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HOLLAND -- It is still early in the conference campaign, but
when the Hope College (2-3) football team hosts the nationally
ranked Alma Scots (5-0) on Saturday (Oct. 16) the outcome could
be significant in the final MIAA standings which this year for
the first time will determine who advances to the NCAA Division
III playoffs.

The game at Holland Municipal Stadium will have a 1 p.m.
kickoff. The game will be broadcast on WHTC-AM (1450) and WFUR-
FM (102.9). It can also be heard on the internet through the
Hope College website ( www.hope.edu).

Alma stands 2-0 in conference play while Hope is 1-0. The
Scots are ranked 22nd nationally this week among NCAA Division
III by the National College Football Coaches Association. The
Flying Dutchmen are coming off their first victory of the season.
In fact, the only common opponent of these teams has been
Defiance. Alma defeated the Yellow Jackets 46-21 while the
Dutchmen gained a 40-7 triumph last Saturday.

Hope and Alma first met 80 years ago -- a 1919 contest won
by Alma 39-0. Since then, the Flying Dutchmen have taken a 41-
28-4 advantage in the series, including a 43-37 overtime victory
last year.

Alma's distinctive explosive spread offense is averaging 567
yards per game, nearly 400 of them through the air. Earlier this
season, Alma amassed 800 yards of total offense in a game behind
107 plays-- 47 rushes and 60 passes.

Hope is hardly deficient when it comes to offense. The
Flying Dutchmen are averaging 395 yards per game behind a
balanced attack -- 196 on the ground and 199 through the air.

Two Hope gridders have been honored by the MIAA as players
of the week for their performances against Defiance. Junior
quarterback J.D. Graves of Troy (Athens HS) is the co-offensive
player of the week with Olivet running back Kris Brown while
senior back Todd Tester of Traverse City (Traverse City Central
HS) is the defensive player of the week. Graves played a part in
five touchdowns against Defiance, scoring two on rushes and
throwing passes for three more scores. Tester broke up six
passes and was credited with six solo tackles.

Prior to the game MIAA Commissioner Sheila Wallace-Kovalchik
will present the 1998-99 MIAA All-Sports award to President James
E. Bultman and members of the athletics staff. Hope won all
three of the 1998-99 MIAA awards presented to the member college
with the best cumulative performance in men's and women's sports.
Hope won the all-sports award, now known as the Commissioner's
Cup, for a league record 22nd time. Hope has won the award 15 of
the last 20 years, including five of the last six years. Hope
also won the new men's and women's all-sports awards.

The pre-game and halftime entertainment will be provided by
the Grand Rapids South Christian High School band, under the
direction of Don Drenth.

The Flying Dutchmen are home again on Saturday, Oct. 23
hosting the Adrian Bulldogs for Homecoming.