Kuesel propels Jackets

By BRUCE HEFFLINGER hefflinger@crescent-news.com Published:

ANDERSON, Ind. -- A balanced offensive attack along with a couple of clutch fourth-quarter defensive stops gave interim head coach Nate Jensen his second win in as many tries, as Defiance College traveled to Anderson University on Saturday and earned a 28-21 triumph.

"It means that everyone is gelling together," said Jensen. "On Friday we had to come together as a team and go down there. Even when they came back and tied it up, our guys never flinched and they knew that we were all there together."

Patrick Henry High School graduate and senior tailback Drew Kuesel had his best offensive output of the season with 161 yards rushing and four touchdowns, including the game-winner with 49 seconds left in regulation. He also scored three touchdowns in last season's 49-7 triumph over the Ravens.

The Jackets took a 21-7 advantage into the final quarter but Anderson backup QB Miles McCollum scored on a run of four yards with 13:19 left and then tied the game with a 1-yard score with 7:31 to go.

Anderson later looked primed to take its first lead of the game on the ensuing possession by DC when senior signal-caller Rick Powell fumbled at his own 27. Anderson's Jared Millikan jumped on the loose pigskin at the DC 29.

But the Jackets' defense rose to the challenge and stopped the Ravens on three plays to force a 39-yard field goal attempt by Aaron Thomas. However, the Thomas' kick sailed wide left to keep the game knotted at 21 apiece.

Kuesel then went to work, ripping off back-to-back nine-yard runs to put the ball at the DC 40. On third-and-seven, Powell hit wideout Nick Wiedenhoft for a mammoth 34-yard gain all the way to the Anderson 23.

Kuesel followed with runs of three, four and 12 yards before finishing off the drive with the 4-yard score to give DC its seventh straight win over Anderson (1-6, 1-4 HCAC).

"We had the big pass play to Nick, and then pounded the ball with Drew," said Jensen. "We knew that we would have to come in and pound the football. That sets up the passing game and we had a bunch of big pass plays today. "

Jensen was absolutely correct in his statement with Wiedenhoft hauling in half a dozen passes for 111 yards, including a 36-yarder. Andy Cessna also added a 21-yard reception and Wallace Archie a 29-yard catch.

Junior safety Tony Sierra sealed DC's win by picking off a Nick Sharp aerial at the DC 40 with 27 seconds to go.

Defiance totaled 374 yards of offense - 192 rushing and 182 passing - while holding Anderson to 270 yards.

The Jackets (3-4, 3-2 HCAC) will play their final road game of the season next Saturday at Rose-Hulman (3-4, 3-2 HCAC).

SUMMARY

DC AU

First Downs 15 13

Rushing Yards 44-192 30-86

Passing Yards 182 184

Total Yards 374 270

Passing 11-18-0 17-33-1

Fumbles-Lost 2-2 2-0

Penalties 4-35 4-25

DC 7 14 0 7 - 28

AU 0 7 0 14 - 21

DC - Kuesel 1-run (Saunders kick).

DC - Kuesel 34-run (Saunders kick).

AU - Wheeler 62-pass from Sharp (Thomas kick).

DC - Kuesel 7-run (Saunders kick).

AU - McCollum 4-run (Thomas kick).

AU - McCollum 1-run (Thomas kick).

DC - Kuesel 4-run (Saunders kick).

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Defiance - Kuesel 23-161; Sealey 3-22; Powell 12-8; Blount 2-4; Williams 2-3; Archie 1-(-2); Team 1-(-4). Anderson - Spann 22-93; M. McCollum 3-8; T. McCollum 2-5; Sharp 3-(-20). Passing: Defiance - Powell 11-18-0-182-0. Anderson - Sharp 17-33-1-184-1. Receiving: Defiance - Wiedenhoft 6-111; Cessna 3-27; Archie 1-44; Forry 1-0. Anderson - Davidson 5-47; Bouwman 4-27; Spann 3-14; T. McCollum 2-10; Wheeler 1-62; Mandeville 1-15; Johnson 1-9.

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