By Mitch Blankespoor
MANCHESTER, IN – After quarterbacking Kalamazoo to a win in its home opener, sophomore Justin Danzy looked to do the same in a Sept. 14 game at Manchester (Ind.). The Southfield native connected on 28 of 42 pass attempts for 311 yard and three touchdowns to lead K to a 31-21 win over the Spartans of Manchester College.
"Justin [Danzy] was outstanding today," Kalamazoo Head Coach Jaime Zorbo said. "He spread the ball around well today, and was instrumental in keeping the chains moving."
Manchester opened the scoring midway through the first quarter on a one-yard touchdown run from Nick Williams. The Spartans would lead 7-0 until the 4:26 mark in the first half when Danzy connected with senior wide receiver Josh Wise on a nine-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at seven.
Manchester responded with a 75-yard touchdown drive in three minutes and 49 seconds to regain the lead. The Spartans needed to defend K for just 27 seconds to take the lead into halftime. Hornet running back Elijah Hamilton-Wray did not let that happen. The sophomore scampered 57 yards into the end zone.
Kalamazoo received the second half kickoff, but would be forced to punt. The Hornet defense picked up their offense, forcing a punt from Manchester. With 11:52 on the clock, Danzy along with senior running back Erran Briggs drove K into the red zone. After an incomplete pass intended for junior wide receiver Aaron McGuire, placekicker Jacob Hardy connected on a 28-yard field goal to give K its first lead of the game, 17-14.
Danzy would throw two more touchdown passes in the third quarter, one to Wise and the other to Briggs. The Hornet defense would surrender just a single touchdown in the second half.
"Our defense really stepped up in the second half," Zorbo said. "Our offense did its job earning key first downs."
Hamilton-Wray led the Hornets on the ground with 83 yards. Briggs and Danzy added 57 and 50 yards respectively. Wise hauled in 11 receptions for 111 yards.
Williams led the Spartans in defeat with 261 yards passing. The quarterback also led Manchester in rushing with 74 yards on 28 attempts.
As a team, Kalamazoo tallied 462 yards of offense while converting 7-16 third down conversions.
"We got better from week one to week two," said Zorbo.
Kalamazoo returns home to Angell Field next week Saturday, Sept. 21, when it hosts Benedictine (Ill.).