HOLLAND, Mich. — Hope scored 31 unanswered points to hand the Trine football team a 31-7 defeat in MIAA action Saturday evening at Smith Stadium.
The Thunder scored on the opening drive of the game, but the Flying Dutchmen shut down the Trine offense from there while producing all the scoring the rest of the way. Hope’s defense keyed the victory as the Dutch held the nation’s fifth-best rushing offense to just 76 yards on the ground. Hope rushed for 260 yards on 57 carries. The Thunder saw its four-game winning streak snapped and fell to 5-2 overall, 2-1 in the MIAA. The Flying Dutch improved to 4-3 overall, 3-1 in conference play.
The opening drive saw the Trine offense come out of the gates strong as the Thunder marched right down the field to score. An 11-play, 80-yard drive was capped with a 6-yard touchdown strike from Brandon Rooze (West Lafayette, Ind. / Benton Central) to Jeffery Barnett (Fremont, Ohio / Fremont-Ross) for a 7-0 lead.
Barnett was one of the bright spots for the Thunder offense, hauling in nine receptions for 87 yards and the touchdown. Rooze completed 16-of-33 passes for 163 yards and the TD.
Hope answered quickly, covering 66 yards in just three plays. Brandan Campbell scored on a 36-yard run to tie the score. The Flying Dutch took the lead later in the quarter when Mike Miklusicak raced in from 21 yards out to make the score 14-7.
Campbell and Misklusicak provided the one-two punch Hope needed on the ground. Miklusicak racked up 141 yards and the touchdown on 23 carries. Campbell totaled 132 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. The duo entered Saturday’s contest averaging just over 200 combined yards per contest.
Campbell’s second touchdown pushed the score to 21-7 early in the second quarter. Sacks by Taylor James (LaPorte, Ind. / LaPorte), Me’Leick Miles (Indianapolis, Ind. / Pike) and Rodney Haywood (Carmel, Ind. / Carmel) helped stymie Flying Dutch drives until the closing seconds of the quarter, when Darren Ford connected on a 32-yard field goal as time expired to send Hope to the half up 24-7.
The Flying Dutch later added a third quarter touchdown on a one-yard run by backup quarterback Bruce Schroeder on a fourth-and-goal. The TD gave Hope a 31-7 lead with 5:40 to play in the third.
The Thunder drove deep into Hope territory in the fourth quarter, but the Flying Dutch defense rose to the occasion for a stop on fourth and goal. Hope’s defense held Trine to a 1-of-13 conversion rate on third down and one fourth-down conversion in four attempts.
Aaron O’Meara led the Flying Dutch defensive effort with 13 tackles, including one sack. Hope notched five tackles for loss. Adam Walma matched O’Meara with a team-high 1.5 tackles for loss.
Miles paced the Trine defense with a career-high 14 tackles. He also notched 1.5 sacks. James added 11 tackles, including two tackles for loss and one sack.
The Thunder will look to bounced back next Saturday, Oct. 29 when Trine hosts Adrian for the Black-and-Blue Border Brawl. Kickoff in Fred Zollner Athletic Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m.