DEFIANCE, Ohio - When Defiance and Rose-Hulman take the field at Coressel Stadium on Saturday it will mark the final home contest in the careers of DC's nine-man senior class. The 2010 senior class has led Defiance to 17 victories over the past four seasons, including a 15-11 record within the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Scouting Defiance - Defiance will look to maintain its hold on second place in the HCAC standings, while moving to 5-1 in league play for the first time since winning the HCAC Championship in 2001. Those five wins currently stand as DC's most in HCAC action, a mark the 2010 team could shatter with three league foes remaining on the slate. A current three-game winning streak in which Defiance has outscored the opposition, 104-21, has turned around the season. During that stretch, the Jackets are averaging 266.3 rushing yards per game and have piled up eight rushing touchdowns, while the opposition has yet to score on the ground and is netting only 92.3 rushing yards per game. DC has also dominated the turnover game, with 13 takeaways to just three turnovers in those three victories.
Scouting Rose-Hulman - The Fightin' Engineers are also riding a win streak into play on Saturday, fresh off of victories over Mount St. Joseph (13-7) and Bluffton (40-13). The six-point win at Mount St. Joseph was the only road victory in four tries for Rose-Hulman during the 2010 season. R-H features one of the most balanced offensive attacks in the HCAC, averaging 167.9 rushing yards and 165.3 passing yards per game. On the defensive side of the ball, the Engineers rank second among all conference squads by holding foes to 128.4 rushing yards per game. The weakness for Rose-Hulman has been its pass defense, which ranks last in the league by giving up 268.0 yards per outing.
Last Meeting - Defiance scored 14-unanswered points in the fourth quarter to pull out a 28-21 victory in Terre Haute on October 17, 2009. Jon Carrabino had a breakout day with 166 total yards of offense and the first two scores of the day for Defiance, while Anthony Sierra returned one of his two interceptions 30 yards for a game-tying touchdown early in the final quarter. Eric Rubio collected DC's third interception of the afternoon and Kyle Longsdorf tallied nine tackles, one sack and a fumble recovery. Scott Eaton led the Rose-Hulman defense with 16 hits, while Kyle Kovach ended with 55 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries for the Engineers.
Series History - Defiance holds a 3-1 edge in the brief all-time history between the Jackets and the Fightin' Engineers on the gridiron that spans the past four seasons. DC and Rose-Hulman have split the two meetings at Coressel Stadium, with Rose-Hulman winning, 28-21, in the last meeting on DC's home field on November 18, 2008. All four meetings have been determined by seven points or less, with the collective score favoring Defiance by a 95-90 margin.
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 49-7 win against Anderson on October 23 then pushed Taylor to 35 career victories on the sidelines for the Purple and Gold and just one win shy of tying Malen Luke (1988-1993) for the most victories in program history with 36.
Longsdorf Tackling the Record Books - Senior free safety, Kyle Longsdorf, has piled up 97 tackles through the first seven games of the 2010 campaign. With three games remaining on the schedule, Longsdorf needs 32 solo stops to match Chris Hobson's 1987 single-season record of 85 and needs 24 assisted tackles to reach Nate Schaublin's 2001 single-season mark of 72. Longsdorf is currently on pace to end with 139 total stops, which would rate as one of the finest seasons in program history.
Making History - Defiance set a new Coressel Stadium scoring record in its 49-7 triumph against Anderson last weekend. The 49 points were the most scored by a Yellow Jacket team since Coressel Stadium was built prior to the 1994 campaign. The last time DC scored more than 49 came in a 59-14 rout of Bluffton on November 6, 1993 in a game played at Defiance High School.
First, Second and Third Time is a Charm for Longsdorf - Kyle Longsdorf continued his amazing 2010 campaign in DC's 49-7 win over Anderson and was named as the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's Defensive Player of the Week for the third-straight time. Longsdorf had 13 stops against the Ravens and ran an interception back 20 yards for a score. Longsdorf has now intercepted a pass in three-straight outings and returned one for a score in each of DC's past two contests.
Kuesel Runs Away With HCAC Accolade - Drew Kuesel picked up his first HCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Week honor after shredding Anderson and setting new career highs with 225 yards and three touchdowns in a 49-7 win against the Ravens. Kuesel had runs of 28, 43 and 50 yards en route to netting 8.3 yards per rush over 27 attempts.
Jackets in the National Rankings - DC's Kyle Longsdorf enters Saturday's game ranked fourth in the nation in tackles per game (13.9) and Austin Hedderly ranks 25th in sacks per game (1.0). Anthony Sierra has also made his way up the charts by netting 13.1 yards per punt return to rank 25th in the nation in that category.
Jackets Among the HCAC Leaders - The Yellow Jackets continue to have several individuals rank at or near the top of HCAC statistical categories. Kyle Longsdorf leads all conference players with 13.9 tackles per game, while Joemese Scott and Austin Hedderly are tied atop the standings with seven sacks and Scott is tied with Hunter Robertson atop the list with two fumble recoveries. DC's powerful rushing attack has Rick Powell ranking second in the HCAC with 98.6 rushing yards per game and Drew Kuesel sitting in fourth with 81.7.
Around the HCAC - As the 2010 campaign winds down, Franklin continues to pace the HCAC with an unblemished conference record of 5-0 and will hope to climb to 6-0 with a game at Anderson this week. Defiance (4-1) and Rose-Hulman (3-2) will battle for second place on Saturday, while Hanover (4-1) tries to keep pace with a road date with Bluffton.
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.