ALBION, Mich. — Under the lights of Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium on the campus of Albion College, the Defiance College football team kicked off the 2019 season on Saturday evening. The youthful Yellow Jackets fell to the Britons by a final score of 56-6.

A strong first quarter saw the Yellow Jacket defense swarm to two interceptions. On the Britons’ third drive of the game, Ahmad Burroughs grabbed the first turnover of the contest. Maurice Ponder got in on the turnover action with his pick in Albion territory with just under two minutes on the clock. The Yellow Jackets’ stingy defense ceded the hosts with a 7-0 lead after the first quarter.

After a 21-0 deficit at halftime, head coach Manny Matsakis’ side grabbed their first points of the affair in the third quarter. Started with a Machari Bighams 29-yard kickoff return, the Yellow Jackets marched into the Briton red zone. After completing a pass to Amin Shaheed to take DC to the one-yard line, freshman quarterback Reggie Washington was poised to rush into the endzone for Defiance’s lone score.

Washington concluded his debut in Purple and Gold with 131 yards on 36 pass attempts. Jacob Vorce was DC’s top target. The senior reeled in five passes for 53 yards, including a 25-yard completion.

“Our youth showed up tonight versus an excellent opponent in Albion,” said Matsakis. “This is an opportunity to improve this week as we look to gain some more experience before we play Hope.”

Defensively, Ponder snagged a second interception in the second half to raise DC’s total to three. Steven Lucas wrapped up 11 Britons, leading the way in tackles for the Purple and Gold.

“I’m certain that as we progress through our non-conference schedule, we’ll be able to put together a formidable squad as the season unfolds,” added Matsakis. “We’re excited about setting the foundation of the program this year.”

The Jackets will continue their northern adventures on Saturday as they travel to Hope College for another battle with an MIAA foe. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m.

DC Albion

First Downs 16 23

Rushing Yards 40-22 43-292

Passing Yards 131 152

Total Yards 153 444

Passing 19-36-2 13-23-3

Fumbles-Lost 3-2 0-0

Penalties 7-60 10-122

Defiance 0 0 6 0 – 6

Albion 7 14 14 21 – 56

A — Canfield 7-pass from K. Thomas (Castillo kick)

A — Gibson 11-pass from K. Thomas (Castillo kick)

A — Touchdown (Castillo kick)

A — J. Thomas 26-pass from K. Thomas (Castillo kick)

A — Slates 50-interception return (Castillo kick)

D — Washington 1-run (kick failed)

A — McCoy 10-run (Castillo kick)

A — Roberts 1-run (Castillo kick)

A — Jones-Price 31-run (Castillo kick)

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING: Defiance — Hedges 12-44; Harris 4-6; Caballero 2-5; Shaheed 2-3; Mcnary 1-3; Ponder 1-1; Team 1-(-1); Geiger 1-(-3); Melvin 1-(-3); Vorce 1-(-13); Washington 14-(-20). Albion — McCoy 22-154; K. Thomas 3-40; Jones-Price 2-34; Czarnecki 7-27; Roberts 4-18; Goins 2-13; Clark 2-7; Collins 1-(-1). PASSING: Defiance — Rettig 19-36-2-131. Albion — K. Thomas 10-18-3-96; Bush 3-5-0-56. RECEIVING: Defiance — Vorce 5-53; Geiger 4-45; Shaheed 3-27; Caballero 1-9; Santora 1-5; Wu 1-2; Hedges 2-1; Harris 2-(-11). Albion — J. Thomas 3-78; Gibson 4-26; Canfield 3-22; Martin 1-15; Clark 1-8; Durand 1-3.

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