|The Millikin defense limited Hope to less than 100 yards rushing in the second half.
Hope athletics photo
While storms delayed some of the key games of the night, Millikin and Hope were playing a great back-and-forth game in their season opener in Holland, Michigan. After Hope took a 21-19 lead into the locker room at the half, Millikin registered the only points of the second half to come away with a 25-21 victory. Elsewhere on Friday, Springfield got six rushing touchdowns from its new starting quarterback, and St. Olaf beat the storm while defeating Crown in its opener.
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In the marquee game of the night, twice delayed by weather, No. 9 Wesley defeated No. 17 Delaware Valley 34-10.
Nicco Stepina, hampered by cramping on an 80-degree night at Hope, completed 19-of-38 passes for 261 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another in the win for Millikin. He found Gerald Perry over the middle for a 17-yard touchdown with 8:40 left in the game to clinch the win on a night in which the Big Blue missed two extra-point attempts and failed to convert on a two-point try. Mason Opple proved hard to bring down for Hope, rushing for 62 yards and a touchdown, but the Millikin defense got to him eventually, sacking him five times, four of them in the second half.
Chad Shade, the new starting quarterback at Springfield, stepped right in and did what Springfield quarterbacks do -- running the ball. Shade rolled his way to 247 yards and six touchdowns on 22 carries in leading the Pride to a 42-21 win vs. Western New England in the Pynchon SAW game. Springfield racked up 445 yards of total offense, all of them on the ground.
St. Olaf and Crown got the night started with a 5 p.m. kickoff as the teams tried to avoid the weather. The Oles quieted the Storm, limiting them to minus-15 yards rushing and nine first downs, four by penalty, in a 49-14 win. Ricardo Johnson III completed 18 of 32 passes for 298 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
Dan Tette connected on a 19-yard field goal in overtime to lift Utica past St. Lawrence 9-6, while WPI rolled past Anna Maria and MIT put Becker away early. Utica quarterback Vinny Aloi forced overtime when he tied the score at 6-6 with 32 seconds left in regulation with a 20 yard touchdown run.
It was a wild night in Delaware as the Wesley-DelVal game started 45 minutes late due to poor field conditions from torrential downpours all afternoon. Then just 4:55 into the contest, there was a lightning delay that lasted 40 minutes. The final horn sounded more than four hours and 20 minutes after the originally scheduled kickoff time. Wesley scored the last 21 points of the game to secure the victory on a night in which the Wolverines honored the late Mike Drass.