Holland, Mich. - The Alma College football team rolled up over 600 yards of offense and recorded its first road win in the MIAA since 2012, defeating the Hope College Flying Dutchmen, 35-17, at the Ray & Sue Smith Stadium. Sophomore quarterback Dylan Zaborowski (Jackson, Mich./Michigan Center) completed 34 of his 49 passes for 441 yards and two TDs as the Scots (4-3 overall, 2-2 MIAA) recorded their fourth win of the year, the most since the 2009 campaign.
The win spoiled homecoming for the Dutch (2-5, 0-3) and marked the first win for Alma in Holland since the 1996 campaign. In addition, the Scots snapped a five-game losing streak to Hope, posting their first win over the Dutch since 2009.
Alma posted 441 yards through the air, 10th most in a game in school history, as sophomore Daniel Hugan (Ann Arbor, Mich./Ann Arbor Huron) caught 16 passes for a career-best 235 yards and a touchdown. Hugan's yardage was the second most by any receiver in Alma history and just two yards shy of the school record. Hugan also scored a touchdown on the ground, rushing six times for 33 yards. Junior Nick Sullivan (Flushing, Mich./Flint Powers Catholic) led the Scots' ground game with 18 carries for 104 yards and a score.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Scots got on the board on their first possession of the second stanza when Zaborowski kept the ball and found the end zone 20 yards later to give Alma a 7-0 lead. Hugan accounted for 60 of the Scots' 89 yards on the drive that took eight plays and 3:01 off the clock.
After a 25-yard field goal by the Flying Dutchmen, Alma scored again when Hugan ran it in from two yards out to give the Scots a 14-3 lead late in the second half. The score was set up after an 18-yard run by Sullivan to give Alma a first-and-goal from the Hope 2-yard line.
The Scots increased their lead to 21-3 late in the first half when Lars Murray (Coleman, Mich./Coleman) caught a seven-yard pass from Zaborowski as the Scots drove 60 yards in 1:10. Alma stopped a Hope drive to end the first half when Hugan intercepted a Rob Kish hail mary pass in the end zone.
In the second half, Hope finally found the end zone when Zac Boersema scored on a four-yard run to close the gap at 21-10. The Scots answered on their next drive, with Sullivan scoring from three yards out to put Alma back up by 18. Sullivan's run came after Zaborowski connected with Erik Hines for 37 yards to put the ball inside the Hope 10-yard line.
Boersema pulled Hope back within 11 with a five-yard TD run to make the score 28-17 late in the third quarter. After a missed field goal by Ryan Maguire (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) from 29 yards, the Scots forced the Dutch to turn the ball over on downs, then iced the game when Hugan caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Zaborowski, chewing 5:20 off the clock and putting Alma up 35-17.
Hope added a late score to make it 35-24 with 1:57 remaining, but the Dutch could not recover an onside kick attempt and Alma ran out the clock for the victory.
Defensively, Alma was led by sophomore Zac Peterson (Holt, Mich./Holt), who recorded a game-high 13 tackles, including one sack. Senior Terry Calagon (Jackson, Mich./East Jackson) notched 10 stops, including a sack. The Alma secondary, led by three pass breakups from senior Aaron Davis (Detroit, Mich./Ferndale), held the MIAA's top receiver, Matt Kroll, to just 66 yards.
The Scots continue their three-game road trip next week, trailing to River Forest, Ill., to take on Concordia University-Chicago. Kickoff is slated for 2:00 p.m. Eastern at Cougar Stadium on the campus of Concordia University.
• Alma's four wins is the most in a season since the 2009 campaign.
• The win over Hope snaps a nine-game losing streak in MIAA road games. Prior to tonight's game, the Scots' last win on the road in league play was in 2012.
• Alma snapped a five-game losing streak to the Flying Dutchmen and posted the first win at Hope since the 1996 campaign.
• Alma held its opponent scoreless in the first quarter for the fourth time this season.
• Alma has scored first in six of its seven games this year.
• Alma's 658 yards of total offense ranks fourth all-time in school history for total offense and was the most since 1999, when the Scots totaled 800 yards of offense against Franklin in 1999.
• Alma has had a receiver post 100 or more yards in each of the last three games.
• Daniel Hugan recorded his first career 200-yard receiving game. It marks the fifth time in his career he has gone over 100 yards, and second time this season. His 235 yards were a career best, as were his 16 receptions. In addition, Hugan's 235 yards were two yards shy of the school record set by Al Goetz in 1984 (237 yards vs. Olivet Nazarene). Hunan's 16 receptions were also tied for the second most all-time, one behind Joe Cline's 17 receptions in 2006 against Hope.
• Lars Murray caught his first career touchdown pass. He also set career highs for receptions and yards. In addition, his 32-yard catch was the longest of his career.
• Erik Hines extended his pass reception streak to 27 games.
• Dylan Zaborowski posted his first career 400-yard game passing. It also marked the third time in his career throwing for more than 300 yards, and second straight. Zaborowski set career marks for completions and yards. Zaborowski's 441 yards ranks 10th all-time for most passing yards in a game.
• Nick Sullivan's touchdown ended a two-game scoring drought. In addition, he now has 64 points this season, becoming the 23rd player in Alma College football history to record 60 or more points in a single season. Sullivan also posted his third game with 100 or more yards rushing this season.
Head Coach Greg Pscodna
On the game ...
"I thought it was a great team effort. The kids played hard and we made plays when we needed to, both offensively and defensively. It was a little disappointing in that we squandered some opportunities in the first half, but the kids never quit. This might have been the biggest victory in the last 10 years here at Alma College."
On the offense ...
"We've got a running back in Nick Sullivan, Dylan (Zaborowski) can run the football and we've got 3-4 very good wide receivers. It makes it tough for defenses to cover us when we are playing like we did today."
On what the win at Hope means for the program ...
"This is a huge win - one of the biggest since they won the MIAA Championship at Alma. Not many people go to Hope and win at Hope on homecoming. It was a great victory."