Olivet football team beats Wisconsin Lutheran, 14-10, in home-opener

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OLIVET, Mich. – The Olivet College football team held Wisconsin Lutheran College scoreless in the second half en route to a 14-10 win over the Warriors this afternoon in its home-opener at the Cutler Athletic Complex in Olivet. With the win, the Comets improve to 2-0 on the season, while Wisconsin Lutheran drops to 0-2.

The Warriors scored the first touchdown of the game on their first play of the second quarter. Mike Reeves caught a screen pass from quarterback Drew Dyrssen and raced 94 yards down the sideline for the score.

The teams traded possessions before Olivet also used a big pass play to tie the game at 7-7. On its first play from the scrimmage, sophomore Braden Black (Battle Creek/Harper Creek) completed a 53-yard touchdown pass to sophomore Jason Barbosa (Trenton). Senior Anthony Edwards (Clarksville/Lakewood) made the PAT kick.

Wisconsin Lutheran took a 10-7 lead at halftime behind a 20-yard field goal by Matt Grams with 15 seconds left before the break.

After stopping the Warriors on fourth down, the Comets needed just four plays and 61 yards to score what proved to be the game-winning touchdown with 1:10 left in the third quarter. Black capped the drive with a 48-yard touchdown pass to freshman Dan Hugan (Ann Arbor/Huron), and Edwards split the uprights on the PAT kick.

The fourth quarter was a defensive battle between the two teams. Wisconsin Lutheran got the ball back at its own 35-yard line with 2:27 left. On a third down play with under 30 seconds left, junior Ryan Armstrong (Rives Junction/Leslie) sacked the quarterback to set-up one a fourth down play. On that play, the quarterback threw an incomplete pass to preserve the Comets' win.

For the game, Olivet had 337 yards of total offense. Black completed 18-of-29 passes for 232 yards. Hugan was the leading receiver with seven catches for 115 yards. Barbosa was next with four receptions for 77 yards. Freshman Alante Sims (Lansing/Waverly) had 16 carries for 68 yards.

The Comets' defense recorded 13 tackles for loss, including six sacks. Sophomore Nate Roberts (Grand Rapids/Forest Hills Central) registered a game-high 14 tackles, with 2.5 for negative yards. Junior Ryan Sersaw (Clare) was next with nine tackles and a forced fumble.

Wisconsin Lutheran finished with 409 yards of total offense. Dyrssen was 22-of-41 for 321 yards. Mitch Skarban caught five passes for 48 yards, while Reeves and Matt Gorby each had three catches for 88 and 69 yards, respectively. Reeves also led the Warriors ground game with 16 rushes for 46 yards.

Both teams will now prepare for games next week in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association-Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference Challenge. Olivet will host Rockford (Ill.) College and Wisconsin Lutheran will return to Michigan to play Hope College. Both games will kick-off at 1 p.m. 

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