Freshman Dominic Bona gained all the pressures of a starting quarterback in a split second when an injury knocked starter Spencer Krauss, Tipton senior, out of the game against Benedictine University on Sept. 15.
With Krauss still out, Bona, Pinckney first-year, was tabbed to start Albion’s 17-14 homecoming game win against Kalamazoo College Hornets Oct. 13. Bona completed 11-18 passes for 103 yards. It was another big step for the freshman, who began the season on Albion’s varsity team as third- string quarterback.
Bona earned his starting position after only a week of preparation. Stepping up Sept. 22 against non-league Iowa Central, Bona led the Britons to a 35-16 win at home, completing 9-15 passes for a total of 160 yards.
“I got a chance to prove myself and I made the most of it,” Bona said.
During the fourth quarter of that game, Bona threw a 24-yard strike to Brian Spencer, East Lansing senior, in the back of the end zone extending the lead to 28-16. It was his first career touchdown in a Briton uniform.
“It felt amazing to throw my first touchdown pass,” Bona said. “Brian Spencer made it easy for me. He got open and I just had to make the throw. The offensive line gave me plenty of time to throw the ball so I give them most of the credit.”
During a press conference following the contest, head coach Craig Rundel was complimentary of Bona’s performance.
“He made a couple plays where he got out of the pocket and found the guys downfield,” Rundel said. “It’s one of the things he does extremely well.”
Following the big week, the Brits suffered a 27-22 loss to Trine University of Angola, Ind., after they fell behind 14-0 two minutes into the first quarter. Bona showed poise when the team was down in the first conference game of his Briton career and fought hard to keep the score close.
Since his injury, Krauss has served as a mentor for the young quarterback.
“[Krauss is my] role model on and off the field,” Bona said.
He refers to Krauss as practically an older brother who helps him every practice in order to prepare. Bona says that he hopes to be half the quarterback Krauss is.
“Dominic has made outstanding progress as a varsity-level quarterback in just a few short weeks in his starting role,” Krauss said. “This young man has a trait that most his age don’t possess: a willingness to listen and learn. Dom, along with the very solid group of freshman quarterbacks, will only get better. It’s a scary thought for the MIAA knowing that Albion College has such a talented group of young QBs. I’m excited to watch Dominic grow into a potential All-League candidate in the near future.”
The Briton’s will travel to Alma College on Oct. 20 for Bona’s second road start. Bona said that he anticipates more tests to come, whatever the results of Saturday’s contest.
“I am really excited to get this opportunity to start as a freshman and I am going to make the most of it and work hard everyday single day to strive to get better,” Bona said.