DEFIANCE, OHIO – The Mershman era begin with a tough non-conference battle as the Defiance College Yellow Jackets fell to the Baldwin Wallace University Yellow Jackets, 42-2, in its season opener at the Justin F. Coressel Stadium.
After each team exchanged punts to open the contest, Markell Moncrief (Detroit, Mich./Southfield Lathrup) picked-off Baldwin Wallace quarterback, Jake Hudson, at the 6:30 mark to halt the charging Baldwin Wallace offense. After a DC three-and-out, BW would begin its drive on its own 26 with 4:15 remaining before a tackle by Isiah Davis (Galion) stalled the drive and forced another punt. Defiance claimed the last possession of the quarter going 18 yards including a 10 yard rush by DeVonte Cravin (Ama, La./Hahnville).
Baldwin Wallace would draw first blood just 2:06 into the second stanza with an Austin Smith 1-yard TD run to give BW the 7-0 advantage. DC would drive the ball 33-yards including a 27-yard completion from John McKinney (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Northrop) to Nate Roberts(St. Petersburg, Fla./Boca Ciega) before stalling at their on 48-yard line. The DC defense continued to hold strong as they forced another three-and-out, entering the break trailing 7-0.
Defiance started the third quarter with possession and drove the ball 59-yards to the BW 2-yard line before a DC fumble concluded the drive. The Defiance defense continued to apply pressure as Cody Brown (Grass Lake, Mich.) was able to penetrate the BW line and sack quarterback Jake Hudson putting Defiance on the board, 7-2. However, BW wasted little time as they traveled 33-yards in 1:03 to extend their lead to 14-2, where the score would remain through the end of the quarter.
The BW offense continued to run on all cylinders in the fourth quarter as a 5-yard completion from Jake Hudson to Chad Steinwachs pushed the BW lead to 21-2. McKinney would go to work in the pocket for Defiance recording a 21-yard completion to Shamonde Sanders (Toledo/Whitmer) landing DC in Baldwin Wallace territory. The drive would end following a DC miscue that would result in another BW score, 28-2. The Baldwin Wallace offense continued on the attack as they punched in two more scores to claim the 42-2 victory.
Baldwin Wallace won the offensive battle collecting 386 total yards of offense to Defiance's 215-yards. Defiance finished the contest with 147 yards passing and 68 yards rushing, while BW went for 219 in the air and 167 on the ground. Defiance forced two turnovers in the contest and tallied one sack.
The DC offense was led by quarterback McKinney with 147-yards and eight completions and running back Corey Bennett (Tampa, Fla./Blake) with 11 carries for 59 yards, including a 52-yard scamper.
Leading Defiance defensively was Jalen Nealy (Pontiac, Mich.) with a team-leading 12 tackles and one sack.
Defiance returns to action Saturday Sept. 9 as they travel to Hope, Mich. Kick-off is set for 1:30 p.m.