The Adrian College football team is sitting pretty at 4-3 (2-1 MIAA) on the season. Now officially passed the halfway point in the season the Bulldogs marque win on the year was the upset of #24 and MIAA favorite Albion.
The Bulldogs started out of the gate slow, with losses to Heidleberg and Hanover. The next two weeks Adrian College bounced back overcoming Greenville on Homecoming followed by the stombing on Finlandia on the road 56-6.
The start of Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) play saw the Bulldogs travling to Angola, IN to face off against rival Trine. The Bulldogs let the Thunder jump out to an early lead scoring 17 points in the first quarter alone. It was a tough hill to climp for an offense that was only able to muster 233 total yards.
The game of the year came two weeks ago when the Bulldogs put on a clinic showing how to upset the #24 team in the nation. The undefeated Britons of Albion College traveled to Adrian in hopes of continuing their winning ways and march to it’s 38th MIAA Championship. Senior quarterback, Jack Wruzer, had other ideas throwing for 252 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Although the Bulldogs offense was only able to score in the first half, the Bulldog defense stepped up shutting the Briton offense down for three full quaters until giving up a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
The final score was 21-7 but the game felt like a much wider margin with how Adrian College played, this was a game the Bulldogs needed to win, it could be seen with the emotion showed by the team after the win. (See photo)
After the game an emotional Coach Harry Bailey told reporters, “ It’s a huge win for our progam, it puts us right back in for a (MIAA Championship). One of the biggest wins we’ve had in a long time.”
The win set up for another key match up in conference play against the Alma Scots. The Scots had a 5-1 record and one of the best defenses in the country having 22 interceptions coming into the game.
The Bulldog offense knew this and prepared for it during the week of practice. Coach Bailey said, “Alma’s defense is really good it is gonna take Jack (Wruzer) protecting the ball, we have to have a steller week of practice.”
Adrian College came in firing on all cylinders the putting up 36-points, scoring in each quarter minus the thrid. Jack Wruzer connected with his number one target Preston Smith all game long. The Wruzer to Smith combination connected 11-times for 160-yards and 2-touchdowns.
The Alma defense decided to leave Smith on an island with their conerback 1-on-1 all night long, Smith noticed this immediately.
“Unlike every other team this year, (Alma) isn’t doubling me. It is free game and Jack keeps finding me.”
The rest of the Adrian offense came through the ground game, Steven Moses had 175-yards and punched into the endzone twice. Malik Ray also had a touchdown on the ground in the win.
The bulldogs have held the same mindset throughout the whole season after a win. Enjoy the win for the weekend but when practice rolls around for the next week it is back to business as usual.
“Wer’re gonna celebrate Saturday and Sunday and then pretty much go to sleep on it. We’re gonna move onto the next game.” Said Wruzer after the win vs Alma.
The win improved the Bulldogs to 2-1 in the MIAA and has set them up for an exciting finish in a chase for their 12th MIAA championship and first since 2014.
Adrian has three more games left and they will all be tough contests, Hope and Kalamazoo will be played on the road. Olivet will be the last home game for the Bulldogs on Nov. 6th. The game will start at 1 PM and be played at Docking Stadium with tickets available at the game and also streamed by Adrian College Televison on youtube and WVAC 107.9 FM.