ALMA, Mich. – For the second straight week it was a strong defensive effort in MIAA play that propelled the Adrian College football team (4-1, 2-0) to a victory. This week it was a road trip to Alma College and after the first series yielded a field goal after a fake punt, it was all Adrian in a 27-3 romp over the Scots. Adrian has not allowed a touchdown in the first two MIAA games to start conference play.
Alma took the opening kickoff and raced down to the Adrian 41-yard line and looked to set up a punt on fourth-and-six. The Scots faked the punt and instead caught Adrian off guard with a 25-yard pass down to the Adrian 16-yard line. Adrian held firm however and Jack Pryde kicked a 26-yard field goal which would amount to the lone points of the game for Alma.
Alma held their 3-0 lead after 15 minutes as the Bulldogs managed just 44 yards on offense compared to 92 for the Scots. Adrian finally got on the board with 7:15 left in the second quarter as Dustin Salliotte kicked a 32-yard field goal after a 10-play drive which lasted 4:25.
Adrian forced a three-and-out and got the ball back at their own 41-yard line with 5:39 left until halftime. The Bulldogs marched downfield in 10 plays and covered 59 yards before Kyle Smock carried for a one-yard touchdown run with 33 seconds left in the first half. Adrian controlled the clock in the second quarter for 11:17 and gained 89 yards compared to just five yards for the Scots.
The game remained close as both teams traded possessions in the third quarter. Adrian forced a third punt of the half and took over at their own 23-yard line with 5:50 left in the quarter. Dae'Von Robinson changed field position with a 43-yard run on the first play of the drive down to the Alma 34-yard line. The drive stalled at the Alma seven-yard line however and Salliotte kicked his second field goal of the day from 25 yards to give Adrian a 13-3 lead with 2:32 left in the third quarter.
After a third quarter of dominance by the Bulldogs, they began to open the game up in the fourth quarter. Taylor Copacia connected with Justin Hemm on a 37-yard strike with 12:38 left to make it 20-3 and on Adrian's next drive the Bulldogs capped off an 11-play, 52-yard drive as Copacia found Mitch Gabriele on a six-yard score. The ensuing PAT made it 27-3 with just 2:26 left in the game.
Adrian limited Alma to 116 yards on the day and themselves gained 327 yards. The breakdown for the Bulldogs was 152 rushing yards on 42 carries (3.6 ypr) and 175 passing yards and two scores. Copacia went 15-of-25 in his first start for Adrian under center. Robinson led the team with 78 rushing yards on 13 carries (6.0 ypr). Hemm led the receivers with seven catches for 81 yards.
Shuan Hladki led the team with six tackles. Hunter Juntunen was right behind him with five tackles and a pass breakup. Adrian recorded one sack courtesy of Aaron Gray for a loss of five yards. The Bulldogs will now gear up for next Saturday's border showdown against Trine University. Both teams are 2-0 in the conference after the Thunder defeated Albion, 27-22, in Angola earlier today. Next week's kickoff is set for 4:00 PM at Performance Stadium.