Hope-Albion Football Preview
The Hope football team has its season in its hands.
Beat visiting Albion on Saturday at home, and the Flying Dutchmen will become Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association champions for the 21st time in school history.
Kickoff at Ray & Sue Smith Stadium is 1 p.m.
This regular-season finale will decide which team will represent the MIAA in the NCAA Division III Playoffs. The Flying Dutchmen can force a tie for the league title with a win but would take the tiebreaker for postseason play because of head-to-head competition.
Hope's last MIAA championship and trip to the NCAA playoffs came in 2007.
Here is a look at the matchup.
Hope — Dean Kreps, 19th Season (102-84 overall)
Albion — Craig Rundle, 27th Season Overall, 17th At Albion (156-16-1 overall, 99-80 At Albion)
The Hope-Albion rivalry dates back to 1926. Albion leads the all-time series 42-35-7, but the Flying Dutchmen won last season's meeting 28-20.
Today is the final regular-season home game for 13 Hope seniors — quarterback Michael Atwell of Geneseo, Ill. (Geneseo HS), defensive end Greg Bird of Byron Center (Byron Center HS), receiver Vincent Boddy of West Bloomfield (West Bloomfield HS), safety Santino DiCesare of Dorr (Wayland HS), kicker Evan Finch of Ann Arbor (Pioneer HS), cornerback Adam Drooger of Holland (Holland HS), running back Fluarry Jackson of Muskegon (Muskegon HS), running back Shawn Jackson of Comstock Park (Comstock Park HS), linebacker Tim Klaus of Saugatuck (Saugatuck HS), defensive lineman Dylan Korzetki of Wayne (Wayne Memorial HS), safety Tyler Mayer of Greenville (Belding HS), tight end Connor Parcell of Cadillac (Cadillac HS0 and offensive lineman Brandon Robinson of Chicago (Michele Clark Academic Prep).
Atwell and Jackson will rank among Flying Dutchmen all-time leaders once their career have concluded. Atwell is currently third in passing yards with 6,168. He trails Phil Butler (8,810 between 2000-03) and current Hope assistant coach Jake Manning (6,855 between 2005-08). Jackson is third with 3,168 rushing yards. He trails Brandon Graham (4,362 between 1995-97) and Davd Booko (3,635 between 2004-07).
2013 TEAM STATISTICS
32.4—Points Per game—25.7
14.1—Opponents Points Per Game—27.3
143.9—Yards Rushing Per Game—134.8
255.9—Yards Passing Per Game—237.1
399.8—Total Offense Per Game—371.9
129.4—Opponent's Rushing Per Game—196.7
227.3—Opponent's Passing Per Game—234.4
356.8—Total Defense Per Game—431.1