DEFIANCE, OHIO -- The Defiance College football team got first year head coach, Aaron Mershman, his first career victory as they knocked off the Earlham (Ind.) College Quakers, 34-14, on a beautiful fall Saturday at Justin F. Coressel Stadium.
The Yellow Jackets kicked off the scoring quickly, as they drove 57 yards on 11 plays on their first drive of the contest. Junior running back Corey Bennett (Tampa, Fla./Blake) wrapped up the drive with a two-yard touchdown run to put Defiance ahead, 7-0, at the 10:49 mark of the opening quarter. After holding the Quakers to a punt in their own territory, Kendrick Harvey (Clearwater, Fla.) blocked the punt and returned it into the end zone to jump Defiance's edge to 14-0 midway through the first.
After a long drive ended in a fourth down stop for the Quakers, Earlham went on for a quick three-and-out. On the first play of the ensuing possession, junior Joe Webb (West Alexandria/Twin Valley South) broke a tackle and went 45 yards to score and make it a 21-0 Defiance lead. The Quakers responded to score and cut the deficit to 21-7, where the score would remain as they entered the halftime break.
Defiance started the third quarter quickly as their second drive of the half saw freshman quarterback Logan Mico (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Grosse Pointe South) find freshman wideout Carl Stokes (Merrillville, Ind./East Chicago Central) in the corner of the end zone to make it a 27-7 DC lead. After Earlham responded with a touchdown of their own, Defiance drove straight back down the field and Mico found Stokes in the same corner to put Defiance in front, 34-14, where the score stayed to give Defiance the victory!
Mico led the charge for the offense again for the Yellow Jackets, completing 19-of-27 passes for 203 yards a pair of scoring strikes. His favorite target was sophomore DeVonte Cravin, who caught the ball eight times for 65 yards. Stokes added 83 yards on four catches with two scoring receptions. On the ground, Bennett carried the ball 20 times for 99 yards and a touchdown, while Webb averaged 11.7 yards per carry, running six times for 70 yards and a score.
Senior Markell Moncrief (Detroit, Mich./Southfield Lathrup) led the Defiance defense, making 10 tackles, forcing a fumble, and adding an interception. Freshman Cameron Elder (Sapulpa, Okla.) finished the day with six tackles, to go along with a forced fumble and an interception, as well.
As a team, the Yellow Jackets posted a season-high 407 yards of offense in the victory, with a balanced 204 yards on the ground and 203 through the air. DC also wont the time of possession battle, holding the ball for almost 33 minutes, and the turnover battle, as DC grabbed three takeaways while committing only one turnover.
The Yellow Jackets look to continue their winning ways on Saturday, Oct. 7, as they celebrate Homecoming with a matchup against Manchester University. The game is set for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff.