Adrian Falls from Ranks of Unbeatens
ADRIAN, Mich. – For the second straight year the turnover bug bit the Bulldogs against rival Albion College. Adrian threw five interceptions and did not cause a turnover in a 28-14 loss to the Britons at Performance Stadium. A year ago, Adrian also was -5 in the turnover battle in a 38-21 defeat in Albion.
The Britons flexed their muscle early in the game and built a 14-0 lead. After a scoreless first quarter after a one hour and 20 minute delay due to lightning, Albion got a breakaway 53-run touchdown run by Clinton Orr capping off a 92-yard drive with 11:42 left in the second. The Britons then struck through the air as Zach Brewer caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Spencer Krauss with 7:46 left in the second.
Adrian then began to perk up and cut the lead to 14-7 at halftime. Isiah Cross hauled in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Miller with 1:03 left until intermission capping off a 64-yard drive in six plays. The Bulldogs tied the game at 14-14 with 8:29 left in the third as Damon Brown went around right end on fourth-and-goal from the one.
The Britons answered Adrian's tying drive with one of their own as Wes Dolen capped off a 68-yard drive with a 23-yard touchdown scamper to take a 21-14 lead with 3:29 left in the third. The big game-changing play came with 12:21 left in the game as Miller went back to pass and attempted to throw a screen pass which was tipped and Derek Jackson caught it and rumbled 35 yards for Albion to make it 28-14.
The Bulldogs made a quarterback switch with 10:01 left in the fourth as freshman Aaron Tenney led Adrian to the Albion 35 before being hit as he released the ball on a first-and-20 play which resulted in a John Lesinski interception after an 11-play drive which gained 64 yards.
Adrian got one more chance to cut into the lead as they moved the ball downfield 49 yards, but Tenney tossed an interception at the one-yard line which was returned nine yards by Mike Vandermus. Albion got the best of Adrian for the third straight season by pounding the run to the tune of 234 yards compared to 176 for the Bulldogs. Orr carried 26 times for 149 yards and Dolen rushed 13 times for 87 yards.
Danny Cobb led the Adrian ground game with 11 totes for 104 yards. Brown carried 11 times for just 26 yards. Miller and Tenney both completed 10 passes but combined for five picks. Miller threw for 91 yards while Tenney tossed 100 yards. Mitch Gabriele caught eight passes for 73 yards. Cross grabbed six passes for 67 yards.
The Adrian defense could not wreak havoc like they had done all season coming into the game ranked in the top 20 nationally in sacks and tackles for loss. The Bulldogs recorded just one sack and had eight tackles for a loss of 13 yards. Hunter Juntunen led the defense with 13 tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss. A.J. Gill registered 11 tackles and Keman Jacobs compiled 10 tackles and a pass breakup.