@AdrianCollegeFB Bulldogs Cage Lions in MIAA First Meeting, 49-6

Joe Cleary (#83) congratulates Cal Raker on his 11-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter of Adrian's 49-6 win over Finlandia Saturday. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Joe Cleary (#83) congratulates Cal Raker on his 11-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter of Adrian's 49-6 win over Finlandia Saturday. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

ADRIAN, Mich.--In the first-ever football meeting between the schools, Adrian used an efficient aerial attack and a suffocating defense to stifle visiting Finlandia, 49-6, in Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association action on Saturday.

= Final Score: Adrian College 49, Finlandia University 6

= Location: Kapnick Field at Docking Stadium; Weather: Cloudy/mist, 44 degrees, Wind N 12 mph

= Records: Adrian Bulldogs 4-4 overall, 2-3 MIAA; Finlandia Lions 0-8 overall, 0-5 MIAA

TOP DAWGS
= Jack Wurzer completed 9 of 12 pass attempts for 237 yards and three touchdowns. 

= Senior Jerron McGaw led all receivers with four catches and 133 yards with a pair of TDs on a record-setting day.

= Junior Colton Randle ran for a game- and season-high 91 yards on 17 carries and he scored a TD from 18 yards out.

= Senior Tim McPhee posted four tackles and eight total, followed by freshmen defensive back Tim Bryant (1 solo) and linemen Collin Lewis (2 solo, 1 blocked PAT) with five total apiece. 

THE OPPOSITION
= De'Llontae Johnson ran 10 times for 60 yards. He also was 7-for-13 passing with 79 yards and an interception.

= Joshua Eve had a 10-yard TD run.

= Dillion Hueckstaedt racked up five solos among a game-best 21 total tackles.

= Connor Bortolini led all student-athletes with six tackles among eight total.

HOW IT HAPPENED
= Adrian scored on all six of its possessions in the first half and never looked back, scoring 21 points in both the first and second quarter for a commanding 42-0 lead at the intermission.

= Senior Emmanuel Stewart (8 rushes for 52 yards) scored TDs of 12 and nine yards 5 minutes and 33 seconds apart to help stake Adrian to a quick 14-0 lead with 8:04 left in the first quarter.

= McGaw scored his first TD of the afternoon at the 4:23 mark on a 78-yard catch and run from Wurzer as the Bulldogs increased their advantage to 21-0.

= With 43 seconds before halftime, junior Shawn Starks intercepted a Johnson pass at his own 15-yard line and went the other way down the FU sideline for an Adrian-record 85-yard TD return to put the Bulldogs up 42 points.

= The Lions spoiled the AC shutout bid with 9:42 remaining in the fourth quarter when Eve capped a 6-play, 58-yard drive in 3:46 with a 10-yard rush into the end zone.

= Besides the scoreboard, the Bulldogs also enjoyed huge statistical advantages in time of possession (34:14-25:46), total offense (510-170), first downs (24-10), third-down efficiency (9-for-10, 3-for-11), passing yards (295-79) and rushing yards (215-91). 

= The Adrian defense had 10 tackles for loss totaling 28 yards.

BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
= McGaw now has 26 career receiving TDs to tie the all-time school record set by Justin Hemm from 2009-12. McGaw also is only 169 yards shy of Hemm's benchmark of 3,024.

= The Lions are an affiliate member of the conference in football only. Their primary sport conference is the American Collegiate Athletic Association, and they are fellow members with Adrian in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association for men and women.

= Starks' 85-yard interception TD return set the Adrian record for the longest ever, breaking the previous 80-yard effort by Pat Stephenson against Olivet on Nov. 5, 2016.

= Finlandia has lost nine games in a row dating to 2017.

= Hueckstaedt now has 111 tackles on the season to break the previous school record held by Mitch Messing, who had 99 in 2015.

= Senior outside linebacker Chris Adams had four total tackles this afternoon to give him 193 for his Adrian career.

= Wurzer has 19 passing TDs to tie the Bulldog single-season record held by Mike McGee in 2010.

UP NEXT
= Adrian faces nationally-ranked and defending MIAA champion Trine University on the road next Saturday in Angola, Ind. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at Shive Field.

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