NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. – Manchester University welcomed back its alumni for the 2019 Homecoming football game at historic Burt Field on Saturday October 12.
Following a special groundbreaking ceremony for its new athletic stadium, which will be completed in June 2020, held earlier in the morning, the Spartans battled the HCAC-leading Lions of Mount St. Joseph on the gridiron.
After shutting the Lions out through one quarter of play, MSJ's offense became difficult to slow the remainder of Saturday's contest as the Spartans fell by a final score of 47-14.
The Lions tallied a burst of scores just before the half, finding the end zone three times during a three-minute stretch that gave the visitors a 26-0 edge at the intermission.
Manchester scored a pair of touchdowns in the second half, scoring once in the third quarter and once again in the fourth quarter.
Manchester's first TD came on an 18-yard trick-play pass from Brian Antoine (Port St. Lucie, Fla./Treasure Coast) to Harrington Greer (South Bend, Ind./Riley). MU's other score came on a 5-yard run courtesy of Donavan Henderson, Jr. (Hollywood, Fla./Hollywood Hills). Henderson provided the bulk of Manchester's offense, carrying the ball 30 times for 171 yards. Henderson averaged 5.7 yards a carry and his longest rush of the day went for 41 yards. Donavan crossed the 3,000 yard rushing threshold and is just 115 yards shy of breaking MU's all-time rushing record.
For the Lions, Chaiten Tomlin, the HCAC-leader in passing yards and touchdowns, threw for 390 yards and five touchdowns, bringing his season TD total to 23. Tomlin connected with Cornell Beachem for a 90-yard TD strike in the third quarter. Beachem finished with 284 yards of total offense and four scores (3 receiving, 1 rushing).
Sean Sullivan returned an interception for a touchdown for Mount St. Joseph.
Mount St. Joseph improved to 5-0, 3-0 HCAC this season. The Lions still maintain a half-game lead over Hanover for first-place in the conference standings. The Spartans now sit at 1-4, 0-2 HCAC this fall. Manchester University will be on the road next weekend, traveling to Franklin College on Saturday October 19. Kickoff against the Grizzlies is set for 1:30 p.m.