ALMA, Mich. –For the second consecutive season, the Baldwin Wallace University football team opened the season by defeating Alma (Mich.) College by a final score of 31-14 on Bahlke Field.
BW (1-0), who won its eighth season opener in the last 11 years, jumped out to a 31-0 lead over Alma (0-1) before the Scots scored the final 14 points.
Offensively for the Yellow Jackets, senior Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference quarterback A.J. Miller (Coral Springs, Fla./Coral Springs Academy) completed 26-of-37 passes for 346 yards and two touchdowns in his first collegiate start. Sophomore All-OAC running back Jon Murray, Jr. (Cincinnati/Withrow) led the ground game as he rushed for 57 yards on14 carries with one touchdown. Junior wide out Iyan Mitchell (Tampa, Fla./Robinson) led the receiving corps with six catches for 126 yards with one touchdown. Defensively, sophomore defensive back Dominick Bowman (Canton/Massillon Perry) and sophomore defensive back Anthony Kendall (Port Richey, Fla./River Ridge) each had a team-high tyong six tackles while Kendall had a career-high two interceptions Senior defensive lineman Jake Schrock (Rockport, Mass./Gloucester) added five tackles, including three for a loss, with a fumble recovery and two quarterback sacks.
Alma was led by junior quarterback Ryan Stevens completed six-of-17 passes for 114 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Senior running back Austin Spratling led the rushing attack with 31 yards on nine carries. Junior tight end Joseph Schaefer led the air attack as he caught four passes for 73 yards with one touchdown.
BW scored the only points of the first quarter and took a 10-0 lead points. The Yellow Jackets opened the scoring when freshman placekicker Dean Sarris (Canton/GlenOak) converted his first career field goal as he booted a 21-yarder at the 4:35 mark. BW closed out the opening quarter scoring when A.J. Miller hooked up with Mitchell on a 65-yard pass play with 2:26 remaining, which marked the first career touchdown for both players. Sarris added the extra point.
The Yellow Jackets scored the only points of the second quarter when sophomore wide receiver Darius Stokes (Canton/GlenOak) made a diving catch for his first collegiate touchdown on a 33-yard pass from Miller with 19 seconds remaining. Sarris added the point after to give BW the 17-0 lead at the intermission.
BW added two more touchdowns to take a 31-0 advantage on a two-yard run by Murray, Jr. scored at the 9:55 mark and on its first special teams touchdown of the season when senior wide our Darion Greer (Toledo/Toledo Central Catholic) returned a punt 68-yards to pay dirt at 7:49. Sarris added both extra points. The Scots got on the board when ithey blocked a Yellow Jacket field goal attempt and Max Kretzschmar returned it 90-yards for the score with just 15 seconds remaining. Ryan Clements added the point after.
Alma scored the final points of the game and the only points of the fourth quarter when Schaefer caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Steven at the 4:47 mark.
BW is back in action on Saturday, September 14 when it travels to Westerville for the OAC opener against Otterbein University inside Memorial Stadium at 2 p.m.