ALBION – A pair of turnovers on the opponents' end of the field proved costly as Albion College completed the football season with a 28-20 setback to Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association rival Hope College.
Trailing 7-3 early in the second quarter, Albion had the ball first-and-goal from the Hope 9. Clinton Orr had running room in the middle of the field, but fumbled and Mark Karam recovered for Hope in the end zone for a touchback.
Hope took full advantage of the break, covering the 80 yards in 11 plays. Reggie Duncan went the final four yards as the Flying Dutchmen took a 14-3 lead. Hope faced only one third down on the drive, and quarterback Michael Atwell connected with Taylor Brynaert for nine yards and a first down.
Albion moved the ball into Hope territory on its next two offensive possessions. The first drive bogged down at the Hope 39 on a holding penalty, and Karam returned an interception 75 yards for a score on the second possession.
Albion recovered quickly after the Karam interception as Spencer Krauss connected with Tyler White for a 15-yard gain and another 15 yards were tacked on due to a penalty. Krauss covered the final 30 yards with two passes to Brian Spencer and Albion trailed 21-10 at halftime.
Albion took the second half kickoff and marched to the Hope 3, but Orr was stuffed on consecutive plays and Krauss' third down pass fell incomplete. The Britons settled for a 20-yard field goal by Jimmy Nieman to cut the deficit to 21-13.
The defense forced a three-and-out on Hope's next possession, giving the offense good field position near midfield. Albion had a first down at the Hope 29, but Orr was thrown for a 5-yard loss and Krauss misfired on the next two downs forcing a punt.
Hope again traveled 80 yards for the score. Shawn Jackson manufactured a 35-yard touchdown run as he cut to the left when he appeared to be hemmed in by the Briton defense.
Krauss, a senior playing in his final game at the collegiate level, was knocked out of the game when he was hurried to pass on third down early in the fourth quarter. Dominic Bona came off the bench to throw a 10-yard strike to Spencer on fourth down as Albion maintained possession. Bona found Spencer in the back of the end zone for an 11-yard scoring play later in the possession and Albion trailed 28-20 with 11 ½ minutes to play.
On its final possession, Bona threw a short pass to Cody Crawford who ran for a 66-yard gain to the Hope 21. Bona's next two passes fell incomplete and he rushed for six yards on third down to set up fourth down from the Hope 15. Adam Drooger intercepted the fourth down pass to extinguish the Albion scoring threat.
Spencer finished with a school-record 16 receptions for 213 yards. Crawford contributed a career-best 104 receiving yards, and Orr completed his Albion career with 129 rushing yards.
Jackson produced 113 rushing yards for Hope.