Alma, Mich. - The night magic continues for the Alma College football team under the lights at Bahlke Field. The Scots moved to a perfect 4-0 in home night games on Saturday (Oct. 22) evening, defeating rival Albion College by a 37-14 margin.
With the win, Alma improves to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and matches its win total from a year ago with three games remaining on the schedule. The Scots also picked up their first win over the Britons (0-7, 0-4 MIAA) since 2008, snapping a seven-game losing streak to their league rival.
Junior quarterback Dylan Zaborowski (Jackson, Mich./Michigan Center) threw for two touchdowns and scored two more on the ground while rushing for over 100 yards for the second straight game. Zaborowski carried the ball 15 times for 122 yards and completed 23 of his 35 passes for 178 yards.
The Scots opened the game with a 23-0 lead after two quarters and forced Albion into four turnovers en route to the victory. Junior Zac Peterson (Holt, Mich./Holt) paced Alma with 12 tackles, while senior Justin Thelen (Westphalia, Mich./Pewamo-Westphalia) made 11 stops and picked off Briton's quarterback Tyler Crowell.
"It was a great team effort," Head Coach Greg Pscodna said. "Our kids have been playing really well and we executed very well in the first half, made some big plays, got ahead and our kids started believing.
"It's the first time we beat them in seven years and I'm just happy for the kids and the coaches, they believed, and that's the key right now. We're starting to believe in what we're doing."
Alma opened the scoring on their third drive after senior Troy Gahm (Gaylord, Mich./Gaylord) forced a fumble that was returned by junior Dustin Tripp (Byron Center, MIch,./Hudsonville) to the Albion 38. Seven plays later, Zaborowski scored for the first time on an eight-yard run. The Scots struck again in the second quarter after taking over on the Albion 33, with Zaborowski throwing an eight-yard touchdown pass to junior Danny Hugan II (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron).
The Britons drove just outside the Scots' red zone and missed a 39 yard field goal attempt, then Alma drove the ball 78 yards in 12 plays, with senior Nick Sullivan (Flushing, Mich./Flint Powers) capping off the drive with a two-yard run to put Alma up 20-3. Sullivan has 21 carries for 95 yards. Sophomore Jacob Plisko (Livonia, Mich./Stevenson) made it 23-0 when he converted a 33-yard field goal just before halftime.
Albion got on the board in the second half when El'Verson Mitchell scored on a two-yard run to make the score 23-7. On the ensuing drive, Plisko missed from 32 yards out to give the ball back to Albion, but the Brits were unable to capitalize as the Alma defense forced a three-and-out. The Scots increased their lead after that, with Zaborowski scampering 34 yards for the score - untouched - on a fourth-and-two play to put Alma up 30-7.
Thelen intercepted Crowell's pass on the next drive, setting the Scots up on the Albion 27, then four plays later, Zaborowski found sophomore Essa Kellah (Grand Rapids, Mich./Godwin Heights) on an eight-yard pass to make the score 37-7.
Albion added a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, when Sam Blanzy found Kyle Winchell for 15 yards.
The Scots will now take to the road for two straight games, starting next Saturday, Oct. 29, with a 1:00 p.m. contest at Olivet College. Alma has won its last three road games and will be seeking its first six-win season since 2006.
"We just play one game at a time," Pscodna added. "We go down to Olivet, they're in first place, so we have to play like every game is a championship game. That's the mentality we need to have."