Spartans close season in style
ANDERSON, IND. – A stout defensive effort and a quick start helped Manchester University put the exclamation point on a historic 2012 season Saturday, Nov. 10.
Coach Shannon Griffith's Spartans (6-4, 6-2 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) limited host Anderson University (0-10, 0-8 HCAC) to 98 total yards and rolled to a 38-0 win in the annual Bronze Ball Trophy game. Manchester's offense produced 354 yards with 238 coming on the ground.
Sophomore return specialist Brice Peyton (Covington, Ind.) opened a 21-point first quarter barrage with a 67-yard punt return for a score on MU's first offensive chance. Sophomore running back Austin Adams (Dowagiac, Mich.) and junior quarterback Nick Williams (Fort Wayne, Ind.) added rushing touchdowns to close the first stanza.
The visitors weren't done moving the ball in the opening half, either. A five-yard dive from senior fullback/tight end Dante Dinkins (East Chicago, Ill.), one of two red zone scores for him, made MU four-for-four in possessions and touchdowns in the first half. The half ended with the Black and Gold going seven yards in two plays to a close a 28-0 lead.
MU did manage to add 10 more points in the second half despite Anderson's defense stiffening in the second half by forcing four punts and a fumble. Dinkins bowled in from two yards out, and senior placekicker Kyle Evans (Winamac, Ind.) drilled a 44-yard field goal to wrap up the Spartans' 38-point total.
Williams and senior wide receiver Kurt Monix (Crown Point, Ind.) led the offense. Williams rushed for an even 100 yards, while Monix hauled in a combined five receptions from Williams and freshman signal caller Logan Haston (Avon, Ind.) for 101 yards. On the defensive end of the equation, the duo of junior linebacker Zach Dashner (South Bend, Ind.) and sophomore defensive lineman Stephen Coble (Edwardsburg, Mich.) paced the shutout. Dashner registered eight tackles and a sack, while Coble proved to a thorn in the Ravens' offense's side all day with four tackles for losses and three sacks.
NOTES – The victory cinched the program's first out-right winning season since 1997. … That was also the same season that Manchester's defense registered a shutout. … Anderson leads the all-time series 45-21-1 but the Black and Gold has won four of the last five.