Alma, Mich. - Something special happens at night at Bahlke Field. The Alma College football team continued its magic under the lights, rolling to its third victory of the season, and second under the lights at home, with a 36-27 victory over Kalamazoo. The Scots (3-3 overall, 1-2 MIAA) also snapped an eight-game league losing streak with the victory, and also stopped a four-game slide in games against Kalamazoo (2-4, 0-2).
The MIAA win was the first for Alma since the end of the 2013 campaign.
Sophomore quarterback Dylan Zaborowski (Jackson, Mich./Michigan Center) had a career night, completing 26 of his 50 passes for 328 yards and three touchdowns. He also rank the ball 18 times for 68 yards, accounting for 396 of the Scots' 492 yards of total offense.
Senior wide receivers Erik Hines (Menominee, Mich./Menominee) also had a career outing, charging nine passes for a career-best 162 yards and two scores, including a 70-yard bomb from Zaborowski to ice the game in the fourth quarter. Senior Sean McDonald (Gladwin, Mich./Gladwin) posted his second consecutive 100-yard effort, catching eight passes for 126 yards and two scores, marking the second straight game he has scored a pair of touchdowns.
The Hornets got on the board first when Elijah Hamilton-Wray took the opening kickoff 83 yards for the score to take a 7-0 lead. The Scots responded on the next possession, taking the ball 88 yards on an 18-play drive that ended with Zabowowski connecting with Hines on a two-yard pass to tie the game at 7-7.
Kalamazoo regained the lead three minutes later after recovering a Zaborowski fumble on the Alma 17-yard line. The Hornets scored five plays later when quarterback Alex White connected with K.J. Schultz for the five-yard score to make it 14-7.
After a 24-yard field goal by sophomore Ryan Maguire (Grand Haven, MIch./Grand Haven) to make the score 14-10, then the Scots took the lead at 17-10 when McDonald caught his first touchdown of the night, a 33-yard pass from Zaborowski.
Kalamazoo answered on the next drive, going 75 yards in 13 plays, capped off by a six-yard pass from White to Collin Feilla to give the Hornets a 21-17 advantage with 7:22 left in the half. Maguire converted a 26-yard field goal to pull the Scots within one at 21-20, then Alma took the lead for good when Maguire hit a 31-yard kick with 11 seconds left in the first half to put Alma up 23-21.
The Scots would begin to pull away in the third quarter when sophomore Parrish TerBurgh(Midland, MIch./Bullock Creek) too a pitch from Zaborowski and tossed a 27-yard pass to McDonald to give the Scots a 20-31 advantage near the end of the third quarter. Kalamazoo scored with 9:35 left in the game when White connected with Justin Radidoux to pull within three at 30-27, then Hines sealed the victory with 5:38 remaining with the longest reception of his career.
The second half was a defensive struggle as the two teams combined to force 12 punts. The Scots held Kalamazoo to just 52 yards of offense in the final half as the defense preserved the victory.
Senior Terry Calagon (Jackson, Mich./East Jackson) paced the Scots defensively with 11 tackles, including a career high three sacks. Calagon also recorded 3.5 tackles for loss, forced a fumble and recovered it, and hurried the quarterback six times.
The Scots will hit the road for the next three games, beginning next Saturday, Oct. 24, at Hope College. Kickoff is slated for 6:00 p.m. at the Ray & Sue Smith Stadium in Holland.
• The victory marked the third win of the year for Alma, the most wins under Head Coach Greg Pscodna and the most wins in a season for the Scots since 2010.
• The Scots are 3-0 under the lights at home and have outscored opponents by a 109-55 margin.
• Alma's win was the first in MIAA play since Nov. 16, 2013, a string of eight games.
• The Scots defeated Kalamazoo for the first time since Oct. 30, 2010, to snap a four-game losing streak to the Hornets.
• Alma's 492 yards of total offense was a season high, and the 355 yards passing was the most this season.
• Dylan Zaborowski set career-highs in completions (26), attempts (50) and yards (328). It was Zaborowski's second career 300-yard game and the second time he has tossed three touchdowns. The last time he did that was on Oct. 18, 2014 at Kalamazoo.
• Erik Hines led all receivers with a career-high 162 yards, marking his second career 100-yard game. Hines posted his first career multi-score game with two touchdowns, and his 70-yard catch from Zaborowski was the longest reception of his career. In addition, Hines has now caught a pass in 26 straight games.
• Sean McDonald posted his second straight 100-yard game and scored a pair of touchdowns for the second straight outing. In his last two appearances, McDonald has 15 catches for 290 yards and four TDs.
• Terry Calagon's three sacks were a carer high. Calagon has recorded at least a half-sack in five of his six games this season, including four straight, and leads the team with 8.5 sacks.
• Sophomore Zac Peterson (Holt, Mich./Holt) posted 10 tackles and has recorded 10 or more stops in his last four outings.
• Ryan Maguire snapped an 0-6 streak in field goal attempts, going 3-for-3 against Kalamazoo. In addition, his 31-yard kick was the longest of his career.
• Senior Chris Johnson (Sunnyvale, Calif./Homestead) recorded a career-high 11 tackles.
• Sophomore Cameron Lee (Lansing, Mich./Waverly) tallied seven stops, a career high.
• Senior Derek Ellis (Laingsburgh, Mich./Laingsburgh) made a career-high 1.5 sacks.
• Senior Justin Thelen (Westphalia, Mich./Pewamo-Westphalia) recorded his fifth career interception, and fourth of the season. Helen has an interception in each of his last three games.
Head Coach Greg Pscodna
On the win...
"I think it was a great win after a shaky start. We battled back, and the kids played hard. We believed all night and we made some plays when we needed to. I thought we did a great job."
On the offense...
"I thought Dylan (Zaborowski) did a great job. We missed some passes that could have been some big plays, but I've got to give credit to our offensive line. We are playing with two freshmen, including Declan DeYoung, who played in his first college game tonight, and Oscar Flores, who moved to guard. Those two guys aren't very big, but they are tough and did a tremendous job. Overall, our offense did enough to win tonight."
On the play of Sean McDonald...
"That's something we've been waiting for. He can catch the ball and he's got some good moves. He did a tremendous job and made some plays, and that was key tonight."