North Manchester, Ind. - Opening a three-game, four-week road trip, the Alma College football team picked up its first win of the season with a 31-20 victory over Manchester University at Burt Field. Junior QB Dylan Zaborowski (Jackson, Mich./Michigan Center HS) scored four touchdowns, including three on the ground, as the Scots defeated the team coached by Nate Jensen, who served as Alma's defensive coordinator from 2012-15.
The Scots (1-1 overall), down 20-17 at the half, held Manchester (0-2) scoreless in the second half while posting 14 unanswered points to secure the victory.
Senior Nick Sullivan (Flushing, Mich./Flint Powers HS) and Zaborowski both turned in 100-yard rushing games, with Sullivan carrying the ball 33 times for 115 yards, while Zaborwoski toted the ball 20 times for 103 yards and three scores. Zaborowski also completed 11 of his 31 passes for 172 yards, including four passes to junior WR Lars Murray, who had a team-high 98 yards receiving.
Zaborowski also caught his first career touchdown pass, scoring in the second quarter. On third-and-four, sophomore WR Essa Kellah (Grand Rapids, Mich./Godwin Heights HS) took a pitch from Zaborowski and then found Zaborowski for a 35-yard score.
The Scots held Manchester to 262 yards of total offense, including 80 yards on the ground. Junior LB Zac Peterson (Holt, Mich./Holt HS) and senior DL Nick Mangutz(Mio, Mich./Mio-AuSable HS) paced the Alma defense with seven tackles each. Alma featured a balanced offensive attack with 478 yards of offense, gaining 246 on the ground and 232 through the air.
Alma opened the scoring with a 16-play, 85-yard drive that ended when Zaborowski scored on a 1 yard run late in the first quarter. Manchester responded with a one-yard run by Hunter Hardee, but after the missed extra point, still trailed by one. Zaborowski struck again, this time after he caught a 35-yard touchdown pass Kellah to put the Scots up by a 14-6 margin.
Manchester scored twice in a span of 3:48 to take the lead in to the half. The Spartans scored on a 15-yard pass from Tristan Chester to Matt Wirick before Dillon Nelson picked off a Zaborowski pass and returned it 56 yards for a touchdown to go up by a 20-14 margin.
Alma added a late field goal after sophomore Jacob Plisko (Livonia, Mich./Livonia Stevenson HS) connected on a 19-yard try to enter the halftime break down by three at 20-17.
The Scots struck first in the second half to regain the lead after Zaborowski scored on a 12-yard run to make the score 24-20, then Zaborowski scored again to put Alma up by 11 points with a 17 yard run to open the fourth quarter.
Manchester drove to the Alma 27 on the next drive, but fumbled the ball, giving Alma possession with just over eight minutes remaining. The Spartans had two more opportunities to cut into the lead, but the Scots' defense forced a turnover on downs and held on for the end of the game to remain perfect in the second half.
The Scots continue their road trip next week, traveling to Mequon, Wis., to face Concordia University-Wisconsin as part of the MIAA-NACC Challenge series. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (CT).