ANGOLA, IND. – Many highlights came from the 2015 Manchester University football team on a warm night at Shive Field inside Zollner Stadium on Trine University's campus Thursday, Sept. 3.
Among the positives for head coach Shannon Griffith and his staff were sophomore running back Hunter Hardee (Fishers, Ind.) registering his second career 100-yard-plus game and a personal single-game high total of 112 yards on 19 carries; senior quarterback Logan Haston (Avon, Ind.) running a personal streak of 150-yard plus passing games to 11, as he threw for 156 yards and a touchdown during a 19-for-30 night; junior tight end Brandon Webb (Fort Wayne, Ind.) grabbing five receptions to top the receiving corps; and sophomore punter Andrew Coe (Roanoke, Ind.) putting his strong special teams skills on display throughout the evening including a 61-yard gem that trickled down the Thunder sideline and then took a direct left on a wild hop to get the Black and Gold out of the shadows of their own goal posts.
Griffith admitted, even with those things to look at, work remains ahead in the wake of a 38-14 loss to their in-state Division III rival.
"We'll look at the tape and see where some things broke down here and there," he said. "We had a hard time finishing tackles, our defensive line couldn't get off blocks against a very good offensive front, and some early opportunities for us to get on the scoreboard didn't pan out. This is a good team we saw tonight."
MU opened the game on the move. The offense marched down the field and appeared to be on the verge of posting some early points before a pair of interceptions cut each chance short. TU, after a fumble on the Spartans' 10-yard-line killed their first attempt, got their high-octane offense going from that point posting five touchdown drives of 50-yards-or-more. The ground game guided the way, as the Thunder rolled up 403 yards led by senior quarterback and reigning Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Offensive Player of the Year Taylor Masciewicz and a solid debut from freshman running back Lamar Carswell.
The Spartans rebounded from the home side's 17-point opening flourish with a sparkling six-play, 65-yard drive of their own midway through the second quarter, as Haston found Hardee in the flat and the sophomore did the rest of the damage for a 23-yard touchdown to make it 17-7. MU got the ball back twice with a chance to close further before halftime but the TU defense stiffened to keep a 10-point lead. Trine then broke the game open with a pair of long scoring marches in the third quarter.
"We need to develop depth at some positions," Griffith said looking forward. "Hunter did some good things and kept our offensive line right similar to what (Carswell) did on the other side. However, we had a lot of new faces and underclassmen get in, and there were some growing pains. It's time to regroup, take we learn from tonight and evaluate some personnel. We're going to have to have a good solid week of practice and get back to the fundamentals."
Manchester University moves into the first of two bye weeks to prepare for its 2015 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener at Earlham Saturday, Sept. 19.
NOTES: Haston climbed to second on the school's all-time career passing yardage list, while junior wide receiver Dakota Nelson (Fairland, Ind.) moved into fourth on the career receptions chart … Senior defensive back Taylor Anglemyer (Wakarusa, Ind.) turned in nine tackles, while junior linebacker Jordan Kleber (Seymour, Ind.) recovered a fumble to lead the defense.