by Greg Chandler
The Hope College football team broke a 100-year-old school record for points in a game Saturday as the Flying Dutchmen rolled to an 80-6 victory over Defiance (Ohio) College in front of 2,553 fans who turned out for the 54th annual Community Day game.
The previous school record for points in a game by Hope was 71, set in 1919 against Ferris Institute (now Ferris State University) in a 71-7 win.
Hope rebounded from a 27-21 Week 1 loss at Millikin University (Illinois) to even its record at 1-1 going into the Flying Dutchmen's final nonconference test next Saturday, September 21, at Ray and Sue Smith Stadium against Aurora (Illinois) University. Kickoff is 1:30 p.m.
"We kept talking about this all week. We wanted to play the game fast to get that bad taste in our mouth gone from last week. Our guys played so hard last week but came up short," head coach Peter Stuursma said. "It was nice to get everybody in the game today, nice to have the opportunity to play on Community in front of a great crowd. What an awesome day."
It didn't take long for the Flying Dutchmen to get started. On Hope's first offensive play, sophomore running back Kenyea Houston of Chicago, Illinois (Westinghouse Prep) dashed up the middle 66 yards for a touchdown. Senior placekicker Sam Allbritten of Warsaw, Indiana (Warsaw HS) kicked the first of his school-record 11 extra points on the day, and Hope led 7-0 21 seconds into the game.
On Hope's second possession, senior quarterback Mason Opple of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville HS) found Houston wide open in the flat, and Houston took it the rest of the way for a 22-yard touchdown. It was the first of a career-high five touchdown passes for Opple, who left the game in the third quarter after completing 10 of 13 passes for 263 yards.
Later, Opple connected with senior wide receiver Christian Bos of Hudsonville, Michigan (Unity Christian HS) on a 56-yard touchdown strike, giving Hope a 21-0 lead after one quarter.
In the second quarter, Houston scored his third TD of the day on a 4-yard plunge. Opple then followed with touchdown passes of 41 yards to sophomore running back Brandon Anderson of Cassopolis, Michigan (Ross Beatty HS) and 61 yards to freshman wide receiver TJ McKenzie of Muskegon, Michigan (North Muskegon HS), and Hope led 42-6 at the half.
The Flying Dutchmen went on to outgain Defiance by a 472-228 margin. Hope totaled 19 first downs, only three more than Defiance.