Flying Dutchman Soar Over Warriors, 53-12
For many, when they think of the Flying Dutchman they think of the legendary ghost ship that sailed the seas during the 17th century. That may have made for a nice legend, but there are a group of Flying Dutchmen that are for sure real, and they perform by rolling over opponents using their battering rushing attack. That was clearly on display on Saturday afternoon, as Hope College gained 393 yards on the ground in their 53-12 victory over Wisconsin Lutheran College. Mike Miklusicak led the way with 146 yards and three touchdowns and Tate Knapp led the Flying Dutchmen in
tackles and added a sack and a forced fumble.
The two teams came out of the first quarter with Hope leading 13-6. Wisconsin Lutheran took the opening kickoff and methodically moved their way down the field, taking 15 plays to move 65 yards. The biggest play of the drive came on fourth and 8 at the Hope seven. The Warriors opted to go for it, handing the ball off to Isaiah Butler, who raced for 7 yards and a touchdown to give WLC a 6-0 lead. That was the second time on the drive that the team was able to overcome a fourth-down situation.
The Flying Dutchmen responded right away. After the kickoff was returned to their own 40 yard line, running back Mike Miklusicak led the drive, making an 18 yard reception on third and nine for a first down, and then scoring from 21 yards out three plays later to tie the score at six.
The Warriors were forced to punt on the next drive, and Hope College would take the lead. That came on the third play of the drive, when Miklusicak found an opening, shook off a couple of tackles, and then raced 59 yards for a touchdown. That gave the Flying Dutchmen a 13-6 lead.
In the second quarter, Hope College would begin to pull away. On the second possession for Wisconsin Lutheran in the frame, Jake Anderson’s pass was picked off by Chandler Brown at the WLC 23. Miklusicak carried the ball all three times on the drive, scoring from six yards away to cap off the drive, giving the Dutchmen a 20-6 lead.
On the next drive for the Warriors, Anderson’s punt was blocked by Logan Shadaia. He scooped up the ball and raced 20 yards, finding the end zone to make it 27-6.
Anderson quickly shook that off, leading his team on a seven play, 65 yard drive where they would find the end zone. Once again, it was the big play on fourth and 3, as the QB connected with Javion Morgan for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 27-12.
The Flying Dutchmen would score right away. Hope moved to the WLC 38 where they were faced with third and 18 and it looked like the Warriors defense was going to make a big stop, but Mason Opple kept the ball and scored on a 38 yard run to make it 33-12. That would be the score at half.
The Flying Dutchmen came out of the locker room and marched down the field, scoring again to extend their lead to 28. Vinnie Pelione rushed three times for 19 yards to start the drive. Hope moved to the 12, where Pelione moved outside and raced for the end zone to make it 40-12.
Hope College would add two more scores. The first came just before the end of the quarter when a partially blocked punt gave the Flying Dutchmen the ball at the Warriors 15. Two plays later, Opple connected with Christian Bos for a 15 yard strike and the score.
The final score came when Hope College kept the ball on the ground for most of a 13 play, 69 yard drive. Four different backs combined to carry the ball 11 times, with Connor Mellon scoring on a four yard run to make it 53-12. That would be the final.
Mike Miklusicak had 13 carries for 146 yards and 3 touchdowns. Mason Opple finished 9 for 12 passing for 102 yards and a score and he rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown on just eight carries.
Wisconsin Lutheran College was led by Jake Anderson, who threw for 178 yards and a score and gained 45 more on the ground.
The Warriors will have a week off before beginning conference play against Rockford on September 29.
By Robert Pannier