Black and Gold face final road trip

A two-game win streak is on the line as Manchester University returns to the road for the final time this season Saturday, Nov. 4.

Game details: Kickoff at Hanover College’s Alumni Stadium is 1:30 p.m. … Live audio, statistics, and video are accessible via a link at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … The Black and Gold are 4-4 overall and 3-3 in the conference, while Hanover stands 4-4 overall and 4-2 in loop play. The Panthers took a 49-27 victory at MU’s Carl W. Burt Memorial Field last year, but four of the previous five meetings have been decided by three-points-or-less including a 24-21 Hanover win at Alumni Stadium in 2015.

Spartan Shorts: Five first-half drives of 55 yards or more wound up with MU crossing the Earlham College goal line in HCAC action Oct. 28. Racking up just shy of 600 yards of total offense, Coach Nate Jensen’s squad used a blitzkrieg approach to build a 41-0 halftime lead against the host Quakers at Darrell Beane Stadium in route to a 48-13 victory. Sophomore running back Donovan Henderson, Jr., (Hollywood, Fla.) continued his impressive slate, going for 119 yards and two more touchdowns, while freshman backfield teammate Cornelius Hawkins (Spring, Texas) posted his first triple-digit yardage game with 111 on five carries. The aerial assault of sophomore quarterback Alex Downard (Indianapolis, Ind.) added to the gaudy totals, as he was 10 of 14 for 205 yards and the two scoring tosses to sophomore wide receiver Austin Roberts (Indianapolis, Ind.) who wound up with three total touchdowns. Defensively, the Spartans had three players lead the way in tackles, as junior defensive back Austin Coughlin (Fairland, Ind.); senior linebacker Jack Kay (Williamsport, Ind.); and sophomore linebacker Justin Thomas (Lowell, Ind.)provided five each. Coughlin also picked off Earlham signal caller Wes Hundley, while Thomas contributed three and a half tackles for losses and was in on one of two sacks … Due to a current roll of four straight games gaining 75-or-more yards, Henderson is third in the conference in ground gains per game (83.4) while remaining the rushing scores leader (nine). Digging deeper into the HCAC numbers, Downard, who’s thrown for 100-or-more yards in nine of his last 10 appearances and been over 200 four times in the span, is seventh in aerial scoring strikes (nine) and sixth in yards per game (164.6); and Kay is seventh in tackles (eight per game). Senior special teams/wide receiver standout Dakota Nelson (Fairland, Ind.) is the loop leader in all-purpose yards per contest, combined kick return yardage, kickoff return touchdowns and kickoff return yardage per attempt. All four of those totals are among the NCAA Division III top 10, as he’s tied for the kickoff return scores mark (two – with three others); is second by only two yards to Loras College of Iowa’s Walter Ollie in total kick return yards (884); is fifth in kickoff return average (29.7) and stands seventh in all-purpose gains per contest (186.13). Henderson is also part of the top 50 in rushing scores, ranked No. 42 … The Black and Gold return to their home natural grass Saturday, Nov. 11. Anderson University visits for the annual Bronze Ball clash and it’s also Senior Day 2017 for the 1:30 p.m. kickoff.

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