The Alma College Football team hit the road on Saturday in search of their first win of the season when they played at Olivet College. The Scots used three second quarter touchdowns and a sound defense to defeat the Comets by a score of 20-14 on a sunny and warm afternoon for football. Alma is now 1-4 on the season and 1-0 in the MIAA, while the Comets dropped to 0-5 in 2012.
"We played well in the first half as we made some big plays on both sides and controlled the football," said Scots Head Coach Greg Pscodna. "In the second half, our defense stepped it up and made some nice stands to seal the victory. We still have lots to work on going into the game against a tough Adrian club next weekend for homecoming."
In a battle of winless teams, the game started slow as both teams did not want to make an early mistake to fall behind. The Scots got on the board first, as Sr. RB Aaron Hahn (St. Louis, Mich./St. Louis) scored a on a one-yard run to cap an eight-play, 52-yard drive, giving the visitors a 7-0 lead with 14:05 left in the first half.
The score ignited a mini offensive explosion for both teams, as Olivet answered right back with an 11-play, 57-yard drive that culiminated with an eight-yard touchdown run by QB Braden Black that tied the game at 7-7.
However, it was then Alma's turn to score as the Scots took the next possession and marched 75 yards on eight plays and took a 13-7 advantage when Jr. QB Jarrett Leister (St. Louis, Mich./Mt. Pleasant) hit Jr. WR Garrett Cook (Genesee, Mich./Genesee) on a 20-yard touchdown strike with 4:19 left in the half. A two-point conversion after the scored failed.
On Olivet's next play from scrimmage, So. DB Adam Nelson (St. Clair Shores, Mich./U of D Jesuit) intercepted a Black pass, giving the Scots the ball on the Comets' 35-yard line. Three plays later, Leister connected with Sr. WR Nate Wade (Sryacuse, Ind./Eastern) on a 36-yard touchdown throw that gave Alma a 20-7 lead. The Scots would head into halftime with that 13-point advantage.
The third quarter was an odd scoreless 15 minutes, as both teams had long drives in terms of time off the clock, but neither team could dent the scoreboard. Olivet had a nine play drive to start the frame, while Alma followed that up with an 11 play possession that came up empty. The Comets' second time with the ball extended into the fourth quarter and ended with the home team poised to score.
With 10:35 remaining in the game, Olivet was at the Scots' 14-yard line on fourth down and one. The Comets went for it and QB Tony Phillips was stuffed by Alma So. LB Sam Young (Lowell, Mich./Lowell), denying the home team a chance to score. The Comets' defense held on the next possession and then blocked an Alma punt by Fr. P Jacob McCombie (Addison, Mich./Addison) that gave Olivet the ball on the Scots' eight-yard line with 8:11 remaining.
However, the Scots' defense was up to the task. On third down, Olivet RB Chance Nighting threw into the end zone and was picked off by Alma Sr. DB Luke Kanine (Alma, Mich./Alma), ending the threat. On its next possession, the Scots did muster one first down and took over three minutes off of the clock before punting the ball back to the Comets at the 3:04 mark.
Olivet would show no quit, as they drove 83 yards on 10 plays and made it a 20-14 game when Phillips threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Haynak with exactly 1:00 remaining in the contest. However, the Scots sealed the victory with an onside kick recovery after the score and subsequently running off the time on the clock.
Offensively, Leister completed nine of 19 passes for 145 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions, while Wade was the leading receiver with two catches for 54 yards. Sr. WR Michael Lenneman (Chelsea, Mich./Chelsea) added four receptions for 48 yards and Hahn was the leading rusher with 95 yards on 19 carries.
On defense, three players led the attack with eight tackles a piece - Nelson, Jr. DB Austin McClelland (Oakland, Mich./Rochester Adams) and So. LB Eric Strickler (Lapeer, Mich./East). In addition, Fr. LB Terry Calagon (Jackson, Mich./East Jackson), Jr. LB Clayton Every (Manchester, Mich./Manchester) and Jr. DL Frank Furnari (Dewitt, Mich./Dewitt) each had one sack in the victory.
Alma will host Adrian College next Saturday afternoon for Homecoming 2012. Kickoff at Bahlke Field is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.