By Caio Orofino
The Albion Football team (8-3, 6-0) ended their season last Saturday, November 23, losing to North Central College (12-0,7-0) in the first round of the NCAA playoffs.
The Britons had another memorable season, winning the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and with 15 players voted onto All-MIAA football teams.
“I am thankful for making the second team but will take a championship over personal accolades any day,” said Darrin Williams, Detroit senior.
As Albion’s feature running back, Williams, finished the season with 899 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. He also tallied 271 receiving yards with a touchdown through the air.
The Britons viewed every game as a playoff game because they knew one loss in the MIAA could keep them out of the playoffs. They won a share of the MIAA title after beating Adrian College (6-4,3-3) on the road.
The Britons wanted the title to themselves, however. The next week, they traveled to Hope College (7-3,4-2) and beat their rivals 31-24.
“Getting that final victory at Hope was insane,” said Dillon Ervin, Ortonville junior.
Ervin, along with Williams, was named second team All-MIAA. Ervin led the Britons with seven sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss, and 42 tackles as a defensive end.
Both Ervin and Williams were leaders on and off the field.
“Darrin Williams really inspired a lot of people to play harder. Preparing for our game against North Central, he told us to leave the room if there was any doubt in our minds,” Ervin said.
Despite their strong play throughout the conference season, Albion struggled off the bat and faced adversity.
“I made sure that we kept working hard and getting better to develop confidence in what we were doing,” said head coach Craig Rundle. “My message to them was to believe in yourself.
Albion fell to Wheaton College (8-2, 5-2) early on in the season by a score of 66-0. After that game, they gathered themselves and won seven of their final nine games.
“Our guys came a long way throughout the course of the season. People wrote us off after the loss to Wheaton but our guys didn’t let those games define them,” Rundle said.
Even with the early losses, the Britons put themselves in a position to play for the championship when it was all said and done.
Credit also goes out to the support from the fans and especially interim President Michael Frandsen for getting a bus so students could cheer on the Britons at Hope College.
“I want to thank the Briton community for all of the love and support,” Williams said.