ALBION – Darrin Williams fell inches short of the goal line on a 2-point conversion in overtime as Albion College's hopes of playing for a share of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football championship on the final week of the season were dashed in a 20-19 loss to Adrian College.
Williams scored on a 5-yard run and the Britons elected to go for the win when a face mask penalty placed the ball 1 ½ yards shy of the goal line.
Albion overcame a 13-3 halftime deficit to force overtime. Adrian completed a third down pass to Danny Cobb on its first possession of the third quarter, but Albion defensive back Mike Vandermus stripped the ball from Cobb and returned it to the Adrian 3-yard line. Williams scored from a yard out on the second play. Jimmy Nieman tied the score with a 39-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter.
The defense stepped up twice in the fourth quarter as Adrian came away empty on two drives into Albion territory. Adrian's first drive faltered when linebacker Brett McCarty sacked Taylor Copacia for a 10-yard loss on 3rd-and-6 from the Albion 14. The sack forced Ben Klaver to attempt a 42-yard field goal that missed.
Albion had a 3rd-and-5 from the Albion 21 on its next drive, but C.J. Carroll swooped in for a 7-yard sack that forced a punt.
Adrian needed three plays to score in overtime as Copacia hooked up with Justin Hemm for a 15-yard gain. After a 2-yard rush, Copacia and Hemm connected on an 8-yard pass in the end zone.
Albion's possession was even quicker as Williams ran for 20 yards on the first play.
Adrian took the first half lead on two big plays. Dae'von Robinson got loose for a 48-yard run to cap the Bulldogs' first possession of the game, and Hemm got behind the Albion secondary along the sideline to collect a 49-yard pass from Copacia with 1:31 left in the second quarter.
Copacia and Hemm connected 13 times for 210 yards. Copacia finished the day22-of-32 for 269 yards. Robinson finished with 89 rushing yards.
Williams finished with 77 rushing yards, and Colin Parks made a memorable home debut with 39 yards on 12 carries.
Albion's defense sacked Copacia five times. McCarty wrapped up 3 ½ sacks.
Albion will complete the season with a Nov. 10 home game against Hope College.