Alma, Mich. – The Alma College football team wrapped up its season today with a win against Adrian College on Senior Day, 31-27. It was the Scots' first win against the Bulldogs since 2006 and pushed Alma's record to 7-3 overall and 4-2 in the MIAA, marking the most wins for the program since 2004 and the most for the Scots under Head Coach Greg Pscodna.
Down 20-3 at halftime, the Scots mounted a second-half comeback for the second straight week, scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning touchdown by junior Caleb Reinhart (Montrose, Mich./Montrose) with 23 seconds remaining.
"I've never been associated with a team who has come back from such adversity," Pscodna said. "We've been through highs and lows, and I have to give the kids credit for making plays and not giving up. We are able to give our seniors a great going-away present."
Adrian scored on its first drive to make the score 7-0 until late in the first quarter, when sophomore kicker Jacob Plisko (Livonia, Mich./Livonia Stevenson) responded with a field goal for the Scots to make the score 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs scored on a 71-yard touchdown reception by Darius Philon with six minutes to go. Philon scored again, this time for 47 yards, with 19 seconds to go in the half to give the Bulldogs a 20-3 advantage at the break.
As the second half began, junior Danny Hugan II (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron) had a pair of 27-yard receptions to bring him to over 1,000 receiving yards for the season. He is Alma's fourth ever 1,000-yard receiver and the first since 2009. He finished the game with 194 yards on nine catches.
The third quarter was quiet until junior quarterback Dylan Zaborowski (Jackson, Mich./Michigan Center) threw two passes down the field to Hugan for gains of 15 and 17 around the two-minute mark before firing a 14-yard touchdown pass, his first of the game, to sophomore receiver Essa Kellah (Grand Rapids, Mich./Godwin Heights) to leave the Scots down by 10 with one quarter remaining. Zaborowski was 12-of-29 for 263 yards and a touchdown.
Alma scored early in the fourth when senior Jacob Chittenden (Spring Lake, Mich./Spring Lake) picked off Hunter Hamm and ran for an 85-yard touchdown to bring the Scots within three points at 20-17. After a short Bulldog possession, and a blocked punt by senior Ty Jensen (Grayling, Mich./Grayling), Alma took over on their own 44-yard line. Reinhart capped the frive with a one-yard run with 6:20 remaining to give the Scots their first lead of the game, 24-20. The Bulldogs responded with a touchdown and regained the lead with 1:28 to play, setting up the game's winning drive.
Starting at their own 22 yard line with 1:24 left, the Scots moved quickly into Bulldog terroitory thanks to a 71 reception by Hugan to give Alma first and goal on the Adrian 7-yard line. Three plays later, Reinhart scored his second of the day to put the Scots up for good at 31-27 with 23 seconds remaining.
Adrian tried to spoil the comeback with a series of laterals on the final play of the game, but senior Justin Thelen (Westphalia, Mich./Pewamo-Westphalia) ended the game when he recovered a fumble on the Bulldog's final lateral attempt.
Alma College will graduate 10 seniors from this year's team and honored them prior to the game.
"Hopefully our underclassmen realize what a great feeling this is," Pscodna said. "We've got to work and continue to improve and get better as student-athletes. It's good to go in to the off-season with a good victory."