ANDERSON, IND. -- Sophomore running back Anthony Righi (Liberty Center) rushed for a game and career-high 120 yards, but it would not be enough as the Defiance College football team fell, 17-13, against Anderson (Ind.) University in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game in Anderson, Ind. The loss marked the first for the Yellow Jackets against the Ravens in the past 10 tries. The last time Anderson beat Defiance was during the 2004 season.
Righi led all rushers with his 120 yards on 27 carries and also scored the team's only touchdown. Sophomore quarterback John McKinney (Fort Wayne, Ind./Northrop) completed 11-of-24 passes for 75 yards. Junior Cody Wilson (McComb) caught a game-high seven passes for 35 yards. Freshman Devin Bolden (Lake Worth, Fla./Wellington) led DC in reception yards with 46 on two catches.
Defensively, junior Keandre Gilmer (Toledo/Rogers) recorded his third game this season with 10 or more tackles with a team-high 12 stops (four solo and eight assists) against the Ravens, including 2.5 tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions.
All of the scoring by both teams in the game came in the first half. Following a three-and-out by Defiance (2-6, 2-4 HCAC) on its opening drive of the contest, Anderson (2-6, 2-4 HCAC) struck first with a 40-yard pass completion on its third play from scrimmage to grab the early 7-0 lead. The Yellow Jackets answered the Raven score on their ensuing possession with a nine-play, 75-yard drive that ended in a three-yard TD run by Righi to even the score at 7-7 with 7:22 left in the period. Anderson scored the final points of the quarter on another lenghty pass completion, this time of 49 yards to go up, 14-7, after the first 15 minutes.
Early in the second quarter, DC chipped into the Anderson lead with a 38-yard field goal by freshman kicker Tyler L'Heureux (Apopka, Fla./Apopka) making the score 14-10 with 9:49 remaining in the half. The Ravens answered the field goal with a field goal of their own at the 2:00 minute mark to increase the margin back to seven points, 17-10. DC got the ball back for one final drive before the end of the half, which it turned into three more points when L'Heureux connected on a 21-yard try as time expired cutting the deficit to 17-13 at hafltime.
In the second half, both team's offenses struggled as the two teams combined for 171 yards of offense. Defiance had 117 yards of offense to Anderson's 54 in the final two quarters, but could not put any points on the board.
Anderson would get the ball inside the Defiance 35-yard line on two ocassions in the fourth quarter, but its first drive ended in a punt following a seven-yard sack by DC's Markell Moncrief (Detroit, Mich./Southfield Lathrup) on third down. The Ravens had their best scoring opportunity of the second half on their next possession that began with a 30-yard run to get to the DC 35-yard line. But the drive ended when Gilmer picked off his second errant pass of the game.
The Jackets would have the ball for the final possession of the game, which began at their own 36-yard line. DC then drove all the way to the Anderson one-yard line that included two big plays by freshman Andre Adderly (West Palm Beach, Fla./Village Academy) on a 21-yard scamper and a 37-yard completion to Bolden. Defiance had two shots at the endzone from the one-yard line in the final seconds of the game, but the Anderson defense held firm and held on for the 17-13 victory.
Anderson was led offensively by quarterback Brady Cavinee who completed 14-of-24 passes for 193 yards with two TD and two interceptions. Josh Adkins rushed for a team-high 47 yards on 15 carries and the duo of Gavin Miller and Deon Alexander led all receivers with 66 yards and 78 yards respectively and a TD each.
Defiance will travel to Franklin, Ind. next Saturday (Nov. 7) for a HCAC matchup against conference-leading Franklin College. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.