/seasons/2012/contrib/20121103ycorvh

Adrian Claims First Outright MIAA Championship since 1983

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ALBION, Mich. - The Adrian College football team (8-1, 6-0) defeated Albion College (6-3, 3-2), 20-19, in overtime at Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium on Saturday afternoon clinching their first outright MIAA title since 1983 and advancing to the NCAA Division III playoffs for the first time since 1988. The last time Adrian had at least a share of the conference title was during the 1997 season.

"I am so proud of our team and how they have faced adversity all season long," said a jubilant head coach Jim Deere. "I started three years ago and promised that either we would win a conference title or I would resign. Thank goodness the first part of that statement came true. Even today we were up 10 points at halftime and had to battle back into overtime. Our defense came up big in the biggest moment of the season on that two-point try. It looked like the hole was there and then the door shut. I can't describe how special this is for me, my staff and the players. The last appearance in the playoffs was my last game here at Adrian. It is just a very emotional win."

Adrian set the tone early as they took the opening kick and moved into the end zone.Dae'Von Robinson took a handout and raced 48 yards for his longest run of the season to give Adrian a 7-0 lead at the 12:33 mark. Adrian's trademark defense limited the Britons to just 13 yards in the first quarter and led 7-0 after 15 minutes.

Albion cut into the lead on their first drive of the second quarter. Darrin Williams and Colin Parks carried the ball downfield marching 63 yards in 15 play. The Adrian defense did not break however as Jimmy Nieman booted a 29-yard field goal to make it 7-3 with 4:04 left until halftime.

Adrian increased their lead to 13-3 before intermission as they drove 49 yards in just one play as Taylor Copacia completed a touchdown pass to Justin Hemm and an out-and-up move down the home sideline. Hemm had an unbelieveable game for the Bulldogs finishing with 13 catches for 210 yards and two scores. In the process, Hemm set the single-season school record for receiving yards (1,006) becoming the first 1,000-yard receiver in school history.

"I felt like this was our game and as a senior wanted to go home with not only a championship but a win over Albion for the first time since I arrived here," commented Hemm. "To win this thing on the road the way we did it is just storybook. We have another big game at Huntingdon next week so we need to enjoy this tonight and get back to work. I also wanted to get this done for coach Deere and his staff. They are great people and deserve a lot of credit."

The momentum began to swing in favor of the Britons in the third quarter. On Adrian's first possession of the second half, Danny Cobb caught a screen pass and had the ball stripped from him by Mike Vandermus inside the Bulldog 20-yard line. Vandermus raced down to the Adrian three-yard line setting up a one-yard touchdown run by Williams for Albion.

The Adrian offense drove the ball to the Albion 29-yard line midway through the third but failed to convert a pass play on fourth-and-one giving the ball over to Albion. That was the best scoring chance for either team until early in the fourth quarter. Albion grinded out a 10-play, 40-yard drive which lasted 4:56 before Nieman kicked a game-tying 39-yard field goal which barely got over the crossbar.

Adrian had a chance to take the lead with 5:30 left in the game but Ben Klaver missed a 42-yard field goal into a breeze short and to the left after an 11-play, 39-yard drive. Adrian had one last drive before the end of regulation as Dustin Salliotte attempted a 45-yard field goal which was short. Albion was flagged for running into the kicker but Adrian was also flagged for a 15-yard foul which pushed the ball back to the Adrian 38-yard line. The Bulldogs elected to punt down to the Albion one-yard line with 42 seconds remaining. Albion ran a three-yard sneak by Dominic Bona and time expired with a 13-13 deadlock.

Adrian and Albion went into overtime for just the second time in the series history (2005) with the tension building for both teams. Albion won the toss and elected to play defense first. The Bulldogs marched 25 yards in just three plays as Hemm caught an eight-yard touchdown in the back corner of the end zone to give Adrian a 20-13 lead after the Salliotte extra point. Albion took over needed seven points to continue the game and Williams carried 20 yards to the Adrian five-yard line on the first play and then plunged over left end into the end zone on the second play to get the Britons within 20-19. On the scoring play, Adrian was flagged for a facemask moving the ball to the one and a half yard line. Albion rolled the dice and went on two. Bona took the carry up the middle and was stopped inches short of the goal line by a host of Bulldogs. The team rushed the field in one of the most dramatic games in school history.

"Our defense has been so good all season and when we needed a stop we got it," said defensive lineman Aaron Gray. "I believed in our guys up front and that penalty actually played in our favor. Albion played us very tough but in the end we made the plays and are going to the playoffs."

Albion became the first conference team this season to rush for over 100 yards with 124 yards on 38 carries (3.3 ypr). Adrian gained just 53 yards on the ground well below their season average. The Bulldogs outgained the Britons, 322-164, as the defense once again had a stellar outing. Copacia completed 22-of-32 for 269 yards and two scores with no interceptions. Adrian needed a clean game and turned it over just once. Robinson carried 20 times for 89 yards to lead the Bulldogs.

