The repeat title hopes for the Adrian College football team took a big hit with a 21-17 home loss to Olivet College on Saturday. The Bulldogs had the lead until 12 seconds left when the Comets hooked up on a 19-yard touchdown pass on fourth and goal. Kyle Bryson caught a fade route to the back of the end zone from Braden Black for the winning score.
Adrian took the lead with 3:17 left as the Bulldogs forced a Black fumble and recovered at the Olivet 26-yard line. On the next play, senior Damon Brown rumbled 26 yards for a score carrying defenders on his back for the final few yards. Olivet took over at their own 32-yard line with 3:05 left down 17-14. The Comets converted on fourth and seven at the Adrian 30-yard line with a 20-yard pass from Black to Bryson to keep the drive alive. On third and goal from the nine, Tommy First had a huge sack dropping Black back to the 19-yard line with Olivet having no timeouts. The Comets quickly got to the line of scrimmage and completed the game-winning touchdown pass.
Adrian led 7-0 at the 6:46 mark of the first quarter as Nathan Hartline hauled in a 72-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Tenney. Jason Barbosa tied the game at 7-7 with a 22-yard touchdown catch from Black on a fourth and seven play with 2:12 left in the first.
The Bulldogs missed two field goals in the second quarter as Dustin Salliotte went wide left from 24 yards with 13:39 on the clock and from 30 yards again wide left with 7:52 on the clock. Those missed opportunities would come back to haunt the Bulldogs. Salliotte connected on a 27-yard field goal with three seconds left in the half to give AC a 10-7 lead at the break. Adrian gained 132 yards in the second quarter but only came away with three points.
Olivet took their first lead with 4:35 left in the third, 14-10, after another successful fourth down play. Tyre Alexander, a running back, took a handoff and did a jump pass to tight end Trevor Wyman for a four-yard touchdown capping off a 12-play, 85-yard drive. Olivet controlled the quarter running 20 plays compared to 10 for the Bulldogs and outgaining AC 101-60.
Adrian could not overcome going 1-for-11 on third down and Olivet on the flip side went 4-for-4 on fourth down. Adrian outgained their opponent, 415-342, and Brown had a huge game on the ground for Adrian with a career-high 209 yards on 23 carries. Tenney completed 10-of-22 passes for 148 yards, but was sacked five times for a loss of 34 yards.
Adrian's defense was led by Juwan King with 12 tackles including eight solos. He also had 1.5 tackles for loss and a forced fumble which set up Adrian's go-ahead score in the fourth. Adrian's six-game win streak will have to be restarted next week as they travel to Kalamazoo College for a 1 p.m. kickoff against the Hornets.