Manchester University begins its second set of back-to-back home games at Carl W. Burt Memorial Field Saturday, Sept. 28. The Spartans, seeking to end a three-game losing skid, host Rose-Hulman at 1:30 p.m. in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
Game specifics: Fans, friends and alumni of MU can check out live audio, statistics and video from Saturday's game at www.muspartans.com, the Internet home of Manchester University athletics … Saturday's game is also part of the HCAC's recognition of the Samaritan's Feet initiative. Their mission is to equip ten million impoverished children with ten million shoes in ten years. Since beginning in 2003, Samaritan's Feet has helped 4 million people in 60 countries. They also have partnerships with the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Committee).
SERIES HISTORY: Rose-Hulman holds a 16-7 edge all-time which includes three consecutive decisions. Close-knit finishes have been the norm of late with the last two meetings as proof. A year ago, a furious second half rally in Terre Haute nearly guided the Black and Gold to a win last season with R-H hanging on 28-26, while in 2011, in North Manchester, the Fightin' Engineers withstood three fourth quarter opportunities for MU's offense to gain a 26-20 win. Each of the last six contests has been decided by six points or less.
SPARTAN SHORTS: The Spartans' visit to No. 14-ranked D3Football.com and No. 20-ranked American Football Coaches Association Division III Franklin Sept. 21 was spotlighted by an 18-play, 71-yard scoring drive that stretched from the late stages of the third quarter into the fourth quarter. Sophomore quarterback Logan Haston (Avon, Ind.), as part of a 121-yard afternoon through the air, hit sophomore wide receiver D.J. Powell (Angola, Ind.) on a seven-yard scoring strike. The Spartans' offense did manage 15 first downs and nearly 250 yards of total offense against the conference preseason favorites … Senior linebacker Zach Dashner (South Bend, Ind.) picked up an interception that highlighted the Spartans' defensive efforts. Fellow senior linebacker Dylin Kennedy (North Manchester, Ind.) added a team-leading 10 tackles … Player of the Week honors for the Franklin game went to senior offensive lineman Eric Courter (Elkhart, Ind.), senior defensive back Nick Miller (Huntington, Ind.), freshman Dakota Nelson (Fairland, Ind.) for his special teams plays and freshman offensive lineman Eric Weitholter (Zionsville, Ind.) and freshman linebacker Steve Masters (Wheatfield, Ind.) for their Gold team efforts … Manchester University has two team and two individual statistical categories ranked in the NCAA Division III statistics' report for games played through Sept. 21. Kennedy is fourth in solo tackles (9.7) and 19th in tackles per game (12.7), while the Black and Gold is second in punt return average (27.2 yards per return) and seventh in fewest penalties per game (3.33) … Looking at Saturday's game, head coach Shannon Griffith had the following comments – "I see Rose-Hulman as comparable to Kalamazoo. They have a good defense with guys that fly around to the football and a solid quarterback with a good arm. They also have a couple of guys in their receiving corps that can make plays. On our end, it comes down to making plays within the structure of the offensive and defensive units. I feel our preparation has been good each week with practices going well, but we just can't seem to transition that into game situations. Some of that is due to being a little beat up, which we still are, but we have guys that are capable of stepping in and performing well."
Homecoming 2013: Bluffton University of Ohio comes to North Manchester for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff Saturday, Oct. 5.