TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology relied on a strong defensive effort to pick up its first Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference win of the season 19-12 over Manchester University on Saturday night at Cook Stadium.
The Fightin' Engineer defense snagged five interceptions and held Manchester to under 300 yards of total offense in the victory. Carter Hounshell had a team-high 12 tackles, and John Kirby added 11 tackles and one interception to lead the Rose-Hulman statistics.
Other key defensive players included Parker Lappin with two interceptions, including one in the endzone on the final Manchester drive to secure the win; Caleb Brown with an interception and two pass breakups; and Alex Perez with a 52-yard interception return.
Donovan Henderson Jr. led the Manchester offense with 149 rushing yards on 31 carries and one touchdown. The Fightin' Engineer defense forced Bryce Tomasi into a 12-36 performance with five interceptions to help secure the win.
Rose-Hulman took a 7-0 lead on its first drive, a five-play march that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Hatch with 11:54 left in the first quarter. Manchester closed within 7-6 on a two-yard run by Tomasi, but Matt Michalak blocked the extra point to keep Rose-Hulman ahead after the first quarter.
A defensive minded second quarter was highlighted by a 27-yard field goal by Adam Clark in the final minute to give Rose-Hulman a 10-6 edge at halftime.
Rose-Hulman added a 35-yard field goal by Clark to earn a 13-6 advantage with 11:16 left in the third quarter. Manchester closed to within one point again at 13-12 on a 13-yard run by Henderson early in the fourth quarter, before a missed extra point kept the Engineers in front.
Rose-Hulman pushed the lead to seven points at 19-12 with 1:56 remaining on a third-down, 18-yard touchdown run by Dion. Manchester drove to the Rose-Hulman 13-yard line on its final possession, but Lappin snagged an interception in the endzone to secure the victory.
Special teams were a huge key to the Rose-Hulman victory. In addition to Clark finishing 2-2 on field goals and 1-1 on extra points, directional punter Seth Knoll played a pivotal role in the game. Knoll had four punts that all ended up inside the 20-yard line, including kicks out of bounds at the Manchester two-, five- and six-yard lines to back up the Spartan offense.
The Fightin' Engineers improved to 1-3 on the season and 1-1 in league play, while Manchester dropped to 1-3 and 1-1 in conference games. The Fightin' Engineers return to action next Saturday afternoon at Franklin.