Football Back to Work Facing Kalamazoo to Open MIAA Docket

The Adrian Bulldogs had a swarming defense in its last outing at Aurora and will hope for the same effort to defeat an undefeated Kalamazoo squad on the road. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
The Adrian Bulldogs had a swarming defense in its last outing at Aurora and will hope for the same effort to defeat an undefeated Kalamazoo squad on the road. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

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ADRIAN, Mich.--After a bye week, the Adrian College football team resumes gridiron action on Saturday when the Bulldogs open the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association schedule at Kalamazoo College on Angell Field. Here's a preview of the contest: 

TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • This marks the 80th football meeting between the schools, with Adrian holding a 43-35-1 lead. The Bulldogs are also 24-16-1 lifetime at Kalamazoo. 
  • Jim Deere '89 is 54-31 record (.634) in his ninth season as the Adrian head coach. He has piloted the Bulldogs to MIAA championships in 2012 and 14, and NCAA tournament bids in those seasons. 
  • Senior running back Emmanuel Stewart ranks second among ACTIVE NCAA Division III career leaders at 4,160 yards and third in all NCAA Divisions; No. 1 is Le'Anthony Reasnover (4,311) from Eureka College. Adrian's career rushing leader, Stewart currently ranks fifth in the MIAA with 99.7 rushing yards per game. He also is second among active Division III career leaders with 4,777 all-purpose yards.      
  • The Bulldogs' defensive unit is paced by senior inside linebacker Tim McPhee with 24 total tackles, including seven solo, for fifth in the MIAA. He also has two interceptions.
  • Senior ILB Nate Conner is second with 6.3 tackles per game while junior defensive back Shawn Starks (16 total) and senior outside linebacker Lawrence Austin (15 total) all lead AC with eight solo stops.
  • Freshman quarterback Jack Wurzer has completed 67.4 percent (29-43) of his pass attempts for 431 yards and seven touchdowns against NO interceptions. 
  • Senior wide receiver Jerron McGaw leads the MIAA in receptions (23), receiving yards (402) and TDs (5), with NCAA Division III national rankings of 25th (7.7 receptions/game), 16th and 10th, respectively.
  • The Bulldogs have won their last four games, dating to last year, when rolling up more than 400 yards in total offense. This fall, Adrian is averaging 384.7 yards for fifth in the conference.
  • Adrian's red-zone offense is sixth in the MIAA with 9-for-10 opportunities, including eight TDs. Nationally, the Bulldogs are 10th in third-down conversions at 53.7 percent (22-41) and ninth for the fewest turnovers (2).
  • Records: Adrian 2-1 (0-0 MIAA), Kalamazoo 3-0 (0-0 MIAA); the host Hornets were 1-9 overall and 0-6 in the conference during the 2017 campaign.

ADRIAN TWO-DEEP

ABOUT KALAMAZOO

  • Joe Piet won the last MIAA defensive player of the week award before the conference had a bye week.
  • Senior QB Zach VanFaussien is 47-for-79 (59.5 percent) passing for 535 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. In addition, he averages 52.7 yards rushing with a pair of TDs.
  • Junior RB Jared Pittman leads the team with 72.0 rushing yards per game and has scored two TDs.
  • Senior Zak Zagon is VanFaussien's favorite target with nine catches and 121 yards, including a score.
  • Senior LB Jakob Frederick tops the defense with 23 total tackles (10 solo), followed by sophomore DB Jacob Chantres (12 tackles, 19 total) and Taylor Jackson (6 tackles, 18 total). 

LAST TIME OUT

  • Adrian improved 6-1 all-time in the MIAA-Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Challenge with a 27-5 rout of Aurora on the road on Sep. 15.
  • Freshman Kevin Smitherman led a strong Bulldogs defensive game with a career-high seven total tackles, which included 2-1/2 sacks for 16 yards. He also forced a fumble.
  • Stewart rushed 22 times for 137 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Also representing the defense, converted running back Foster Walker and Conner, both seniors, added five total tackles apiece. McPhee had a 22-yard interception return and sophomore Danny White contributed four tackles and a pass breakup.
  • Wurzer ran eight times for 95 yards and a TD, and was 12-for-23 passing for 122 yards and another score.

LAST TIME OUT...vs Kalamazoo

  • In 2017, Stewart rushed for 228 yards, McGaw had 132 receiving yards and McPhee had nine total tackles (5 solo, 1 PBU) to lead Adrian College to a 36-22 home win.
  • It was McGaw's fourth 100-yard receiving game that season and the seventh of his career at the time. He had six catches, including a TD.
  • Stewart had three TD runs of 3, 66 and 34 yards.
  • Defensive backs Chris Adams, a junior, and Starks contributed eight tackles and three solo apiece. Austin (5 solo, 7 tackles, sack/11 yards, 3 TFL/15 yards) also had a solid outing.

WHAT'S NEXT

Adrian returns to Docking Stadium for the first time since Sep. 8 to host Olivet College on Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 6. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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