Bulldogs Home Football Opener is Set for Saturday Versus Buffalo State

Tim McPhee jars the ball loose against an Alma player from last season. In 2018, McPhee is off to a fast start with a MIAA-third-leading 11 tackles. (Action photo: Mike Dickie)
Tim McPhee jars the ball loose against an Alma player from last season. In 2018, McPhee is off to a fast start with a MIAA-third-leading 11 tackles. (Action photo: Mike Dickie)

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ADRIAN, Mich.--Adrian College Football make its home debut on Saturday against non-conference foe Buffalo State. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:02 p.m. at 3,500-seat Docking Stadium. Here's a preview of the contest: 

TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • This marks the first meeting between the schools since Sep. 18, 1999, when the Bengals won 42-27 in Buffalo, N.Y. Buffalo State also won the season before in Adrian, 31-10, to hold a 2-0 all-time series lead.
  • Jim Deere '89 is 52-31 record (.634) in his ninth season as the Adrian head coach. He has piloted the Bulldogs to Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships in 2012 and 14, and NCAA tournament bids in those seasons. 
  • Senior running back Emmanuel Stewart needs 52 yards to become the first Bulldog to eclipse 4,000 yards rushing. At 3,948 yards, Stewart ranks second among ACTIVE NCAA Division III leaders behind No. 1 Le'Anthony Reasnover (4099) from Eureka College.   
  • The Bulldogs' defensive unit is led by three-time All-MIAA standout Chris Adams, who re-established his career high with 58 total tackles among 35 solos--both leading the Bulldogs. This fall, the senior moves back to linebacker after playing free safety and earning first-team all-conference honors a year ago. Adams had six final tackles at Ohio Northern.
  • Junior signal-caller Hunter Hamm returns as Adrian's starting quarterback. In 2016, Hamm started the last four games of his freshman season and ended up 75-for-139 for 54 percent and 1,179 yards with seven TDs. Freshman Jack Wurzer (Pinckney, Mich./Pinckney Community) is listed second on the AC depth chart. He is 12-for-32 with 181 yards after his season debut in Ada, Ohio.
  • Senior inside linebacker Tim McPhee led Adrian with a career-high 11 stops (4 solo) versus the Ohio Northern Polar Bears.
  • Fellow position player and classmate Nate Conner posted eight tackles at ONU, which is nearly matched his total for all of last season (10) in six games.
  • Senior wide receiver Jerron McGaw has 1,993 yards and 129 receptions in his career. He passed No. 2 Steve Kress (135 recp./1971) who had 1,971 receiving yards from 1999 to 2002 in school history. Justin Hemm is the Bulldogs' all-time leader with 3,024 yards on 195 receptions from 2009-12.
  • Recruited as a placekicker, sophomore Joshua Saggio averages 43.5 yards in his first two career punts. And freshman Cooper West was perfect in three kicks (2/2 XP, 29-yard FG).
  • Records: Adrian 0-1 (0-0 MIAA), Buffalo State 0-1 (0-0 E8); the Bengals are playing in their third-consecutive game away from home, dating back to last season. 

ADRIAN TWO-DEEP

ABOUT BUFF STATE

  • The Bengals play football in the Empire 8 Conference this season before moving to the Liberty League in 2019. Buffalo State's primary sport conference is the State University of New York Athletic Conference.
  • Buffalo State dropped a heartbreaking 30-29 road decision against Bridgewater (Mass.) State to open 2018.
  • Senior quarterback Kevin Torrillo was 20 of 33 for 264 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions in his second collegiate start for the Bengals.
  • Junior receiver Jordan Evert entered his final season with 16 catches for 213 yards.  In his first game of the season at Bridgewater, he finished with five catches for 153 yards and a touchdown.
  • Jamar Rutledge's second touchdown of the day with 27 seconds remaining pulled visiting Buffalo State within one before the Bengals elected to go for the victory with a two-point conversion try, but Torrillo's pass sailed out of the back of the end zone to seal the Bears' victory. Rutledge had eight grabs for 68 yards w/two TDs.
  • Gino Bonagura led the Bengals with 17 tackles and added an interception and a forced fumble.

LAST TIME OUT

  • McGaw led all receivers with 98 yards on four catches in Adrian's season-opening loss at Ohio Northern, 34-17.
  • Stewart rushed for game highs of 25 attempts and 92 yards, plus he caught four passes for 43 yards. He had a 12-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter on the way to 135 all-purpose yards.
  • McPhee led Adrian with 11 total tackles, including four solos, for a career best.
  • The Bulldogs held advantages in time of possession (32:25-27:35), first downs (19-15), passing yards (181-132) and third-down efficiency (56% on 10-for-18 to 50% on 6-12). The Polar Bears led in total offense (321-306) and rushing yards (189-125) as well as return yardage (106-35).

WHAT'S NEXT

On Sep. 15, Adrian will travel to Spartan Athletic Park in Aurora, Ill., to play a non-conference finale against Aurora University, which is out of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern (1 p.m. Central).

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