Kalamazoo Comes Back to Sting Bulldogs in MIAA Football Opener, 31-30

Jerron McGaw went over 200 yards receiving for the second time this season during Adrian's one-point defeat at Kalamazoo. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Jerron McGaw went over 200 yards receiving for the second time this season during Adrian's one-point defeat at Kalamazoo. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

KALAMAZOO, Mich.--Senior Jerron McGaw led all receivers with nine receptions for 201 yards, and classmate Emmanuel Stewart rushed for another 100, but it wasn't enough as Zach VanFaussie found Sam Matthews in the end zone from 3 yards out with 39 seconds left to tie it and Greg Kearns converted the extra point to lift host Kalamazoo to a 31-30 victory Saturday in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener.

= Final Score: Kalamazoo College 31, Adrian College 30

= Location: Angell Field in Kalamazoo, Mich.; Weather: Partly Sunny, 66 degrees, Wind NW 4 mph

= Records: Kalamazoo Hornets, 4-0 overall (1-0 MIAA); Adrian Bulldogs, 2-2 overall (0-1 MIAA)

TOP DAWGS
= McGaw had three touchdown receptions of 79, 13 and 35 yards while going over 200 yards receiving for the second time in 2018.

= Freshman quarterback Jack Wurzer went 19-for-34 with 349 yards and three TDs with two interceptions. 

= Stewart carried the ball 31 times for 148 yards and a TD.

= Junior defensive back Shawn Starks had seven solo tackles to lead all student-athletes. He also had a pass breakup.

= Freshman lineman DeAndre Jennings posted three tackles and six total, followed by senior outside linebacker Chris Adams (4 solo), freshman Brandon Kwiatkowski (4 solo), senior inside linebacker Nate Conner (3 solo) and freshman lineman Kevin Smitherman (3 solo) with five total apiece.

THE OPPOSITION
= Zach VanFaussien completed 24 of 40 passes for 240 yards and three TDs with one pick. He also had 96 yards rushing on 20 carries for 336 yards of total offense.

= Ethan Kubik had seven catches for 86 yards and a TD, followed by Dylan Padget (49 yards, 1 TD) and Anthony Giovanni (48) with five receptions apiece.

= Jakob Frederick led all defenders with 11 tackles, including four solo.

= Alex Stockwell added eight total tackles (4 solo) while Jacob Chantres and Jake Sypniewski had five solo stops each.

= Connor Charamella averaged 41.3 yards on four punts.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= The winning drive for Kzoo that consumed 87 yards on 13 plays in 2 minutes and 13 seconds was set up by the Hornets' defense blocking a 27-yard field goal attempt that would have given Adrian a 33-24 lead with 2:46 left in the fourth quarter. Kzoo was able to convert a fourth-and-two at the Adrian 37 to keep the scoring drive alive.

= Stewart scored a TD from a yard out to cap a 14-play, 63-yard drive in 6:07 to give the Bulldogs a 30-24 advantage with 13:02 to go.

= The close contest featured four ties and two lead changes with neither squad leading by more than seven points.

= Kzoo drew first blood with 10:38 left in the opening stanza when the Hornets scored on the game's first possession. Jared Pittman broke the goal line with a 2-yard run, capping a 13-play, 67 -yard drive in 4:29. The hosts led 7-0.

= Adrian countered quickly on its first possession as Wurzer found McGaw on a 79-yard TD catch-and-run to tie it 7-7 just 19 seconds later.

= The Bulldogs took their first lead, 14-7, at 12:20 of the second quarter. McGaw caught a 13-yard TD pass from Wurzer to complete a four-play, 71-yard drive in 1:34.

= After that, Kzoo would knot the score every time Adrian went ahead.

= Adrian outgained the Hornets in total offense, 538 yards to 355, but Kzoo held the advantage in time of possession at 32:18 to 27:42.

= Both teams had 25 first downs and the Bulldogs had two turnovers to one for Kzoo. 

= Adrian missed a short field goal and an extra point.

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
= Adrian still leads the all-time series over the Hornets, 43-36-1, including 24-17-1 in road meetings

= Kzoo won for the first time over the Bulldogs since 2013--14 to 10 in Kalamazoo

= Adrian junior Joe Cleary set a career high with 74 yards on four receptions.

= It's the first time since 1954 that the series saw a game decided by one point; Kzoo won 14-13 at home that season.

= McGaw entrenched his No. 2 position on the school's all-time receiving charts with 157 catches (195 by Justin Hemm, 2009-12), 2,498 yards (3024 by Hemm, '09-12) and 23 TDs (26 by Hemm, '09-12).

= Stewart has 20 100-yard rushing games under his belt. Adrian's all-time leader with 4,308, he ranks second among NCAA Division III career ACTIVE rushers.

UP NEXT
= Adrian will host MIAA foe Olivet next Saturday (4 p.m.) in its Homecoming game.

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