NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – A juggernaut rushing attack, coupled with some big takeaways from its defense, lifted Manchester University to a 42-13 win over Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Anderson University Saturday, Nov. 16.
Senior quarterback Nick Williams (Fort Wayne, Ind.), one of 20 players stepping onto the natural grass at Carl W. Burt Memorial Field for the last time, took advantage of the opportunity. He rushed for 148 yards on 29 carries and scored three touchdowns to propel the rushing attack. MU finished the ground assault with 61 attempts for 232 yards.
Claiming the coveted Bronze Ball for the fifth time in the last six years, MU (3-7 overall, 3-5 HCAC) was also in the right place at the right time at some critical stages. The trend started early.
After being forced to punt on its first drive, the defense stepped up with senior linebacker Zach Dashner's (South Bend, Ind.) sixth interception of the year. The Spartans marched from the Ravens' 35 to the three-yard line before being forced to try a field goal. Despite freshman place-kicker Riley Ellington's (Indianapolis, Ind.) attempt being blocked, senior offensive lineman Eric Courter (Elkhart, Ind.) grabbed the ball out of the air and went into the end zone for a touchdown.
Another highlight reel play occurred after AU (0-10, 0-8 HCAC) had trimmed the deficit to 14-7 early in the second period. Freshman return specialist Dakota Nelson (Fairland, Ind.), continuing to make his mark in the conference and NCAA Division III, broke loose down the right sideline for an 84-yard kickoff touchdown return. Williams added two of his rushing scores in the second period for a 28-7 halftime lead.
Manchester University posted a pair of touchdowns in the final quarter. Junior linebacker Evan West (Hartford City, Ind.) was the recipient of a bad snap that rolled into the Ravens' end zone for a touchdown, while Williams bowled in from three yards out to end the six-touchdown Senior Day 2013 special.
The Black and Gold defense concluded the afternoon with four interceptions, two fumble recoveries, eight pass break-ups and three sacks as part of a strong resume. Senior linebacker Dylin Kennedy (North Manchester, Ind.) joined the career 200-tackle club with 11 total of which six were solos. Dashner added eight, while underclassmen defensive backs Taylor Anglemeyer, a sophomore from Wakarusa, Ind., and freshman Jarvis Mitchell (South Bend, Ind.) ended with five tackles each.