10-7.

= The teams traded scores in the opening stanza as Olivet went ahead 7-0 during the first possession on the strength of a Jarrettt-to-Mort 36-yard TD pass to cap a 70-yard drive in five plays and 3:06 off the clock. Sophomore Cooper West kicked a 31-yard field goal to bring Adrian within 7-3 at the 3:21 mark.

= The Comets held advantages in several key statistical categories including first downs (21-12), time of possession (33:31-25:59), total yards (468-278) and rushing yards (258-66).

= Adrian kept several drives alive by going 7-for-15 on third downs for a 47.0 percent success rate.

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
= Despite the loss, Adrian still holds a commanding 47-28-1 lead in the all-time series with Olivet.

= Olivet also was the Homecoming opponent for Adrian last season when the visiting Comets came away with a 50-22 victory.

= Wurzer remains the MIAA's leader with 236.6 yards passing per game.

= McMinn tops the conference in rushing average at 124.6 per game and he is tied for third with six rushing TDs.

UP NEXT
= Adrian returns home to Kapnick Field at Docking Stadium next Saturday against MIAA foe Alma, starting at 5 p.m. It will be Family Weekend for the Bulldogs. 

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