Football Nearly Takes Down Undefeated Kalamazoo

Football Nearly Takes Down Undefeated Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo, Mich. - The Alma College football team suffered a 17-10 setback against Kalamazoo College on Saturday (Oct. 20). The game was delayed due to inclement weather and eventually played in constant cold rain.

Alma (1-6, 0-4 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) had Kalamazoo on the ropes for much of the game but could not put away drives at crucial times. The Scots forced two interceptions from Hornet quarterback Zach VanFaussien but did not score off either one.

Alma was stopped on fourth down on the one-yard line while trying to take the lead in the second quarter and later missed a field goal that would have also put them ahead.

Quarterback Ryan Stevens (Lowell, Mich. / Lowell) played all but one drive and went 12-for-28 for 86 yards and one touchdown; he also had a career- and game-high 85 yards on the ground. Wide receiver Alex Yancy (Macomb, Mich. / L'Anse Creuse North) caught a season-high five passes for 48 yards and his first score of the season. Gunner Lamb (Whitehall, Mich. / Whitehall) and Colin Smith (Westphalia, Mich. / Pewamo-Westphalia) each recorded interceptions.

The weather made it difficult for either team to move the ball through the air. The Scots and Hornets (7-0, 4-0 MIAA) were a combined 23-for-53 passing for 159 yards. Their efforts were more focused on the ground — each team had over 40 attempts and Kalamazoo held a slight advantage in yards with 141.

How It Happened

  • The first three possessions of the game ended in punts. Alma broke open the scoring with a 37-yard Jake Pilsko (Livonia, Mich. / Livonia Stevenson) field goal midway through the first quarter. Kalamazoo responded on its next possession with a field goal of its own.
  • On Kalamazoo's next drive, Smith picked off VanFaussien in Hornet territory. The Scots drove 47 yards down to the goal line, thanks, in part, to a 15-yard pass interference penalty. On 4th and goal from the one-yard line, Austin Spratling (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Wyoming Kelloggsville) was stuffed for no gain on a play that would have given Alma the lead.
  • In the second half, the Scots intercepted VanFaussien again, this time by Lamb who brought into Kalamazoo territory. Stevens came up with a 21-yard rush on the next play to get into field goal range, but Plisko would miss from 41 yards. The score remained tied at three.
  • The first touchdown was finally scored early in the fourth quarter. Kalamazoo methodically drove down the field, covering 60 yards in 15 plays and converting five third downs, including three third and 10s and a third and goal, to take a 10-7 lead.
  • Alma's next drive saw Mason Ippel (Jenison, Mich. / Jenison) at quarterback for the first time. The Scots went three-and-out and had their punt blocked and picked up in the end zone for a touchdown with eight minutes remaining.
  • Alma put together a nice drive its next time out, driving from their own 23 to Kalamazoo's 14, but again failed to convert on fourth down. On 2nd, 3rd, and 4th and 11, Stevens and his receivers could not connect for completions to put the pressure on the Hornets.
  • Alma would score on its next possession — a 13-yard pass from Stevens to Yancy with 1:23 remaining. By that time, however, the Scots had used all three of their timeouts and did not recover the ensuing onside kick. Kalamazoo wound down the clock to win.

Notables

  • This was Ryan Stevens' first career start.
  • Stevens led the team in rushing with 85 yards. It is the third time this season a quarterback has led the team in rushing yards.
  • Gunner Lamb's interception was the first of his career. Colin Smith's pick was his second this season, tied with Max Kretzschmar (Marine City, Mich. / Marine City) for the team lead.
  • Hunter Hoffman (Albion, Mich. / Olivet) and Kyle Kraus (Middleville, Mich. / Thornapple Kellogg) each recorded a sack in the game.
  • Kalamazoo was called for six penalties in the game for 81 yards.
  • The Hornets were eight of 18 on third downs and five of five on their only touchdown drive.
  • Kalamazoo averaged 3.2 yards per pass play; Alma averaged 2.9.

What He Said

"Despite the weather, the Scots stayed positive and battled against a very good team. We look forward to returning home next week for our final home game of the season."

- Head Coach Jason Couch

Up Next

Alma plays its final home game of the season next Saturday (Oct. 27) when it hosts Hope College on Senior Day. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.