The 1977 Football Team ${lastName}

With a calling card of defense first, the 1977 football team became the first MIAA squad to compete in the NCAA Division III postseason tournament. During the regular season, the Britons led Division III in total defense (opponents averaged 129.9 yards per game) and scoring defense (allowing an average of 5.4 points per game), while ranking second in rushing defense and eighth in passing defense. Just as competitive, the Briton offense finished second in the nation in rushing and sixth in scoring.

Albion’s 10-game winning streak, begun in the previous two years, was snapped in a 19-17 loss to Wabash College in the 1977 season opener. The Britons then went on to reel off eight consecutive victories as the defense claimed three shutouts and limited three other foes to seven points or less.

The Britons traveled to Minnesota to meet the University of Minnesota-Morris in the first round of the NCAA playoffs. A defensive battle took place in a driving snowstorm, and the Britons came up on the short end of a 13-10 score despite racking up more total offensive yards and first downs.

Albion dominated MIAA postseason awards as Steve Spencer was named the league’s most valuable player. The Britons placed 11 players on the All-MIAA first team with Fred Boggan, Frank Carr, Steve Crane, Fred Cromie, Dexter Davis, Jim Haskins, Tyree Minner, Spencer, Bob Tieche, Ron Vanderlinden, and Dave Verdun included on the squad. The list of Britons on the All-MIAA second team included Mike Bivens, Tom Carr, Mark Klaver, and Kurt Wiese.

Other team members included: Matt Babich, Tom Barr, Chris Baker, Duane Berkompas, Rick Bewley, Steve Biondo, Alvin Bonds, Phil Brewster, Gary Briggs, Tim Compton, Jon Dahlstrom, George Darany, John DeLuyck, Tom DeSana, Mike Doctor, Dave Donovan, Don Durrett, Pete Fisher, Tom Flood, Tom Freeland, Greg Fuhr, Brian Galaviz, Dave Galaviz, Branko Gegich, Chuck Gothro, Greg Graessley, Andy Harder, James Haskamp, Dan Heenan, Matt Hoffmeister, Mike Huff, Tim Klapish, Tom Klus, Fred Koch, Chris Kroll, Ed Koehs, Parry LaGro, Fred Lamb, Dennis Lawson, Bill Linsdau, John Lokar, Mark Lokar, Brian Longe, Tim Luke, Dave Lymburner, Marty Maher, Joel Manby, John Massab, Paul McAvoy, Andy McComas, Dean Mighion, Dale Miller, Steve Mundwiler, John Nixon, Ralph Nixon, Mark Owen, Jim Palazzolo, Tony Perrino, Roy Peters, Curtis Pope, Marty Popp, Al Posa, Steve Posa, Matt Priest, Pete Radowick, Tim Riendl, Kevin Roberts, Scott Sample, Terry Sawyer, Keith Schauder, Randy Siebert, Mike Skinner, Eric Smith, Paul Stark, Kevin Snyder, Mike Swanson, Eric Tarpinian, Scott Thompson, Jeff Thorne, Doug VerMeulen, Jon Vigi, Darryl Waller, Bill Weaver, Tim Wenzel, Gene Wiggins, Dave Wood, and Jim Zurek.

Walt Swyers was the trainer for the Britons. Steve Fickert served as defensive coordinator for the team. Dave Egnatuk served as the defensive line coach, and Ken Foust served  as the offensive line coach for the team. Frank Joranko served as the team’s head coach.