TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Defiance College held Rose-Hulman to zero yards rushing, while racking up 254 yards and a trio of touchdowns on the ground. The resulting, 21-18, victory for the Yellow Jackets marked their fourth in a row and moved DC to third place in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference standings.
The Jackets missed multiple chances early into Saturday's contest, driving past the Rose-Hulman 30-yard line on their first four possessions without denting the scoreboard. The misfires did not cost Defiance however, as the host Engineers managed only one score during that time.
Defiance finally broke loose late into the second period, pounding the ball deep into R-H territory for the fifth time in as many drives with six runs on seven snaps. Joey Chester took the final play in five yards for the game-tying score with 3:06 left in the opening half. The score remained 7-7, until Rose-Hulman split the uprights from 28 yards out with time expiring to send the Jackets to the break facing a 10-7 deficit.
DC wasted no time responding in the third quarter, turning back to the run and driving 60 yards on 11 plays to take a 14-10 lead on the opening possession of the period. Drew Kuesel capped the drive and gave Defiance its first lead of the afternoon by powering in from one yard out.
Neither team would threaten again until the fourth quarter, when Defiance and Rose-Hulman traded touchdowns on the first two possessions of the frame. The Jackets struck first, ending another extended scoring drive with a four yard plunge by Kuesel to open up a 21-10 spread at the 9:41 mark, before R-H countered with a 15-play march and a two-point conversion to draw within 21-18 with 5:55 showing on the clock.
The Jackets did not score on their ensuing touch, but did chew over four minutes off the clock by taking the ball 52 yards to the Rose-Hulman 28-yard marker. The Engineers steadily moved the ball to DC's 29-yard line, but attempted the potential game-tying, 47-yard, field goal on a third-down snap and saw the ball sail wide right to seal the 21-18 Yellow Jacket victory.
The difference proved to be the performance of Defiance at the line of scrimmage, as DC ran the ball 61 times for 254 yards and all three touchdowns, while limiting Rose-Hulman to zero rushing yards on 21 carries. R-H's Kyle Kovach entered the action leading all HCAC rushers with 107.6 yards per outing but was held to 14 yards on 14 carries by the stout defense of the Purple and Gold.
The lopsided rushing numbers also allowed Defiance to dominate the clock by a 40:15 to 19:45 gap over the Engineers. DC has now rushed for at least 250 yards in two of its last three showings, while holding the opposition to an average of 36 yards on the ground.
Rick Powell led the attack with 120 rushing yards on 23 tries, with Kuesel accounting for 96 yards and two scores on 29 snaps and Chester rushing three times for 25 yards and one touchdown.
Powell also did damage through the air with 11 completions for 124 yards. Nick Wiedenhoft stayed hot with four catches for 56 yards, while Jon Carrabino hauled in four receptions.
Blaine McGowan and Patrick McDonald combined for 14 stops to anchor the strong Yellow Jacket defensive showing. McGowan also forced a fumble, while McDonald recorded one sack and two stops for negative yardage. Gregg Pickett and Andrew Leverenz also logged one sack each, while Hunter Robertson added five stops and 1.5 for lost yardage.
Defiance ended its road portion of the 2011 schedule with a 3-1 clip away from Coressel Stadium and improved to 4-4 overall and 4-2 in league play with its fourth-straight victory. DC will close the 2011 campaign with home games against Manchester (2-6, 1-6 HCAC) on November 5 and Bluffton (4-5, 4-3 HCAC) on November 12.