CINCINNATI, OHIO – Manchester University reeled off three successive scores from the late stages of the second quarter and in the third stanza to give Mt. St. Joseph University a strong test on its home Schueler Field Saturday, Oct. 6.
After the high-flying Lions' offense roared out of the gate to the tune of a 28-0 lead early in the second frame, head coach Nate Jensen's crew answered back. Freshman special teams' returner Charles Stefanek (Van Wert, Ohio) got loose to the tune of 99 yards for a kickoff return score, his second of the season; senior defensive back Dillon Nelson (Fairland, Ind.) picked off an errant MSJ pass and rambled 40 yards for six; and junior running back Donovan Henderson, Jr., (Hollywood, Fla.) scored a pair of short rushing touchdowns to bring the Black and Gold to within 35-27 in the late stages of the third quarter.
MU (2-4 overall, 2-2 HCAC) did have chances with the ball trailing by just one score but the home team defense stiffened in each case. They forced a punt and then stopped freshman quarterback Bryce Tomasi (Mishawaka, Ind.) just short on a fourth down rush attempt in the Spartans' own end. From that point, the hosts went 32 yards in five plays for a touchdown and then took advantage of a fumble to add on seven more for a 49-27 final.
The offensive attack for the Spartans was led by Tomasi throwing for 100 yards and Henderson's two scores. Freshman wide receiver Harrington Greer (South Bend, Ind.) was his classmate's favorite aerial target with four catches for 40 yards. Junior linebacker Justin Thomas (Lowell, Ind.) had another big afternoon defensively with nine tackles, one of which was for a loss, and an interception, and Nelson and freshman defensive back Michael Cross (Arcadia, Ind.) tallied seven tackles each, and Cross also recovered a fumble.
Manchester University wraps up a set of back-to-back road trips Saturday, Oct. 13. They take a short eastern trek to Bluffton University of Ohio for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.