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Football Drops Season Opener to Adrian (Mich.)

Football Drops Season Opener to Adrian (Mich.)

ADRIAN, MICH.  --  The Defiance College football team opened the 2015 season with a loss against Adrian (Mich.) College, 31-13, at Docking Stadium in Adrian, Mich.

Sophomore quarterback Logan Scott (Curtice/Genoa) made his first collegiate start and completed nine-of-29 passes for 170 yards.  He also rushed for nine yards on the ground.  Freshman Tanner Hughes (Pierceton, Ind./Whitko) led the Yellow Jacket running attack with 26 yards on five carries.  Junior Cody Wilson (McComb) had a strong game with 25 yards on the ground and DC's only rushing touchdown to go along with a game-high four receptions for 79 yards.  He also had 18 return yards on kickoffs.  

Defensively, freshman Jalin Nealy (Pontiac, Mich./West Bloomfield) made an impact in his collegiate debut finishing as one of two Yellow Jacket players to record 10 or more tackles.  Nealy ended the day with a game-high 16 stops (eight solo and eight assists) in addition to one tackle for loss and forcing a fumble.  Senior Andrew Feldhaus (Lutz, Fla./Steinbrenner) was the other DC player in double figures in tackles with 11 (six solo and five assists).  He also added a tackle for loss.

The only scoring between the two teams in the first quarter was a 38-yard field goal by Adrian (1-0).  The Bulldogs had two other potential scoring drives in the period, but they would end in a missed field goal and a defensive stand by Defiance (0-1) on a fourth-and-one play from its own 26-yard line.  The Yellow Jackets also had a scoring chance of their own late in the quarter with a 42-yard field attempt, but the kick sailed wide left.

The deficit remained a field goal for DC until the midway point of the second quarter when Adrian found paydirt on a two-yard TD run that capped an eight-play, 84 yard drive to increase the margin to 10-0 with 7:55 remaining in the half.  Following DC's ensuing drive that ended on downs, the Bulldogs posted runs of 18 and 26 yards that led to another score to put the home team out in front, 17-0.  The second Adrian TD came with just over a minute-and-a-half on the clock and a late Yellow Jacket fumble ended the half to send DC into the locker rooms trailing 17-0.

On Adrian's second drive of the third quarter, the Bulldogs lined-up for a 37-yard field goal, but the DC defense blocked the kick to keep the score at 17-0.  On the ensuing Yellow Jacket possession, Scott's pass was intercepted on the first play from scrimmage from the DC 25-yard line and was returned for a touchdown by Adrian, to make the score 24-0 at the 9:16 minute mark.  The DC offense came right back, however, with plass plays of 28 yards to freshman Devin Bolden (Lake Worth, Fla./Wellington) and 21-yards to Cody Wilson along with a 10-yard scamper by Hughes that led to a one-yard TD run by Cody Wilson for the Yellow Jackets only score of the period with 7:17 remaining.  DC attempted to go for the two-point conversion following the Cody Wilson score, but the attempt would be no good, making the score 24-6.  Neither team recorded any more points the rest of the way as the game went into the final quarter with Adrian maintaining its 18-point margin.

Both teams traded scores in the final period with Adrian's score coming at the 2:48 mark on a 20-yard pass play to extend the lead to 31-6.  The Defiance defense scored the final points of the game with under a minute remaining when junior defensive back Kenny Jones (Toledo/Bowsher) scooped up a fumble and returned it 90 yards for the score.  But the points would come just a bit too late as the Bulldogs went on to win by the final of 31-13.

Adrian had 509 total yards of offense, including 359 yards rushing.  The Bulldogs were led by Emanuel Stewart who rushed for a game-high 181 yards on 21 carries.  Quarterback Stephan Milarch completed seven-of-11 passes for 113 yards and a TD.  Lawrence Austin led the Adrian receivers in catches with three for 47 yards and Ryan Betz had two receptions for a team-best 62 yards.  On defense, the duo of Chris Adams and Dontrell Tucker both had seven tackles.  Adams also had 1.5 tackles for loss and Tucker had an interception.

Defiance will next travel to Danville, Ky. for a non-conference game against No 21 nationally-ranked Centre (Ky.) College on Saturday, Sept. 12.  Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.