The Defiance College Yellow Jackets football team dropped a close battle against the Albion College Britons 32-29 in the season opener Saturday night at Albion's Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium.
Defiance College put up 513 yards of total offense, while limiting the home team to 240 yards of total offense. However, the Jackets turned the ball over five times and were stopped on a fourth and goal from the half-yard line, giving the Britons a chance to stay in the game.
Freshman quarterback Alex Larson led the offensive attack for the Purple and Gold with 117 rushing yards, while also throwing for 279 yards. Larson was a part of three touchdowns for DC, throwing a pair and running in another.
The Britons were able to answer a first-half deficit scoring on a pair of touchdown drives in the second half. The rest of Albion's scoring drives were off of DC turnovers, capitalizing on the Yellow Jackets mistakes.
After trailing 13-3 in the second quarter, the Purple and Gold notched a pair of late touchdowns to take a 17-13 lead into the locker room at the half.
The first of the two scores came off of a blocked punt by senior Blaine McGowan that was recovered in the end zone by Gareth MacMillan for six points.
Defiance grabbed its first lead of the game when Larson connected with senior wide receiver Brian Mircovich for a one-yard touchdown pass. The score capped off an 11 play, 65-yard drive in 1:10, scoring with just four seconds remaining in the half.
Mircovich finished with eight receptions in the game for 68 yards.
Trey White led all Yellow Jackets receivers with 10 catches and 91 yards.
In the beginning of the second half, Albion answered with a pair of early scores. The Britons put together their first drive of the game to retake the lead 19-17 and then returned a fumble 33-yards to go up 25-17.
The Yellow Jackets responded with a 6-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Larson to Daniel Collins to bring the score to within two points. Collins finished with 63 yards receiving on two catches. He also had 31 yards rushing on four carries.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Yellow Jackets utilized good field position after a poor punt from deep in Albion's zone, and retook the lead. Larson capped off the 38-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to give Defiance a 29-25 lead.
Albion was able to answer back though, scoring with 8:02 remaining on the clock to take the lead one final time, 32-29.
Larson finished the game 24-of-44 passing with the two touchdowns and one interception.
The interception was returned 42 yards by Albion's Chris Jakubik to put the Britons up 13-3 in the first half.
Defensively for the Yellow Jackets, senior Tony Sierra and sophomore Jorry Matherson each had an interception, as well as three breakups a piece. Leroy Cheatham and Rayon Calloway each forced a fumble in the game.
Andrew Feldhaus led the way defensively for DC, recording eight tackles in the game, including a sack. McGowan and Andrew Leverenz each had a sack in the contest as well.
The loss marks the second straight season that the Yellow Jackets have fallen to Albion to start the season, although Saturday's contest was much different then the 55-0 loss in 2012 to the Britons.
Defiance will open up the home slate of the 2013 season at Justin F. Coressel Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 14 when the Yellow Jackets host Adrian College. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.