River Forest, Ill - Senior Erik Hines (Menominee, Mich./Menominee) scored three touchdowns as the Alma College football team posted a 36-13 non-conference win over Concordia-Chicago on Saturday (Oct. 31) afternoon at Cougar Stadium. The win was the third straight for the Scots (5-3 overall), who have put together three consecutive victories for the first time since the 2007 campaign.
With the victory, Alma now has five wins for the first time since 2008.
After failing to score on its first two possessions, the Scots took a 6-0 lead with 5:51 to go in the first quarter when Hines caught a 23-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Dylan Zaborowski (Jackson, Mich./Michigan Center). Zaborowski put Alma up 12-0 just over three minutes later when he scampered into the end zone from one yard out.
In the second quarter, junior Jacob Chittenden (Spring, Lake, Mich./Spring Lake) intercepted a pass from Concordia's Peyton Seidler to set up a drive that resulted in a 26-yard field goal from sophomore Ryan Maguire (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) to make it 15-0 with 3:07 left in the first half.
The Scots would take a 22-0 lead into the half after Hines and Zaborowski connected again, this time from 28 yards out.
In the second half, Alma scored again to make it 29-0 when Zaborowski threw his third touchdown pass of the afternoon, this time connecting with sophomore Jacob Shields (Rives Junction, Mich./Jackson Northwest) from 20 yards out.
Concordia found the end zone with six minutes remaining in the third quarter when Seidler hooked up with Ryan Allison for a 32-yard score to make the score 29-6. The Scots stopped a Concordia drive late in the third quarter when junior Cody Coleman (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson) forced and recovered a fumble on the Alma 36-yard line.
Alma increased its lead to 30 points with 6:43 remaining in the game when sophomore Daniel Hugan (Ann Arbor, Mich./Ann Arbor Huron) took a pitch from Zaborowski and found Hines on a 17-yard pass for his third score of the day.
Concordia added a score with just over a minute remaining when Rashad Lofton took a punt from sophomore Edward Inglsbee(Waterford, Mich./Kettering) and returned it 85 yards for a score.
The Scots posted 475 yards of total offense, including 304 through the air. Zaborowski completed 21 of his 38 passes for 287 and three TDs while also rushing five times for 10 yards and a score. Hines finished the afternoon with five catches for 111 yards and a career-high three scores.
Defensively, Alma was paced by senior Troy Gahm (Gaylord, Mich./Gaylord), who had a team-high 11 tackles as the Scots held Concordia to 195 yards of total offense, including 82 yards rushing. The Scots also forced five turnovers in the game, recovering four fumbles.
Alma returns to MIAA play and concludes its three-game road trip next Saturday, Nov. 7, traveling to Albion, Mich., to face the Albion College Britons in a key league matchup. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m. at Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium in Albion.
• The Scots have a shot at a share of the MIAA Championship. If the Scots win their last two games (at Albion on Nov. 7, vs. Olivet on Nov. 14), and if Trine loses in one of its last two games (vs. Hope on Nov. 7, at Adrian on Nov. 14), the Scots will be co-champions in the MIAA. Albion can clinch a share of the league title with a win over Alma next week.
• Alma's five wins are the most since the 2009 campaign. The Scots have not recorded six wins in a season since 2006.
• The Scots' three-game winning streak is their first since the 2007 season.
• Alma is 2-0 all-time against Concordia-Chicago and has gone 2-0 against teams from the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference this season.
• Alma has had a receiver post a 100-yard game in each of the last four outings.
• The Scots have recorded an interception in every game this season.
• Erik Hines became one of only 13 players in Alma history to record over 1,600 career receiving yards. Hines has 1,604 yards on 129 catches. Hines also extended his pass reception streak to 28 games and posted three touchdowns in a single game for the first time in his career. In addition, Hines recorded his third career 100-yard receiving game and has tallied 100 or more yards receiving in two of his last three appearances.
• Dylan Zaborowski threw three touchdown passes for the third time in his career, and second in the last three games.
• Nick Sullivan posted his second straight 100-yard game with 28 carries for 142 yards. Sullivan has 135 rushing attempts this season, seventh all-time in Alma history.
• Daniel Hugan threw his first career touchdown pass. He also caught 10 passes for 62 yards, marking the second straight game he has caught 10 or more passes.
• Jacob Shields caught his first career touchdown pass.
• Cody Coleman recorded his first career forced fumble and fumble recovery.
• Zac Peterson had his first career fumble recovery.
• Cameron Lee recovered his team-best fifth fumble of the season. He entered the game ranked second in the nation in fumble recoveries.
• Terry Calagon has 1.5 tackles for loss and now has 17 this season. He ranks third in Alma history for tackles for loss in a single season, one shy of the record held by Tony Galarno (18 in 2010). Calagon also has a sack, giving him 10 for the year, which is the third-best sack total for a season in Alma history.
Head Coach Greg Pscodna
On the game ...
"We did what we had to do. It was a miserable day for football - cold, rainy and windy. Our defense was dominant at the beginning and our offense moved the ball and scored under difficult conditions."
On the MIAA race ...
"We talked about it today after the game that this is championship week for us. We have to beat Albion to still have a chance, because if Albion beats us, they are MIAA champs. For us, we can play a spoiler, and if we win our next two games we can hopefully share a conference championship."
On the success this season ...
"I think it's a credit to the team. Two of those wins have been on the road at tough places to play. I think our team is playing with some confidence right now. We will see what we can do next week at Albion. It will be out biggest game of the year and our toughest challenge by far."