Manchester and Anderson Fall on Football’s Opening Thursday Night

Manchester and Anderson Fall on Football’s Opening Thursday Night

GREENWOOD, IN - Manchester College (0-1, 0-0 HCAC) let a 14-7 fourth quarter lead slip away as visiting Trine (1-0) scored nine unanswered points to claim the season opener 16-14.  Anderson (0-1, 0-0 HCAC) fell behind early and could never mount a comeback as the Ravens lost to Taylor (1-0), 31-16, in the annual Wagon Wheel game.

Manchester's offense did its part, racking up 337 yards and 20 first downs against the Thunder defense.  Senior running back Brandon Wells (Woodburn, Ind./Woodlan) rushed for 43 yards and added 79 yards receiving, including a 52 yard touchdown reception to open the game's scoring.  Senior quarterback Caleb Grimes (South Haven, Mich./H.S.) was effective, finishing 22 of 37 for 209 yards and a touchdown.  Grimes also led the team in rushing with 77 yards on 16 carries.

Anderson could not overcome the Trojan deficit the entire night as the Ravens dropped their second consecutive Wagon Wheel game.  The Ravens won the statistical battle with 297 yards of offense but turned the ball over to their rivals five times on the night.

Junior quarterback Mitch Grider (Brookville, Ind./Franklin Co.) completed 18 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.  Grider connected with Michael Joyce (Pendleton, Ind./Pendleton Heights) early in the first quarter and concluded the game's scoring with a 16 yard touchdown strike to Shane Peacock (Winchester, Ind./H.S.).  Peacock led all AU receivers with 131 yards on 10 receptions.

The rest of the HCAC football opening weekend schedule kicks off Saturday afternoon.

Defending champion Franklin College heads to Baldwin-Wallace to face the Yellow Jackets of the Ohio Athletic Conference Saturday afternoon.  The Grizzlies defeated BWC 42-35 in the season opener a year ago.  Franklin's offense rose to the occasion in last season's opener, scoring 21 straight points to earn the victory.  Kickoff from Berea, Ohio is slated for 1:30 PM.

Rose-Hulman travels to Earlham College for the 2009 opener.  The Engineers defeated the Quakers 42-35 at Cook Stadium last year.  The two squads went back and forth throughout the contest before Rose found the end zone with 13 seconds left.  Quarterback Derek Eitel (Marshall, Ill./H.S.) plunged in from one yard out to give RHIT the win, capping off a three play, eight yard drive.  Rose will look for more success in stopping the Earlham offense, as the Quakers racked up 495 yards in the defeat.  Kickoff from Richmond, IN is set for 1:00 PM.

Bluffton plays host to Alma in the Beavers' home opener.  BU fell to the Scots 49-0 to open last season and will look for improvement Saturday afternoon.  Bluffton finished last season's showdown with only nine first downs and 167 total yards, while the Scots racked up 328 yards against the Bluffton defense.  Kickoff is set for 1:00 PM. 

Defiance opens the season at home against Muskingum College.  The Yellow Jackets hope to begin the 2009 season as hot as they ended the 2008 campaign.  DC posted four straight wins to end the year after starting the season 0-6.  The Yellow Jackets struggled moving the ball on offense, mustering only 158 total yards, eight first downs, and three fumbles in last year's 35-10 defeat to the Fighting Muskies.  Kickoff from Defiance is slated for 1:30 PM.

Hanover plays host to Centre College in the 2009 football opener.  The Panthers fell to the Colonels 46-22 to open last season.  Hanover fell behind 32-0 heading into the fourth quarter and will look for better results on their home turf Saturday afternoon.  The Panthers only gained 22 yards on the ground against the Centre defense and also was out-gained by Centre 366 to 193 in total offense.  Kickoff from L.S. Ayers Field is set for 1:30 PM.

Mount St. Joseph and Wilmington will cap off the HCAC opening weekend over in Ohio.  The Lions defeated the Quakers 21-7 in last season's opener.  The Mount dominated Wilmington offensively and defensively in route to their sixth straight win over their former conference rival.  MSJ outnumbered Wilmington 26 first downs to 11 and out-gained the Quakers 534 to 184 in total offense.  Kickoff is set for 7:00 PM.

Sept. 5 Schedule




Sept. 5

Rose-Hulman at Earlham

1:00 PM


Alma at Bluffton

1:00 PM


Franklin at Baldwin-Wallace

1:30 PM


Muskingum at Defiance

1:30 PM


Centre at Hanover

1:30 PM


Mount St. Joseph at Wilmington

7:00 PM