Spartans start two-game road swing

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Looking to even its 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference record, Manchester University (1-2 overall, 0-1 HCAC) faces off against preseason favorite and six-time defending champion Franklin College Saturday, Sept. 30.

Game details: Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. at FC’s Faught Stadium … Live audio, stats and video are available via links at, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … Franklin’s edge in the all-time series is 38-20-1 and includes winning 19 in a row. The Grizzlies took a 41-27 decision last fall in North Manchester.

Spartan Shorts: Sophomore running back Donovan Henderson, Jr., (Hollywood, Fla.) has grabbed the attention of many individuals, starting off the season on a strong ground pace. His three rushing touchdowns are tied for third in the conference and his 74.3 yards per game average, spotlighted by going over the 100 mark last weekend in a 31-14 loss to Mt. St. Joseph, is the HCAC’s third-highest … Coach Nate Jensen’s passing offense is also in the loop top 10. Sophomore quarterback Alex Downard (Indianapolis, Ind.) is tied for eighth in touchdown passes (three) and his 158 yards per game are eighth-highest. Senior tight end Jared Bourff (Elwood, Ind.), one of his favorite targets, is tied for eighth in touchdown receptions (two) … On the defensive side, senior linebacker Jack Kay (Williamsport, Ind.)finds himself among the league leaders again, as his 8.3 tackles per game rank sixth. Defensive coordinator Brad Higginson’s unit has proven opportunistic through three weeks, too. Junior defensive back Austin Coughlin (Fairland, Ind.) is tied for third with two interceptions, while sophomore defensive back De’Lon Barnes (Los Angeles, Calif.) is one of 18 players with a fumble recovery, and Kay and sophomore defensive lineman Nolan Sipe (Fort Wayne, Ind.) are within a group of 24 that have forced a fumble … Senior Dakota Nelson (Fairland, Ind.) is providing big returns for the Spartans’ special teams. He’s in the NCAA Division III top 10 in all-purpose yards (211.67 – No. 6), combined kick return yardage (455 – No. 3) and kickoff return touchdowns (one). He’s one of just 20 across the country to take a kickoff to the house.

Road Trip Resumes: MU takes its road show eastward Saturday, Oct. 7, for a 1:30 p.m. start at Defiance College.

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