ALBION, Mich. – Albion College found the right combination on offense in the second half, but it was unable to hold on for an upset of 14th-ranked Wabash College
Oliver Page hauled in an 8-yard touchdown pass with 12 seconds remaining in regulation and Tyler Dowling scored from a yard out in overtime as the Little Giant escaped Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium with a 41-34 victory.
"There was not one particular play, series or situation (that tilted the outcome of the game in Wabash's favor)," Albion Head Coach Craig Rundle said.
"We started playing the way we're capable in the second half," Rundle added. "We have a lot of young kids playing and it showed in the first half. We tried different combinations up front, we started protecting (quarterback Chad Hamilton) better and we started making plays."
Limited to 14 yards in the first half, Albion exploded for 324 in the second half. Hamilton hooked up with Collin Poore for a 37-yard touchdown to cap the first possession of the second half. Poore also scooped up a fumble for a score, Kyle Winchell returned a blocked punt for a touchdown and Josh Padelt returned an interception 56 yards as Albion surged to a 31-27 lead early in the fourth quarter.
Andrew Fabry kicked a 37-yard field goal as Albion extended the margin to 34-27 with six minutes to play.
Hamilton, making his first start at quarterback for Albion, completed 31 passes for 282 yards. Poore hauled in nine passes for 112 yards. Running back Sam Hunter averaged five yards a carry (51 yards on 10 carries).
Wabash set the tone for the first half by taking the opening kickoff and marching 65 yards in 14 plays. Matt Penola capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Wabash led 20-3 at halftime as Andrew Tutsie added a pair of field goals and Tyler Downing scored on a 2-yard run after Wabash took possession at the 6-yard line after a botched punt snap.
Albion will hit the road for its next two games, including a date at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point next Saturday.