ADRIAN, Mich.--There's an old adage in sports that says it's not where you start, but how you finish. That rang true on Saturday night for the Adrian College football team that rallied from a 13-point deficit in the first quarter to defeat rival Albion College, 34-32, in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association opener for both schools.
= Final Score: Adrian College 34, Albion College 32 (HOMECOMING)
= Location: Docking Stadium, Adrian, Mich.; Weather: Sunny and nice, 67 degrees, Wind 5 mph SW
= Records: Adrian Bulldogs, 2-2 overall (1-0 MIAA), Albion Britons, 1-3 overall (0-1 MIAA)
= Junior-eligible Emmanuel Stewart rushed for season highs of 219 yards on 39 carries to pace all student-athletes. He also scored on touchdown runs of two and five yards.
= Senior David Nutter went over the century-mark for the second time this season, finishing with 107 yards on the ground in 28 attempts. He scored from a yard out.
= Senior lineman Damon Fuller led the defense with six total tackles, including a 15-yard sack.
= Junior Jerron McGaw led all receivers with eight catches and 84 yards.
= Junior defensive back Chris Adams led the team's secondary with five tackles, two solo including a tackle for loss.
= Senior outside linebacker Lawrence Austin chipped in three solo stops (4 tackles), including a tackle for loss, and he had a 23-yard interception.
= Freshman quarterback Kyle Thomas was 14-for-24 for 208 yards passing with a pair of TDs.
= Thomas' favorite targets were Collin Poore (98 yards) and Marlon Martin (25 yards) with four receptions apiece. They both had TDs, too.
= Jose Rodriguez posted game highs with nine solo and 19 total tackles, followed by Richard Annorat with 16 total tackles and Dallis Reynolds had 15.
HOW IT HAPPENED
= Albion took advantage of two Adrian misplays to storm out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter. Michael Harvey returned an interception 81 yards for a touchdown to put the Britons on the scoreboard with 8 minutes and 14 seconds left. With 5:50 remaining, Martin had a 10-yard TD reception from Thomas that was set up by a blocked punt and recovery by Donovan Slates at the Adrian 13-yard line.
= The Bulldogs, however, opened the scoring in the second quarter as Stewart scored from two yards out to cap a 14-play, 69-yard drive in 6:34 of possession. Albion led 13-7 at the 14:09 mark.
= Patrick Czarnecki restored Albion's double digit lead to 20-7 at 11:13 of the second on their ensuing drive.
= The teams continued to alternate scoring drives into the fourth quarter until Stewart scored his second rushing TD of the day, this from 5 yards out at 11:14. That gave Adrian its first lead, 31-26, and came on the heels of a nine-play, 91-yard drive in 4:03.
= Adrian dominated the boxscore in total yards (458-281), first downs (31-13), rushing yards (303-73), penalties (5-40/6-70) and time of possession (44:00-16:00).
= Senior Cameron Cook kicked a 43-yard field to give the Bulldogs some insurance, 34-26, with 8:29 remaining. Late in the third quarter, Cook had pulled Adrian within 26-24 after a 36-yarder.
BEYOND THE BOXSCORE
= The Bulldogs improve to 4-4 against the Britons during the Jim Deere coaching era.
= Stewart broke Chris Clay's Adrian all-time rushing record of 2,969 yards, set from 2002 to 2005. With 595 yards rushing this season, Stewart now has 3,084 yards for his career in 52 fewer carries than Clay. He broke the mark just before the half with a 20-yard scamper down the left sideline in front of the home team bench, setting up a one-yard TD plunge by Nutter to help make the score 20-14 at the time.
= Speaking of Nutter, he joined the 1,000-yard rushing club for a career wearing the Black & Gold. He now has 1,035 yards on 231 carries in 18 games as a Bulldog.
= Stewart has seven rushing TDs this season to surpass Clay (29) for second place on the school's all-time chart with 30. Wayne Roedel had 32 in 1984 and 86-87.
= On the Adrian all-time scoring chart, Stewart is third with 186 points while Cook is fourth with 176.
= Fuller notched his first sack of the season, giving him 33 for his career. The all-time record is 40-1/2. At 187, He is approaching 200 total tackles for his career.
= Tonight marks Adrian's second straight win in the series and the Bulldogs are 11-7 versus the Britons since 2000.
= Adrian steps back out of MIAA play next Saturday when they travel to Plymouth, Wis., to play host Lakeland College (2-2) at Taylor Field, starting at 2 p.m. Eastern. The Muskies are out of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference and the contest is part of the MIAA-NACC Challenge series. Video l LiveStats
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