ALBION, Mich. – With Justin Thomas hauling in four touchdown passes – an Albion College single-game record – it's hard to believe Albion College had to grind out a victory over Eureka College at Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Eureka had to settle for a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter as Albion pulled out a 56-41 victory in its final tune up prior to the start of Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association action on Oct. 5.
It was a see-saw type of game where the score was tied three times and the lead changed three times.
Albion finally took the lead for good when Thomas streaked up the hash marks to haul in a 42-yard pass from his brother, Kyle, to make the score 42-35 late in the third quarter.
A holding penalty erased what would have been a Eureka touchdown to tie the score. Jeremiah Major wrapped up Eureka quarterback Drew Barth for a 4-yard loss on third down from the Albion 12-yard line. The Red Devils settled for a 33-yard field goal to cut the Albion lead to 42-38.
The offense took advantage, as the Thomas brothers hooked up for an 11-yard score to boost the Albion lead to 49-38 with 13 minutes to play.
Kyle Thomas put the exclamation point of the day when he ran for a 44-yard score with six minutes to play. He finished with 457 total yards, passing for 313 and rushing for 144, and accounted for all eight Albion touchdowns, passing for five and running for three.
Justin Thomas finished the day with nine receptions for 171 yards, but Kyle Thomas spread the ball to seven receivers in the game. Kolby Canfield, who hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass, in the second quarter, Marlon Martin and Cullen Cox all caught two passes. Isaiah Gibson pulled in five receptions and Dillon DeJong and Markell McCoy also caught passes.
- Only two Division III receivers have more touchdown receptions than Justin Thomas in a game this season. Steven Fedorchak (Western New England) and Derrick Curtis (Nebraska Wesleyan) hauled in five receiving touchdowns in a game.
- Only two Division III players have rolled up more total yards than Kyle Thomas in a single game this season. Stephen Gacioch, the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth quarterback, gained 539 yards against Husson last week, and Aurora quarterback Gavin Zimbleman collected 502 yards in the Sept. 7 game against St. Norbert.
Albion will be idle Sept. 28, but the Britons will be working toward the Oct. 5 Homecoming game against MIAA rival Alma College.