Albion escapes with football victory in overtime

Kolby Canfield extends the ball over the goal line for Albion's first touchdown of the day
Kolby Canfield extends the ball over the goal line for Albion's first touchdown of the day

ALMA, Mich. – Andrew Fabry kicked three field goals, including a 33-yard boot in the second overtime period, as Albion College escaped Bahlke Field with a 37-34 victory over Alma College on the opening week of Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association football action.

Fabry, however, was just part of a team effort that carried Albion to the victory.

Trailing 28-24, the defense could not yield a touchdown after Alma quarterback Ryan Stevens connected with Joseph Schafer for a 52-yard gain that gave the Scots a first down at the Albion 10-yard line with less than three minutes left in regulation.

Albion's defense rose to the occasion, stopping Alma on three running plays and the Scots settled for a 22-yard field goal by Jacob Plisko with 1:43 left.

After three incomplete passes, the Briton offense was down to a fourth down play. Kyle Thomas hooked up with his brother, Justin, for a 21-yard gain to keep the drive alive. Thomas later converted a third down by running for 12 yards. Thomas capped the drive with a 10-yard run with 10 seconds left in regulation.

The teams exchanged field goals in the first overtime period.

Alma was on offense first in the second overtime, but it could not earn a first down. Malik Bozell and Drew Shafer stopped Austin Spratling after a 3-yard gain on the first play and Tyler George and Mitchell Arendsen held Spratling to a 2-yard gain on the second play. Quarterback Mason Ippel threw an incomplete pass on the third play. The Scots lined up for a 37-yard field goal, but Jacob Plisko hit the kick off the left upright.

Markell McCoy gained nine yards on a pair of running plays on Albion's set of downs, setting the stage for Fabry's winning kick.

"It was a team effort by everybody," Albion Head Coach Craig Rundle said. "We didn't play our best, but we found ways to make plays when we needed them."

Offensively, Albion rolled up 532 yards. Running back Markell McCoy rushed for a career-high 190 yards, averaging seven yards per carry. Thomas collected 317 total yards (259 passing and 58 rushing). Brian Blanzy hauled in eight passes for 96 yards, including a 7-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Kolby Canfield hauled in five passes for 59 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

Levi Ladd and Donovan Slates finished with at least 10 tackles for the Briton defense. Drew Shafer picked off a pass on Alma's first possession.

Albion will take a 4-0 record into its Homecoming game next Saturday against Hope College. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium.

Follow the Britons on Twitter: @AlbionFootball