October 20, 2010

GAMEDAY CENTRAL - Defiance vs Anderson - Game Seven

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DEFIANCE, Ohio -
When Defiance hosts Anderson on Saturday at Coressel Stadium, it will be trying to climb over the .500 barrier for the first time all season and improve to 4-1 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference for the first time since  reaching that mark in 2007.

Scouting Defiance - DC has been playing vintage Yellow Jacket football since coming off of its bye week and has used a stout ground game and a hard-hitting defense to earn conference victories over Mount St. Joseph (22-14) and Earlham (33-0) in the past two weeks. In those wins, the Jackets have rushed for 257.0 yards per game and four touchdowns, while only allowing 3.2 yards per carry and no rushing touchdowns. Those trends are beginning to show in the HCAC rankings as well, where Defiance leads the conference with 182.7 rushing yards per game and ranks second in scoring defense (20.8), sacks (18) and tackles for lost yardage (45)

Scouting Anderson - The Ravens have the second-rated offense in the HCAC through six games of the 2010 season and have scored 20 points or more in all six outings. AU is averaging 35.5 points per game over four league clashes, which included scoring 35 against Mount St. Joseph and hanging 56 on Earlham. Anderson does most of its damage through the air with 12.8 yards per reception and 242.0 passing yards per game but can also turn to the top rusher in the conference to fuel the ground game. Marcus Spann has piled up 697 yards and five touchdowns in his first six collegiate games and is pacing the HCAC with 116.2 rushing yards per contest.

Last Meeting - Defiance won, 20-7, at Anderson on October 24 of last season. The Jackets built a 17-0 halftime advantage and let its defense do the rest. The Jackets piled up 8.5 sacks, intercepted three passes and limited the Ravens to 188 total yards of offense and just 1.4 yards per rush. Anthony Sierra accounted for all three of the interceptions and ran one of them back 27 yards for a touchdown. Tom Foos led a strong special teams performance for DC by sticking five of his seven punts inside the AU 20-yard line.

Series History - DC will be going for its sixth-straight win against the Ravens on the gridiron. The Jackets have outscored Anderson, 152-47, over the past five meetings and 66-26 over the past two clashes at Coressel Stadium to extend their all-time series lead against AU to 30-18-1. The last time Anderson beat Defiance came via a 27-10 win on October 9, 2004, in what was DC's worst season (1-9) in its NCAA Division III era that dates back to the start of the 1991 campaign.

Longsdorf Honored by HCAC...Again - Kyle Longsdorf was touted as the HCAC Defensive Player of the Week for the second-straight time after tying a conference record with a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown in DC's 33-0 victory at Earlham. Longsdorf also added five of his six tackles via the solo variety, while breaking open the 0-0 tie with the touchdown return in the second quarter.

Taylor's Tally - DC head coach Rob Taylor took over sole possession of second place on the program's all-time wins lists after leading the Yellow Jackets to a 35-0 win against Bluffton in the 2009 season finale. Defiance's 33-0 win at Earlham on October 16 then pushed Taylor to 34 career victories on the sidelines for the Purple and Gold and within two wins of tying Malen Luke (1988-1993) for the most victories in program history with 36.

Jackets in the National Rankings - DC's Kyle Longsdorf, Rick Powell, Joemese Scott, Austin Hedderly and Anthony Sierra are all ranking highly in the latest NCAA report. Powell is fourth in the nation among all quarterbacks with 106.3 rushing yards per game, while Longsdorf ranks fifth with 14.0 tackles per outing and Sierra is 31st with 12.9 yards per punt return. Scott and Hedderly continue to climb the rankings for sacks per game, as Scott ranks 20th with 1.00 and Hedderly is 34th in the nation with 0.92.

Jackets Among the HCAC Leaders - A trio of Yellow Jackets currently lead all HCAC performers in their respective statistical categories, with several others ranking among the league's finest. Longsdorf tops the conference with 84 tackles, while Scott leads the way with six sacks and Sierra is the league's top punt returner. Other DC players ranking highly include Powell at second in rushing yards per game and third with 212.2 total yards of offense per contest and Hedderly at third with five sacks and sixth with 7.5 tackles for lost yardage.

Around the HCAC - After outscoring the opposition by a 235-46 margin during its first five HCAC games, Franklin (5-0) appears to be firmly in control of first place in the league. The battle for second rages on however, with Defiance (3-1), Hanover (3-1), Anderson (2-2) and Rose-Hulman (2-2) all vying for spots two through five in the standings. A pair 2-3 teams in HCAC play are also the two biggest surprises of the season. Mount St. Joseph has struggled to three-straight setbacks after winning the HCAC Championship last year. Bluffton has posted three total victories and two in HCAC action, after going 2-28 overall and 1-20 in league games over the past three seasons.

Online Webcasts - Defiance College would like to thank Hubbard Company, Mark Moats Ford, First Insurance and Scotty's for supporting the Yellow Jacket Sports Network for the 2010-2011 year. Each of DC's four home football games in 2010, along with the road games at Adrian and Bluffton will be broadcast live at www.DefianceAthletics.com/video. Past broadcasts will be archived and will also be available by going to that link.

Take a Kid to the Game Day Set for October 30 - Defiance College will take part in the NCAA's 16th-Annual "Take A Kid to the Game" program when it hosts Rose-Hulman at 1:30 pm on October 30. Children 12 and younger will get into the game for free and will be able to enjoy games and prizes throughout the afternoon. For more information, please call Brian Boveington at 419-783-2343.

 
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Dec. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at UW-Whitewater 52, Mount Union 14
@ Salem Stadium; Salem, Va.
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Final
UW-Whitewater 16, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 15
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Final
at Mount Union 41, North Central (Ill.) 40
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