Football Kicks Off MIAA Schedule with the Kalamazoo Hornets Coming to Town

Fresh off its first four-interception game in four years, the Adrian College defense looks to stop a Kalamazoo squad that has thrown eight picks through three games in 2019. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)
Fresh off its first four-interception game in four years, the Adrian College defense looks to stop a Kalamazoo squad that has thrown eight picks through three games in 2019. (Action photo by Mike Dickie)

ADRIAN, Mich.--Fresh off its first win of the season in thrilling fashion and then having a bye week to rest some personnel, the Adrian College football team (1-2 overall) looks to keep the momentum going forward in its Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener on Saturday (5 p.m.) against visiting Kalamazoo College (1-2) on Kapnick Field at Docking Stadium (capacity 3,500). Here's a preview of the contest: 

TEN THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Adrian leads Kalamazoo in the all-time series that dates back to the 1909 season, 43-36-1. The Bulldogs are 18-19 at home against the Hornets.
  • Jim Deere '89 is 57-38 record (.598) in his 10th 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. 
  • Sophomore QB Jack Wurzer is second in MIAA passing with 223.3 yards per game and his 54.6 percent completion rate is fifth.
  • Junior WR Henry Wilson tops the MIAA with 109.7 receiving yards per game and averages 4.7 catches. He is ranked 35th in NCAA Division III in receiving yards average. He also is 25th nationally with 23.5 yards per reception.
  • Sophomore DB Brandon Kwiatkowski (16 solo) and freshman LB Dwight Mann (14 solo) lead AC with 22 total tackles apiece.
  • Freshman LB Blake Masterman has 20 total tackles for 6.7 per game and classmate Leonard Cohen (18 total, 15 solo) is right behind him. The latter leads AC with two sacks for 13 yards. 
  • Senior RB Colton Randle is the MIAA's leading rusher at 102.7 ypg, or 308 yards; he ran for 332 yards for all of last season with seven games to go in 2019. 
  • Adrian ranks 20th in the nation in red-zone defense, 46th with five interceptions to pace the MIAA, 48th in 4th-down conversion percentage defense (.286) and 54th for fewest penalties (16).
  • Freshman RB Jerome Neal (55.3 rush ypg, 9th) is fourth in the MIAA with four rushing touchdowns.
  • The Bulldogs convert 9-of-12 red-zone scores for 75 percent, including 7-for-12 (58 percent) on touchdowns.

TWO-DEEP CHARTS

ABOUT KALAMAZOO

  • Kalamazoo won 3-0 at Oberlin in the season opener for the Hornets' first shutout since 1998.
  • PK Greg Kearns is 13-for-15 on field goal attempts and 30-of-31 on extra point attempts the past two seasons.
  • LB Taylor Jackson leads the KC defense with 28 total tackles.
  • Noah Coplan, an All-MIAA First Team defensive lineman last year, has 19 total tackles so far this season.
  • Junior QB Niko Nickson is 53-for-104 (51.0 percent) with 167.0 yards passing per game and one TD with eight interceptions.
  • Senior RB Jared Pittman has 138 rushing yards and one TD in three games.
  • Senior WR Sam Matthews has 13 receptions (85 yards) and classmate Anthony Giovanni leads KC with 143 yards (10 receptions).

LAST TIME OUT

  • Adrian avoided its first 0-3 start in 18 years on Sept. 21 with an exciting 32-29 double overtime Homecoming victory over Wisconsin Lutheran College--Adrian's longest game since the 2005 season (37-31 win vs Olivet also in 2OT).
  • Sophomore kicker Cooper West converted a 26-yard field goal in the second overtime, and the AC defense survived a Jake Buhler 30-yard field goal that missed to preserve the three-point win.
  • Randle added a career-high 207 yards rushing as part of the Bulldogs' 354-yard effort on the ground.
  • Neal added 103 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns--all career bests.
  • Wilson had five receptions for a game-high 119 yards.
  • On defense, freshman linebacker Sam Madrid led the Bulldogs with seven total stops for a personal record.
  • The Bulldogs move to 9-3 lifetime against WLC, including 5-1 at home. The Warriors' last win of the series was 2014 by a 17-7 score.
  • Adrian played its first OT contest since Nov. 3, 2012, when the Bulldogs won on the road against Albion, 20-19; AC is 2-1 in overtime games under Coach Deere.

LAST TIME OUT...vs Kzoo Hornets

  • Last season, AC lost a 31-30 heartbreaker in Kalamazoo on a 3-yard passing TD (Zach VanFaussie to Matthews) and PAT (Kearns) with 39 seconds left to play.
  • 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.
  • Senior Jerron McGaw led all receivers with nine receptions for 201 yards and three touchdowns, and classmate Emmanuel Stewart rushed for another 148 (1TD) to lead Adrian's offense.
  • 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.

UP NEXT

Adrian travels to Olivet next Saturday (Oct. 12) for a MIAA tilt beginning at 2 p.m.

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