Spartans Rally Past Defiance in Fourth Quarter
N. MANCHESTER, Ind. – Manchester University scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to break open a 21-21 tie and held off the Yellow Jackets for a 34-28 win on Saturday afternoon. The loss snapped DC's two-game win streak and dropped Defiance to 2-2 in league contests.
The action started early in the afternoon, as Drew Feldhaus hauled in an interception on the first play from scrimmage and returned it 17 yards to the Manchester one-yard line. DC then handed the ball off to Trevon Burrell two plays later and the sophomore running back cashed it in for a 7-0 lead less than one minute into the contest.
Manchester struck right back on its next play, using a 61-yard sprint to knot the score at 7-7 but the Jackets reclaimed the lead on the next possession. DC marched 66 yards on 11 plays to take a 14-7 lead, as Garrett Teague capped the extended drive with a three-yard touchdown.
DC's Feldhaus struck again later in the second quarter to set up the third score of the day for the Purple and Gold. This time, Feldhaus pounced on a loose ball on the MU nine-yard line and Teague scampered in from 14 yards out on the next snap to put Defiance on top by a 21-14 margin with 10:52 remaining in the first half.
The Spartans tightened up from that point and began to take control of the action, eventually scoring the next three touchdowns of the game to open up a 34-21 lead with just 2:08 left in the fourth quarter.
Defiance narrowed the gap to six points with 59 seconds to go when Teague connected with Bryan Weaver for a four-yard touchdown pass but could not recover the on-side kick and saw time expire in the 34-28 defeat.
Both sides struggled to protect the ball, combining for eight turnovers. Defiance lost two on fumbles and threw a pair of interceptions. Manchester lost one fumble and had three passes picked off by the Yellow Jacket secondary.
Feldhaus excelled in his first collegiate start, ending with six tackles, one sack, two tackles for lost yardage, one fumble recovery and an interception. The pair of turnovers notched by Feldhaus led two a pair of Yellow Jacket touchdowns.
Matt Forry and Jorry Matherson joined Feldhaus in hauling in one interception each, while linebackers Hunter Robertson and Blaine McGowan combined for 21 stops. Andrew Leverenz continued his terrific season with 2.5 tackles for lost yardage to up his total for the season to 14 in six outings.
Defiance racked up 211 rushing yards to eclipse the 200-yard barrier on the ground for the third time in four Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference contests this season.
Burrell led the way with 132 rushing yards on only 14 carries and added one touchdown. Burrell averaged 9.4 yards per rush and used a 56-yard run to collect his second-straight 100-yard showing. Burrell has racked up 260 yards of rushing in his last two outings and has averaged 106.0 yards per game against HCAC foes.
Teague accounted for three touchdowns, with two coming on the ground and the third coming through the air on the completion to Weaver.
Aaron Spence anchored the special teams for Defiance by pinning Manchester inside the 20-yard line on three-of-five punts.
DC (2-4, 2-2 HCAC) will return to Coressel Stadium on October 13 to host Mount St. Joseph (2-3, 1-3 HCAC) in a 1:30 pm start.