TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Defiance College reversed several recent trends on Saturday and rode a well balanced team effort to a 28-21 win at Rose-Hulman. The victory snapped a four-game skid and moved the Jackets to fourth in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
One week after a slew of turnovers and penalties haunted the Purple and Gold in a frustrating one-point loss, DC rebounded with its best all-around showing of the season. The Yellow Jackets suffered only one turnover and were flagged for a season low of two penalties for only 15 yards.
Defiance capitalized on the more efficient attack to set season highs with 28 points, 20 first downs, 187 rushing yards and 360 total yards of offense and rebounded from a three-of-16 success rate on third downs against Manchester to convert on five-of-12 attempts against the Engineers.
The Yellow Jacket defense also stepped up by holding Rose-Hulman to just 2.7 rushing yards per carry. The stout effort forced R-H to turn to a struggling passing game, which connected on only 20-of-42 attempts and tossed three interceptions.
Jon Carrabino provided a major spark for DC in the road win and countered a Rose-Hulman score with a 23-yard touchdown run just under three minutes later to knot the game at 7-7 with 8:05 left in the first half.
Carrabino provided another quick answer to Rose-Hulman's second touchdown, by hauling in a 26-yard scoring pass from Rick Powell. The score came exactly two minutes after Rose had reclaimed the lead and drew DC even once again at 14-14 with 1:33 remaining in the second quarter.
Rose-Hulman would have the final say in the half however, as Derek Eitel found Andrew Huddleston for a 63-yard strike as time expired to give the home team a 21-14 halftime advantage.
That score would remain until Anthony Sierra pulled in his second interception of the day and the third for Defiance and ran it back 30 yards for the game-tying score early into the fourth quarter.
The Jackets would then turn to Carrabino once again to spark its final scoring drive of the day. Austin Karcher completed a 32-yard pass to Carrabino to open the drive and Drew Kuesel followed with four carries for 23 yards to move the ball to the one-yard line. Karcher then punched it in to give DC the 28-21 lead with 6:43 left in the game.
Rose-Hulman would have two more possessions but the Yellow Jacket defense held strong to preserve the victory for the Purple and Gold.
Carrabino was the story on the offensive side of the ball, as the freshman's breakout game ended with five catches for 125 yards and a score, to go with three rushes for 41 yards and a touchdown.
Powell also fueled the offense by completing five-of-seven passes for 66 yards and one touchdown, while rushing 18 times for 104 yards.
Kyle Longsdorf anchored the defense once again with a team-leading nine tackles and one sack, while Sierra had a pair of interceptions and ignited the 14-0 fourth-quarter rally with his 30-yard touchdown return.
Tom Foos turned in a strong showing by sticking four of his five punts inside the Rose-Hulman 20-yard line and averaging 36.4 yards per punt on the day.
Defiance improves to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the HCAC with the victory and will look to even its league record when it plays at Anderson (0-6, 0-3 HCAC) on October 24 beginning at 6:00 pm.