ALBION, Mich. – Football games between two evenly matched teams are usually decided by turnovers.
Albion College was intercepted four times, including three times in the fourth quarter, as the Britons fell from the ranks of the unbeaten in a 29-24 Homecoming loss to Hope College.
Hope responded on its next possession. Mason Opple found Christian Bos for 23 yards on third down, and that kept the drive going. Opple scored on a 1-yard plunge on the first play of the fourth quarter as the Flying Dutchmen regained the lead at 29-24.
The defense kept Hope from gaining a first down on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter.
Albion's final possession started with 2:42 to play. Doug Freeman's 19-yard gain moved the ball near midfield, and the Britons gained another first down at the Hope 39-yard line. Albion faced a third-and-two when it was intercepted for the final time.
Albion and Hope traded scores in the first half. Quarterback Kyle Thomas completed a 12-play drive in the first quarter with a 2-yard run, and Freeman scored from a yard out in the second.
Fabry kicked a 27-yard field goal in the third quarter to tie the score at 17.
Thomas finished 23-of-38 for 249 passing yards. His brother, Justin, hauled in nine passes for 83 yards.
Freeman added 98 rushing yards.
Hope finished with a slight edge in total yards (477-453). Opple was 21-of-29 for 280 yards and two touchdowns. He added 68 rushing yards and a score.
Levi Ladd led the Albion defense with 11 tackles, including three for loss. He also was credited with forcing a fumble.
Albion (4-1 overall and 1-1 against MIAA rivals) will play at home again next Saturday against Kalamazoo College. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. on the Schmidt-Fraser Field inside Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium.
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