RICHMOND, IND. - The Defiance College football team dominated the Earlham College Quakers 28-10 on Saturday afternoon in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference en route to the team and head coach Manny Matsakis first victory of the season.
The Yellow Jackets (1-8 overall, 1-6 HCAC) recorded 406 total yards of offense, including a season-best 203 yards rushing. Senior Corey Bennett (Tampa, Fla./Blake) posted a strong performance as he registered his third 100 yard game of the season, tallying 131 yards on the ground. Senior Jalin Nealy (Pontiac, Mich./West Bloomfield) led the defensive efforts recording a blocked field goal, interception and seven tackles.
Earlham struck first in the contest taking the opening drive 53 yards before the Yellow Jackets haulted the ball holding the Quakers to a field goal with 10:12 remaining in the opening period.
Defiance looked to get something going on the following drive as they opened on their on 50 yard line. Bennett led the charge getting the call on four straight plays to get Defiance within the Quakers 30 yard line. However, the turnover plague struck again as Earlham forced a turnover late in the drive stalling the Yellow Jackets.
The DC defense continued to have success as they held the Quakers scoreless while the offense found its groove. Senior, safety, Beau Barkley (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Churubusco) would provide the momentum the Yellow Jackets needed as he picked off the Earlham quarterback midway through the second to setup the offense. With 9:13 to play before half, sophomore quarterback, Logan Mico (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) went to work piloting the offense 52 yards on three plays for the go ahead score, 7-3. Bennett would be the work horse for DC as he broke out into the open field for a 33 yard rush on second and 11 to put Defiance inside the Earlham 20. Mico then went to the air as he found junior Jacob Vorce (Paw Paw, Mich.) in the end zone for a 20 yard hook up.
The Yellow Jackets continued to bring the hammer as they got the ball to open the second half and wasted little time finding the end zone once more. Mico again relied on his arm to get the job done as he found freshman Demarquis Cummings (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) for a 45 yard completion and another Defiance touchdown, 14-3.
Earlham looked to respond as they traveled into DC territory setting up for the 29 yard field goal attempt that was blocked by Nealy who returned the ball 45 yards to the Quaker 40 yard line. However, the Earlham defense responded on the following play picking off Mico to get the ball back with 8:50 remaining in the third.
But Nealy struck again as he continued to have a strong defensive performance picking off the Earlham quarterback setting the stage for another Defiance score, 21-3.
Defiance would tack on its final score of the contest late in the third period as they traveled 50 yards on five plays. The Yellow Jackets used a huge completion on fourth and eight as Mico again found Cummings to keep the drive alive before hooking up with senior Nate Roberts (St. Petersburg, Fla./Boca Ciega) on the next play for the score, 28-3.
The Quakers scored the games final points with 6:42 remaining in the contest as they went 68 yards on three plays for their first touchdown, 28-10.
Defiance forced five turnovers and recorded two sacks in the contest.
The Yellow Jackets return to action on Saturday, Nov. 10 as they travel to area rival Bluffton. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.