Set of back-to-back home games continues

NORTH MANCHESTER, IND. – Manchester University moves into the home stretch of the 2017 season Saturday, Oct. 21, as Bluffton University visits Carl W. Burt Memorial Field.

Game details: Kickoff is 1:30 p.m. … Live audio, stats and video are accessible via links at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … The Spartans, with four games remaining, sit 2-4 overall and 1-3 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. They’re coming off a 44-13 Homecoming 2017 loss at the hands of league co-leader Rose-Hulman last weekend. BU is 2-2 in conference action and 2-4 overall after dropping a 31-28 thriller at Hanover Oct. 14 … It’s been back and forth the last nine seasons between the two loop members. The Beavers have won three straight, including a 34-6 decision last fall in Ohio. Even with the recent Bluffton win streak, the Black and Gold is 5-4 in the span … Fans will notice Black and Gold athletes adorned with pink on their uniforms Saturday. The program recognizes Breast Cancer Awareness Month over the course of the day.

Spartan Shorts: Coach Nate Jensen’s side received one touchdown by air and one on the ground against a stingy Fightin’ Engineers’ defensive last weekend. With approval from a partisan crowd of better than 2,000 fans for Homecoming, sophomore quarterback Alex Downard (Indianapolis, Ind.) hit senior wide receiver Dakota Nelson (Fairland, Ind.) for a second-period scoring play of 24 yards. The Black and Gold struck pay dirt again in the waning moments of the third period when sophomore running back Donovan Henderson, Jr. (Hollywood, Fla.) continued to impress with a 31-yard scamper for six that eluded several Rose-Hulman defenders. Even with those two bright moments on a picturesque October day along the Eel River to go with a second 100-yard-plus rushing effort from Henderson in league play, it wasn’t enough to off-set a hard-charging Fightin’ Engineers crew from Terre Haute. The visitors put a wet blanket on the large MU throng with a 30-0 scoring roll over a good share of the first half … Senior linebacker Jack Kay(Williamsport, Ind.), freshman linebacker Conner Sherwin (Pierceton, Ind.) and junior defensive lineman Jacob Cooper (Fairland, Ind.) topped the Spartan defensive efforts in recent action. Kay finished with ten tackles including two and a half for losses and a forced fumble, while Sherwin and Cooper wound up with seven and six, respectively. Senior defensive back Cody Shelton (South Bend, Ind.) came away with a pair of takeaways in the form of a fumble recovery and interception … Henderson, due in large part of his totals Oct. 21, remains in the league’s top five in regards to rushing yardage per game and touchdowns. His 78.7 yards per contest are tied for second, while his five scores are tied for third. Kay’s big game defensively against R-H moved him into seventh on the tackles per game charts (7.8), and Downard is part of the first 10 in passing yards per game (No. 8 – 150.5) and touchdowns (No. 8 – 6). Nelson’s a league leader in special teams returning categories and also holds lofty rankings in NCAA Division III in kickoff return touchdowns (two – tied for first with Guilford College’s De’Eric Bell); combined kickoff return yardage (No. 1 – 826); and all-purpose yards (No. 5 – 209 per game).

Road Warriors: Jensen’s crew winds its way to Earlham College Saturday, Oct. 28, and Hanover College Saturday, Nov. 4. Game times are 2:30 at EC and 1:30 at HC. Manchester University returns home for Senior Day 2017 and the Bronze Ball clash against Anderson University Saturday, Nov. 11.

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