NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Offense was on full display at Burt Field on Saturday afternoon as the Rose-Hulman Fightin' Engineers and Manchester University Spartans traded blows to begin Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
RHIT totaled 550 yards of offense to MU's 426 and came away with a hard-fought 52-35 victory.
Rose-Hulman broke loose for several big plays in the opening half and jumped out to a 35-7 lead through two quarters of action. Andrew Dion threw TD passes of 37 and 90-yards to begin the game.
MU's lone score came in the second quarter. Facing a 3rd and 15, Donavan Henderson, Jr. (Hollywood, Fla./Hollywood Hills) busted out a 32-yard touchdown run to get the Spartans on the scoreboard.
Manchester found its footing in the second half, outscoring Rose-Hulman 28-17.
Austin Roberts (Indianapolis, Ind./North Central) threw four touchdown passes in the second half. Roberts connected with Braxton Dewey (Peru, Ind./Maconaquah) for a 9-yard score on the Spartans' first possession of the third quarter. Dewey's reception was the first of his career.
Roberts teamed up with Harrington Greer (South Bend, Ind./Riley) for three touchdowns. Roberts' final TD connection with Greer came at the 6:16 mark of the fourth quarter that drew the Spartans within 10 at 45-35.
On the day, Roberts threw for 128 yards. Greer finished with six receptions for 102 yards. The bulk of the Manchester offense came from Donavan Henderson, Jr. Henderson carried the ball 36 times for a career-best 290 yards. Donavan finished just 6-yards shy of the school record of 296 yards set by Donnie Lewis against Rose-Hulman in 1993. Henderson's longest rush of the day went for 46-yards. He averaged 8.1 yards per carry against the Fightin' Engineers. Henderson also caught one pass for eight yards.
For Rose, quarterback Andrew Dion threw for 349 yards and two scores. Running back Garrett Wight rushed for 147 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 104 yards and a score.
The Spartans (1-3, 0-1 HCAC) will be off next week before hosting Mount St. Joseph on Saturday October 12 at 1:30 p.m. at Burt Field. Manchester's matchup with Mt. St. Joseph will also be Homecoming Weekend.
Rose-Hulman (2-1, 1-0 HCAC) will take on Franklin next weekend, Saturday October 5.