Charles Fleck had a career-high 12 tackles from his safety spot for Adrian. The Bulldogs recorded five tackles for loss and had five pass breakups. Adrian concludes its regular season next Saturday at Huntingdon (Ala.) and will then await their playoff opponent. That game will take place on Saturday, Nov. 17.

Oct. 13: All times Eastern
Final
Bridgewater State 24, at Mass-Dartmouth 22
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at UW-Whitewater 21, UW-La Crosse 14
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Oct. 14: All times Eastern
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Salve Regina 45, at Nichols 10
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Mount Ida 14, at Dean 7
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at Thomas More 59, Waynesburg 7
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at Maine Maritime 34, Coast Guard 16
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at Finlandia 27, Trinity Bible 21
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Hamilton 28, at Bowdoin 7
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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at Olivet 47, Albion 26
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at Wesleyan 41, Bates 23
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Union 27, at Rochester 0
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Amherst 40, at Colby 7
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at Western New England 41, Endicott 14
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Final - OT
at Plymouth State 16, Framingham State 13
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at RPI 27, Ithaca 14
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Hobart 49, at Hartwick 27
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at Ferrum 34, LaGrange 20
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at Carnegie Mellon 42, Geneva 27
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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DePauw 26, at Denison 17
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at Trine 42, Kalamazoo 7
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at Washington and Lee 47, Guilford 26
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at Husson 49, Castleton 0
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Gallaudet 35, at Alfred State 19
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at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Brevard 41, at Methodist 17
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at Lebanon Valley 31, Stevenson 24
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Buffalo State 24, at St. Lawrence 21
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Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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at Randolph-Macon 52, Emory and Henry 29
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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at Hampden-Sydney 58, Apprentice 28
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at N.C. Wesleyan 45, Greensboro 0
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at Westminster (Pa.) 49, Grove City 27
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Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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at Westminster (Mo.) 56, Crown 15
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 29, Iowa Wesleyan 7
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at Knox 56, Grinnell 14
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at Widener 31, Lycoming 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 23, at Tufts 16
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at Mount St. Joseph 66, Earlham 7
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Final - 2OT
Ohio Northern 27, at John Carroll 20
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Baldwin Wallace 23, at Muskingum 20
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Rose-Hulman 44, at Manchester 13
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at Hanover 31, Bluffton 28
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Defiance 45, at Anderson 0
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Hiram 62, at Kenyon 56
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Williams 27, at Middlebury 26
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at Westfield State 33, Fitchburg State 21
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Marietta 43, at Wilmington 33
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Curry 40, at Becker 0
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TCNJ 20, at Rowan 14
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at SUNY-Maritime 51, Anna Maria 15
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Salisbury 28, at Montclair State 10
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at Huntingdon 28, Maryville (Tenn.) 16
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at Austin 33, Millsaps 19
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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at Washington U. 55, Buena Vista 20
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Alma 27, at Aurora 19
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at Rockford 29, Concordia-Chicago 14
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Wisconsin Lutheran 22, at Concordia (Wis.) 19
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at Lakeland 57, Benedictine 21
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at St. Norbert 10, Chicago 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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St. Olaf 22, at Augsburg 20
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Bethel 24, at Gustavus Adolphus 3
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Eureka 30, Greenville 19
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Centre 27, at Trinity (Texas) 21
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Dubuque 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Central 30, at Coe 19
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Lake Forest 56, at Cornell 28
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at Carthage 31, Elmhurst 8
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Millikin 28, at Augustana 27
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Ripon 52, at Beloit 28
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MacMurray 49, at Minnesota-Morris 13
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Macalester 21, at Lawrence 18
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at Monmouth 59, Illinois College 14
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at UW-Stevens Point 26, UW-Eau Claire 3
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Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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Final
at Wooster 38, Oberlin 28
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Texas Lutheran 41, at East Texas Baptist 34
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at UW-Stout 21, UW-River Falls 16
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UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Final
Sewanee 34, at Birmingham-Southern 13
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Final
at Hope 22, Adrian 3
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Final
Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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Cancelled
La Verne at Occidental
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Whitworth 17, at Pacific Lutheran 14
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at Cal Lutheran 42, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 20
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at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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at Pacific 35, Puget Sound 27
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Pomona-Pitzer 45, at Whittier 23
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at Western Connecticut 28, Massachusetts Maritime 21
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Final
at St. Scholastica 56, Martin Luther 21
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Final - 5OT
at St. John Fisher 39, Utica 36
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Final - OT
at Heidelberg 48, Otterbein 45
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at Shenandoah 38, Bridgewater 20
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Southwestern 60, at Belhaven 31
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Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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at Louisiana College 52, McMurry 34
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at Simpson 38, Luther 17
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at Chapman 45, Redlands 26
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Halftime
13 North Central (Ill.)
7 Wheaton (Ill.)
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Oct. 14: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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Final
at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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Final
Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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Final
at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Final
at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Final
Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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Final
Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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Final
at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Final
at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Final
at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Final
Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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Final
St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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Final
Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Final
Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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Final
at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
Box Score
Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Halftime
13 North Central (Ill.)
7 Wheaton (Ill.)
Audio Live stats Video