N. MANCHESTER, Ind. — Defiance stayed in a one-possession game for much of the first half and held Manchester to five field goals but the Yellow Jacket offense could not muster points as DC fell to 0-5 on the year with a 22-0 road loss in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference action on Saturday afternoon.
The Yellow Jacket defense held Manchester (2-3, 2-0 HCAC) without an offensive touchdown as Andrew Kibler hit field goals from 41, 38, 25, 34 and 25 yards on Saturday while holding the Spartans to just 188 yards of total offense.
However, DC was 4-of-18 on third down, 0-for-4 on fourth down and managed just 204 offensive yards itself, including 78 rushing yards on 34 attempts.
“I don’t think either team did well offensively, as you know. The only touchdown that was scored was by an interception,” Defiance interim head coach Earnest Wilson said. “I just think we kind of stalled, we had some injuries and whenever you try to install something and you want it to go right, it just (isn’t going) the way you want it to right now.”
Manchester took its opening drive 41 yards in seven plays before stalling at the DC 24. Defiance picked up a first down in its first drive but was forced to punt.
The next two possessions for both teams resulted in punts before Manchester took advantage of a short field and started a drive at the DC 35 and went up 6-0 on a Kibler boot.
Special teams again led to a three-pointer by the Spartans as Markell Jackson returned a DC punt 46 yards to the Jacket 10 but DC again held firm and surrendered just two yards and went down 9-0.
It appeared the Jackets caught a break when Jackson muffed a punt return that was recoverd by Carlens Elisias at the Spartan 31 but DC was forced into a fourth-and-10 early in the second period and turned the ball over on downs.
Senior Ja’qway Janvier picked off Manchester QB Tyler Zimmerman with 6:04 left until halftime and returned the interception to the Spartan 18 but a holding call moved the spot back to the DC 36. The Jackets recovered and moved to the Manchester 37 on a Tyshaun Freeman run but Spartan DB Jamaal Hubbard picked off Jordan Ambrose at the Manchester 30 and raced 70 yards for the lone touchdown of the day, helping Manchester take a 16-0 lead into the break.
A crucial penalty hit the Jackets to start the second half as an illegal block wiped out Deyante Fowler’s apparent 94-yard kick return for a touchdown. A DC punt led to a Kibler field goal to make it 19-0 before Defiance was stuffed on a fourth-and-one and the Spartans tacked on one more boot for the final margin.
Both Manchester and Defiance fumbled punt returns in the fourth quarter but neither side was able to convert the turnovers into points as the defensive stalemate went to the Black and Gold.
Junior Jordan Ambrose led the Defiance offense in his first start of his career, passing for 121 yards and adding 19 yards on the ground while sophomore Tyshaun Freeman carried the ball for 60 yards on 20 totes.
“That was his first full college game ever. He will learn from it,” Wilson said. “I think the doors are open still. I noticed he was drifting a little bit out of pocket. But I think he will be okay and I think he’ll learn from it.”
Sophomore Marcel Maxwell led the Defiance defense with 11 total tackles as senior Justin Caballero added nine tackles and 1.5 tackles-for-loss and veteran Rigo Villla chipped in seven tackles, including two sacks for 12 yards.
Penalties were a backbreaker for the Yellow Jackets as DC was flagged 13 times for a total of 242 yards in the loss, including the 84-yard penalty that wiped out the kick return TD.
The Yellow Jackets again hit the road to take on Hanover (2-3, 1-1 HCAC) in conference play on Saturday. Kick-off is set to start at 1:30 p.m.
First Downs 11 10
Rushing Yards 34-78 43-152
Passing Yards 126 36
Total Yards 204 188
Passing 19-38-1 4-11-1
Fumbles-Lost 1-1 2-2
Penalties 13-242 5-68
Defiance 0 0 0 0 — 0
Manchester 3 13 6 0 — 22
M — Kibler 41-field goal.
M — Kibler 38-field goal.
M — Kibler 25-field goal.
M — Hubbard 70-interception return (Kibler kick).
M — Kibler 34-field goal.
M — Kibler 25-field goal.
RUSHING: Defiance — Freeman 20-60; Ambrose 13-19; Lange 1-(-1). Manchester — Smith 19-124; Paul 10-27; Zimmerman 8-(-8); Smith 4-14; Lathrop 1-3; Powell 1-(-8). PASSING: Defiance — Ambrose 17-34-1-122; Lange 2-4-0-4. Manchester — Zimmerman 4-11-1-36. RECEIVING: Defiance — Hall 4-59; Shaheed 4-18; Fowler 4-16; Nathan 2-17; Freeman 2-(-3); Scott 1-10; Seaberry 1-5; Rome 1-4. Manchester — Powell 2-15; Lathrop 1-17; Sims 1-4.