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Lions season ends with tough loss at home to Alma, 37-0

HANCOCK — Alma College had a little too much of everything Saturday afternoon for Finlandia University.

That described the Scots’ 37-0 football victory over the Lions at a snowy McAfee Field.

The Lions came into the season-ending MIAA contest with hopes of securing their first victory of the season.

But after playing a strong first quarter, and being down by just a 7-0 score, the Finlandia gridders saw the visiting Scots rack up unanswered 21 points in the second quarter en route to a safe 28-0 halftime lead.

Tailback Brendan Newvine scored all three Alma touchdowns in the decisive second quarter on runs of eight, one and 15 yards on the brutally cold day.

“I felt we did some good things defensively today,” Finlandia coach Travis Wiltzius said. “But they (Scots) made some big plays.”

The Finlandia defense came up with a big play of their own early in the game.

After seeing Alma get the ball at the Lions 15-yard line after a short punt, Marvin Anthony stepped in front of a pass thrown by QB Martin Ipple.

Alma had scored first toward the end of the opening period on a 22-yard run by Chase Hinkle.

The Lions moved the ball fairly well on the running D.J. Davis and Eric Young, but were stymied by the Scots defense.

Backup Finlandia quarterback Alec Blank came into the game in the third quarter and had some success throwing to Josh Eve.

“He (Blank) has talent and we have to keep an eye on him, “ Wiltzius said. “He can do a lot of things.”

Blank moved his team to the Alma 3-yard line late in the third quarter before Zeke Ramirez of AC intercepted a pass and raced 98 yards to paydirt.

All that remained in the scoring column was a safety recorded by Alma in the final stanza.

Dillion Hueckstaedt had another big day on defense for the Lions. The senior linebacker totaled 11 solo and 10 assisted tackles.

That gave the former Baraga High standout a whopping 143 tackles for the season. He finished as the all-time leader in that department at FU.

Another senior, Tyler Kangas, ended his career as the school’s all-time leader in receptions.

The Lions conclude their season with an 0-10 mark (0-7) in the MIAA. Alma improved to 2-8 and 1-6 in the same categories.

Wiltzius was encouraged by the play of his young (just five seniors), team.

“We knew coming into the season was that this was a rebuilding year,” Wiltzius said. “We have a lot of good, talented players here and we’re looking for ways to be competitive.

“This year was a little tough on us, but I love the group of guys we have, and I’m looking forward to starting out next year.”

Alma          7    21    7    2 – 37

Finlandia    0     0    0     0 – 0

First quarter

AL – Hinkle 22 run (Plisko kick)

Second quarter

AL – Newvine 8 run (Plisko kick)

AL – Newvine 1 run (Plisko kick)

AL – Newvine 15 run (Plisko kick)

Third quarter

AL – Ramirez 98 int. pass (Plisko kick)

Fourth quarter

AL – Headtree rec. fumble in end zone

Game stats

First downs: AL 19, FU 11; Rushing: AL 242; FU 132; Passing: AL 5-11-3-73; FU 10-18-2-70.

Ind. stats: Rushing: AL Newvine 13-87; Sowa 15-80; FU Davis 16-48; Young 11-43; Receiving: Krueger 2-54; FU: Eve 4-54.

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