Jackets Falter Against HCAC’s Top Passing Attack
HANOVER, Ind. – The Defiance College football team continued to rack up yardage with 242 rushing yards and 402 total yards of offense at Hanover on Saturday, but the Jackets could not put enough points on the board to keep pace with the Panthers in the 47-14 defeat.
The quick-hitting Hanover offense notched a pair of early strikes within 24 seconds of each other to race to a 14-0 lead in the opening quarter. The HC special teams unit set things up by downing a punt on the Defiance one-yard marker. Hanover then forced a quick three-and-out and ran the ensuing Yellow Jacket punt back 28 yards to the DC 14.
The Panthers found the end zone two plays later for a 7-0 lead, before hauling in an interception on the first play of the next Defiance drive. Hanover again needed only two plays to double the spread to 14-0 with 4:03 remaining in the first period.
Defiance bounced back with an 11-play drive on its next possession, churning nearly five minutes off the clock and marching the ball 71 yards down the field. Brian Mircovich capped the drive by catching a four-yard touchdown pass from Garrett Teague with 14:06 showing on the clock in the second quarter.
The teams then traded touchdowns, as Hanover scored at the 12:08 mark and Eric Strickland found pay dirt on a one-yard tumble with 21 seconds left in the half to draw DC within 20-14. The Panthers would have the last laugh however, using a 58-yard touchdown pass in the closing seconds to take a 27-14 lead into the break.
Hanover (5-2, 5-0 HCAC) carried the momentum into the second half, outscoring the Jackets 20-0 after the intermission to secure the 47-14 victory. The loss snapped Defiance's three-game winning streak at Hanover, giving the Panthers their first home win over the Purple and Gold since the 2004 campaign.
Joey Chester led the ground game for Defiance in the losing effort, carrying the ball 10 times for a career-high 94 yards, while Andre Doran ran the pill six times for a career-best 55 yards. The duo fueled the Jackets to their fourth-straight outing with over 200 yards rushing and the fifth-such performance in their last seven contests.
Teague and Mircovich highlighted the passing game for Defiance, as Mircovich caught six Teague offerings for 72 yards and one score. Teague ended the afternoon with 14 completions for 160 yards through the air.
Jorry Matherson led a quiet day from the DC defensive unit with a team-leading five tackles, while Rayon Calloway notched the squad's lone sack. Blaine McGowan also ended with five hits and added one tackle for lost yardage and one pass breakup.
Defiance (2-6, 2-4 HCAC) will wrap up its 2012 home schedule on Saturday, October 27 when it hosts No. 23 Franklin (5-2, 5-0 HCAC) at Justin F. Coressel Stadium. The game will have a special start time of 2:00 pm and will be webcast live at www.DefianceAthletics.com/video.