Albion stuns No. 10 Wheaton (Ill.), wins 22-21 with second-half rally
ALBION, Mich. -- Albion senior quarterback Spencer Krauss threw a touchdown pass in the final two minutes to secure a 22-21 upset against nationally ranked Wheaton (Ill.).
"Our team grew up a lot," Albion coach Craig Rundle said. "You need games like this if you are going to be a playoff-caliber team. Wheaton provided a good measuring stick and we rose to the occasion."
The Britons started the scoring with a 23-yard field goal by senior kicker Jimmy Neiman, which capped a seven-play, 54-yard drive that ran 3:52 off the clock.
The Albion defense forced a punt on Wheaton's next offensive possession and got the ball back at their 39-yard line.
Senior running backs Clinton Orr and Darrin Williams helped the Britons find the end zone. The dynamic duo combined for 62 yards during the drive late in the first quarter.
Orr capped the nine-play, 73-yard offensive possession with a 6-yard touchdown run to put the Britons up 9-0. The extra-point attempt was blocked to keep the Albion lead at nine points with 29 seconds remaining in the first quarter of play.
Following Orr's touchdown, the Britons saw their lead vanish after three consecutive Wheaton touchdown drives. Krauss also tossed his first interception of the 2012 season during the string.
Wheaton took a 21-9 lead into the break, but was unable to hold the lead in the second half.
The Britons had the first possession of the second half and marched down the field behind Orr, scoring after a 19-play, 89-yard drive ate up 10:32 of the third quarter. Orr finished the drive with a 1-yard rush and carried the ball 29 times for 133 yards on the day.
"We ran the ball real well in the first quarter and got behind in field position in the second," Rundle said. "We knew we could dominate the line of scrimmage and we made a point of that on the first drive of the second half. That was a great drive and the offensive line took over the game at that point."
Albion's defense answered the call late in the game. With 4:58 remaining, senior defensive back Wes Dolen picked off a pass at the Wheaton 48-yard line and returned it 11 yards to set up the Britons' offense.
Krauss drove the ball to the Wheaton 21-yard line before facing a fourth-and-nine situation. After a timeout, Krauss capitalized with a perfectly thrown spiral to the end zone right at junior wide receiver Zach Brewer, who hauled in the 21-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 21-21. Krauss finished the game 12 of 20 for 104 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Freshman kicker Keegan Haggarty put the extra point right through the uprights to put Albion up 22-21 and the defense sealed the win, staving off the Thunder for the last 1:26.