Olivet football team comes from behind to nip Adrian, 21-17, on late touchdown pass

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ADRIAN, Mich. – Sophomore Braden Black (Battle Creek/Harper Creek) threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Kyle Bryson (Rives Junction/Leslie) with 12 seconds left to lift the Olivet College football team to a 21-17 win over Adrian College tonight at Docking Stadium in Adrian. With the win, Olivet improves its overall record to 6-1, including a 2-1 mark in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

The Comets fell behind 17-14 with 3:17 left in the game. After recovering a fumble, the Bulldogs scored the go-ahead touchdown when Damon Brown found the end zone from 26 yards out on their first play from scrimmage.

Olivet got the ball back with 3:05 left and needed three points to tie the game or a touchdown for the win. Black used his legs to pick-up the first down. Later in the drive, Black completed a 23-yard pass to Bryson. Facing a fourth down at the Adrian 30-yard line, Black found Bryson for a 20-yard completion.

Black was sacked for a 10-yard loss on a third and goal play. The Comets surprised the defense by setting-up a quick play on fourth down, where Black completed the 19-yard touchdown pass to Bryson in the left corner of the end zone. Freshman Jared Gensler (Whitehall) made the PAT kick.    The Bulldogs had two pass attempts fall incomplete.

Adrian forced Olivet to punt on its first possession of the game. On the third play of their ensuing drive, Aaron Tenney completed a 72-yard touchdown pass to Nathan Hartline. The PAT kick was good.

The Comets answered on their next possession. Black capped a 9-play, 77-yard drive with a 22-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Jason Barbosa (Trenton) with 2:12 left in the opening quarter. Adrian missed wide left on field goal attempts on each of its next two series, the first from 24 yards and second from 30 yards.

Olivet punted the ball away with 1:03 left in the second quarter. Adrian got a 27-yard field goal to take a 10-7 halftime lead.

The Comets used six minutes and 22 seconds of the third quarter to score a touchdown. On a fourth and goal play from the 2-yard line, sophomore running back Tyre Alexander (Mason) threw a pass to sophomore tight end Trevor Wyman (Lake Station/Chippewa Hills). Gensler's PAT kick was good.

Olivet's defense stopped Adrian twice on fourth down in the final quarter of the play. After the second time, Black fumbled the ball on the first play from scrimmage. From there, Brown scored the go-ahead score.

For the game, the Comets totaled 342 yards of offense. Black was 15-of-32 for 229 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He was also the leading ball carrier with 15 rushes for 61 yards. Bryson caught six passes for 132 yards, while Barbosa had four receptions for 75 yards.

The Olivet defense recorded eight tackles for minus 36 yards, including five quarterback sacks. Freshman Justin Madar (Holt) led the way with nine total tackles. Three were for negative yards, with two sacks. Sophomore Nate Roberts (Grand Rapids/Forest Hills Central) had eight tackles, one quarter sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Adrian rolled up 415 offensive yards. Brown had a game-high 209 rushing yards on 23 carries. Tenney completed 10-of-22 passes for 148 yards. Hartline, Josh Delaney and Parish Thomas each had three catches for 75, 30 and 26 yards, respectively. Juwan King topped the defense with12 tackles.

The Comets travel to play Albion College next Saturday, Nov. 2, at 1 p.m.

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