Football Hosts New Opponent Finlandia University to Close Out October Slate

Foster Walker, left, and Jalen Parker in action on special teams this season. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Foster Walker, left, and Jalen Parker in action on special teams this season. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

ADRIAN, Mich.--The Adrian College football team hosts Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association affiliate member Finlandia University on Saturday on Kapnick Field at Docking Stadium (capacity 3,500), kicking off at 1 p.m. Here's a preview of the contest: 

TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • This marks the first meetings between the schools on the gridiron. However, Adrian and Finlandia are member institutions in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association and the two schools have also met recently in women's basketball and women's soccer.
  • Jim Deere '89 is 55-34 record (.625) 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, who is currently on the D3football.com Team of the Week, ranks second among ACTIVE NCAA Division III career leaders at 4,898 yards and third in all NCAA Divisions; No. 1 is Le'Anthony Reasnover (5,183) from Eureka College. Adrian's career rushing leader, Stewart currently ranks second in the MIAA with 148.1 rushing yards per game and 12 touchdowns. He also is third among active Division III career leaders with 5,570 all-purpose yards.      
  • The Bulldogs' defensive unit is paced by senior inside linebacker Tim McPhee with a career-high 62 total tackles, including 21 solo, for second in the MIAA (8.9 per game). He also has two interceptions and four pass break-ups.
  • Senior ILB Nate Conner (18 solo, 32 assists) and senior outside linebacker Lawrence Austin (21 solo, 25 assists) are second and third behind McPhee with 50 and 46 tackles, respectively.
  • Freshman quarterback Jack Wurzer has completed 56.0 percent (93-166) of his pass attempts for 1,470 yards and 16 touchdowns with four interceptions, ranking second in the MIAA for passing yards (245.0 per game) and TDs. He lists six times in the Top-50 of NCAA statistical categories including 12th in passing yards per completion (15.81), 33rd in passing efficiency (157.4), 36th in points responsible for per game (18.0), 38th in passing TDs and 46th passing yards per game.
  • Senior outside linebacker Chris Adams (29 tackles) and sophomore DB Danny White (25) lead the Bulldogs with five pass breakups each. Adams has 189 stops (118solo, 71 assists) in his career to go along with 25 pass breakups--second in Adrian history. 
  • Senior wide receiver Jerron McGaw leads the MIAA in receptions (43), receiving yards (827), yards per catch (19.2--2nd) and TDs (9), with NCAA Division III national rankings of 57th (6.1 receptions/game), 12th and 17th, respectively.
  • The Bulldogs are seventh in the nation with only two fumbles lost. The offense line is ranked 35th for giving up the fewest sacks allowed at 1.14, while national leader Eureka gives up 0.14 per game. 
  • Records: Adrian 3-4 (1-3 MIAA), Finlandia 0-7 (0-4 MIAA); the visiting Lions were picked eighth (49 points) behind third-place Adrian (20) in the MIAA preseason coaches' poll. 

ADRIAN TWO-DEEP

ABOUT FINLANDIA

  • The Lions are an affiliate member of the conference in football only. Their primary sport conference is the American Collegiate Athletic Association.
  • Dillion Hueckstaedt had 24 tackles versus Trine, breaking his own school record for a single game.
  • Eric Kostreva needs 30 kickoff return yards to break the single season record of 378 (Josh Eve - 2017). He is tied for first with 19 returns.
  • Finlandia held Trine to 59 yards in the air for the second lowest in school history.
  • NCAA rankings: Hueckstaedt is third in tackles per game (13.0), 13th in forced fumbles (0.43) and 14th in solo tackles per game (6.7); Cole Fornwald is seventh in punting average (41.0).
  • The Lions are third in the MIAA in fumbles recovered (6) and passing yards allowed per game (163.6).
  • MIAA individual leaders: Hueckstaedt with forced fumbles, total tackles and solo tackles and Forwald in punting.
  • Hueckstaedt needs nine tackles to break the school single-season record of 99 by Mitch Messing (2015).
  • The Lions, who have lost eight outings in a row dating to 2017, are coached by Travis Wiltzius on an interim basis. A Central Michigan University graduate, he has been on the coaching staff since 2015.

LAST TIME OUT

  • Adrian fell in a 49-42 heartbreaker to Albion on a 40-yard TD pass with 4.3 seconds remaining in the contest.
  • Stewart rushed for an Adrian-record 283 yards and scored four touchdowns of 2, 6, 82 and 53. He previously had the single-game high of 281 yards four years ago as a freshman--against the Britons.
  • Wurzer completed 17 of 30 passes for 203 yards and a pair of TDs. He threw two interceptions that were tipped.
  • Junior Joe Cleary recorded a game-high five catches for 66 yards and two TDs.
  • McGaw led the team with 67 yards receiving on three grabs.
  • Freshman outside linebacker Steven Moses had a career day of seven tackles and 15 total stops, including two sacks.
  • Conner and McPhee both had 10 total tackles (2 solo apiece). Conner added two pass breakups.

LAST TIME OUT...vs Finlandia

  • This is the first-ever meetings between the schools. They do have common opponents in Kalamazoo and Olivet, as both Adrian and Finlandia went 0-2. The Bulldogs fell to the Hornets, 31-30, and Comets, 50-22, while the Lions lost 56-7 and 72-7, respectively.

UP NEXT

Adrian hits the road for the first time since Oct. 13 as the Bulldogs travel to Angola, Ind., to square off against nationally-ranked (No. 12 AFCA, No. 16 D3football.com) and defending M-I-A-A champion Trine University. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. at Shive Field.

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