DEFIANCE, Ohio - A defensive day at Justin F. Coressel Stadium saw the Defiance College football team fall to the Manchester Spartans for the second time in 2019 with a 19-0 defeat.
The Defiance faithful, on Veterans Appreciation Day, were treated to an exciting first half of football. A long Manchester drive, beginning from the Spartans' 43, had the Yellow Jackets pinned to their own goal line as they looked to keep the score locked at 0-0 in the first quarter. With one of the HCAC's leading rushers bearing down on the end zone on fourth down, Hunter Stettner (Holladay, Tenn./Camden Central) came up with the goal line stand to regain possession for the Purple and Gold.
Trailing just 2-0 via an early safety, Head Coach Manny Matsakis' side continued to contain the Spartans offense. Once again pushing their way to the end zone, the Spartans were met by a swarm of Yellow Jackets at the one-yard line. Michael Myers (Tampa, Fla./Middleton) found his way to the ball, stripping away a fumble that was recovered by fellow Yellow Jacket Ahmad Burroughs (Irvington, N.J./American History) in the end zone.
Another huge Defiance defensive stand came midway through the second quarter. As the Spartans looked to extend their lead with a 27-yard field goal, Elmer Brewer (Cordova, Tenn./Drew Central) reached up and got a hand to the Manchester kick. The juniors's block was recovered by Damon Thomas (Imperial Beach, Calif./Mar Vista) as the Yellow Jackets fired up the crowd.
The Yellow Jacket defense was not yet done making big plays. As time wound down in the half, Myers continued his day as he leapt up to claim and interception in the end zone, once again stifling the Manchester attack.
Brewer continued his blocking festivities midway through the fourth quarter. This time with the Spartans looking to flip the field on a punt, the Cordova, Tennessee native penetrated the MU line and blocked the punt to give DC possession just outside the red zone.
Defensively, the Yellow Jackets held Manchester to a season-low scoring output of 19 points while forcing three fumbles and grabbing one interception.
Andres Riley-Clark (Copperas Cove, Tex./Copperas Cove) led the way in the tackles department. The freshman recorded ten total tackles, seven of which were solo efforts. Thomas Coltrain (Leslie, Mich./Leslie) followed close behind with eight tackles of his own in the affair.
Burroughs added one pass breakup to go along with his forced fumble and fumble recovery. In the backfield, Thomas pitched in two tackles-for-loss while Rigo Villa (Ft. Myers. Fla./Lehigh) and Ja'qway Janvier (Miami Gardens, Fla./Mater Academy) also put pressure in the backfield with one TFL each.
On the offensive side of the ball, Reggie Washington (Laurel, Md./Aberdeen) led the way from the pocket. The senior threw for an even 100 yards including a 21-yard long.
From the backfield, Brandon Beckford (West Palm Beach, Fla./Flanagan) recorded a team-high 53 yards rushing while averaging 5.3 yards per play on just ten attempts. Washington also contributed to the rushing efforts with his legs as he rushed for 18 yards on the day.
With the defeat, Defiance falls to 0-9 on the season and 0-6 in HCAC play. The Yellow Jackets will return home one last time in 2019 as they take on Bluffton on Saturday, November 16. The annual Battle for the Hammer is slated for a 1:30 pm kickoff at Coressel Stadium.