NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – It's the 52nd edition of the Manchester University – Defiance College series Saturday, Oct. 7.
Game details: Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. at Justin F. Coressel Stadium on DC's campus between the Spartans (1-3 overall, 0-2 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference) and Yellow Jackets (1-4 overall, 1-2 HCAC) … Live audio, stats and video are available via links at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … Defiance holds a 30-21 lead all-time, but the Black and Gold have won six of the last nine.
Spartan Shorts: Sophomore running back Donovan Henderson, Jr. (Hollywood, Fla.) continues to impress in the Black and Gold offensive backfield, averaging 66.8 yards per game and scoring four touchdowns to lead a stout rushing attack. His numbers translate well on the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference charts, too, as he's tied for second in most rushing scores and his yards per game average is fourth-highest. MU's ground success doesn't stop there. Freshmen Cornelius Hawkins (Houston, Texas) and Casey Lawrence (Fort Wayne, Ind.) have strong yards-per-carry averages of 7.6 and 3.9, respectively … The passing game has also produced some highlights through four games. Sophomore quarterback Alex Downard (Indianapolis, Ind.) has a run of six straight triple-digit yardage games in tow with three of those going for 200-or-more. He's shared the wealth among his receiving corps, too, as 12 individuals have at least one reception with his favorite target package consisting of the quartet of seniors Dakota Nelson (Fairland, Ind.) (24 receptions – 250 yards – two touchdowns) and Bailey Partington (Lapel, Ind.) (seven receptions – 139 yards – one touchdown) and sophomores Austin Roberts (Indianapolis, Ind.) (eight receptions – 83 yards) and Henderson (six catches – 62 yards). Other substantial numbers for the Spartans' receivers come from senior tight end Jared Bourff (Elwood, Ind.) (four catches – 76 yards – two touchdowns) and senior wide receiver Loche Daiss (Sheridan, Ind.) (three catches – 46 yards – one touchdown) … Nelson continues to be among the best in NCAA Division III in all-purpose yardage, ranking third with an average of 239.5 per game. He's also first in the nation in kickoff return touchdowns (one of 22 to do so) and combined kick return yardage (644) … Manchester University's defensive statistics show five individuals with 20-or-more tackles. Senior linebacker Jack Kay (Williamsport, Ind.) tops the list (32), as sophomore defensive back De'Lon Barnes (Los Angeles, Calif.) (29); junior defensive back Dillon Nelson (Fairland, Ind.) (23); senior linebacker Mitch Oskam (St. John, Ind.) (21); and senior defensive back Wayne Smith (Columbia City, Ind.) (20) follow close behind. Among the remaining statistical leaders for defensive coordinator Brad Higginson's group are freshman linebacker WanYa Thomas (Memphis, Tenn.) (three and a half tackles for losses); junior defensive back Austin Coughlin (Fairland, Ind.) (two interceptions); and Barnes (one fumble recovery).
Homecoming 2017: Rose-Hulman visits Carl. W. Burt Memorial Field for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday, Oct. 14.