Two weeks ago, I tried searching for the last time Kalamazoo College beat Albion on the football field. I was unable to find it. The Brits made my job a lot easier though during their Homecoming game.
It was unexpected to say the least. Nobody anticipated Albion bowing down to the Hornets, especially on Homecoming. But when the final scoreboard read Kalamazoo-30, Albion-27, every Briton in the stands went filing through their cell phones searching for the number of the nearest optometrist.
Kalamazoo head coach Jamie Zorbo has said in several interviews prior to MIAA play that his team will need a “signature win” to compete in the conference—well… I guess he found it. Now the Hornets, who were ranked sixth in the preseason conference poll, are looking to finish towards the top tier of the conference, while Albion is searching for a solution to stay there.
Albion did bounce back with a 27-17 win over Alma College last week, but the going only gets tougher from here. If the Britons want to compete for the MIAA title, then it is time for the tough to get going.
The Britons have six first down penalties this year, and it would be reasonable to let that statistic slide if the team was actually productive on third or fourth down. But the Brits have successfully moved the chains on only 39 percent of third downs, and on 8 percent of their fourth downs attempts. Seriously purple and gold—that is pathetic! Of course, it does make it hard to convert those downs when the chains are still 10 yards ahead of the line of scrimmage.
Hope College will line up against the Britons this upcoming weekend, Oct. 16. Though ranked fourth in the MIAA, the Dutchmen have managed to open conference play 2-0, and are looking to take advantage of an underachieving Albion line-up.
Albion needs to step up on offense this week. I will admit, their defense has not been the greatest, but it makes it hard to maintain intensity late in the game when opponents on average possess the ball an extra four minutes. The Brits need to play ball-control offense and give the defense a little room to breathe.
In order for Albion to win the conference now, they will have to win every game for the remainder of the season. Hope and Olivet should be feasible victories, but the Britons are outmatched at the moment by Adrian and Trine.
It is time for Albion to show the MIAA why they were ranked second in the conference. They need to prove these next two games that they deserve to even be on the field as Trine and Adrian, before they can arguably compete against them.
By the way, the last time Albion lost to Kalamazoo prior to 2010 was in 1983.