Rose-Hulman slips past Manchester in wild HCAC battle

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NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – In a wild Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference clash that saw the lead change hands six times, visiting Rose-Hulman reeled off a 17-point run late in the third period and throughout the fourth period to hold off Manchester University 44-30 Saturday, Sept. 28.

The Spartans, dropping to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in league play, rolled up 328 yards of offense. Senior quarterback Nick Williams (Fort Wayne, Ind.) topped the home team's individual marks, throwing for 148 and rushing for just under 100 (96) yards. Junior wide receiver Collin Huffine (Centerville, Ind.) and freshman wide receiver Dakota Nelson (Fairfield, Ind.) shared the Black and Gold receptions' lead with five each.

MU got out to another quick start at Carl W. Burt Memorial Field, posting a pair of first half touchdowns. Williams scampered around left end for an 11-yard scoring run midway through the first period, giving the Spartans a 6-0 edge. He then came back, after Rose-Hulman closed the first quarter with a scoring drive of its own, and hit junior fullback Michael Love (Bloomfield, Ind.) with a 24-yard touchdown pass down the seam for a 13-7 advantage early in the second period. From that point, the Fightin' Engineers tallied the final 13 points of the half, behind a 76-yard march to paydirt and a fumbled punt in the end zone, to lead 20-13 at halftime.

The second half saw more of the same. Rose-Hulman senior quarterback Ryan Landwehr, as part of a 20-of-33 passing effort for 298 yards and three touchdowns, hit on two scoring strikes in the third quarter, while MU freshman kicker Riley Ellington (Indianapolis, Ind.) converted a 32-yard field goal, and junior running back Austin Adams (Dowagiac, Mich.) beat the R-H defense to the pylon on a nine-yard touchdown run making the count 34-30 in favor of the visitors after three stanzas.

Trailing 37-30 after the Fightin' Engineers hit a field goal early in the final frame, a fumbled punt in Rose-Hulman territory, recovered by junior running back and special teams' player Alex Stock (Indianapolis, Ind.) at the 38, brought the home crowd to life in the final 10 minutes. However, continuing the theme of equaling the Spartans, Rose-Hulman picked off an errant aerial on MU's first play from scrimmage. The visitors added a late-game scoring drive of 59 yards with just over a minute and a half left to put the game out of reach.

Manchester University continues the 2013 HCAC campaign with Bluffton University of Ohio's trip to North Manchester for Homecoming 2013 Saturday, Oct. 5.

NOTES: Despite a 470-yard output by Rose-Hulman, the Black and Gold defense was active with the fumble recovery and six pass break-ups during the afternoon … Senior linebacker Dylin Kennedy (North Manchester, Ind.), resuming an impressive year, registered a unit-best eight tackles. Junior linebacker Evan West (Hartford City, Ind.) and senior linebacker Zach Dashner (South Bend, Ind.) were close behind with 7.5 and seven tackles, respectively.

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