Junior running backs become first teammates to rush for 1,000 yards in same year
The Flying Dutchmen led start to finish in their season finale, a 31-6 win over Concordia University- Wisconsin. The win improves Hope’s record to 7-3, good for second place in the MIAA standings. After a 1-3 start, Hope ripped off six straight wins to complete the greatest single season turnaround in the program’s 107-year history.
Hope honored 11 seniors before the game; players Kirk Gibson, David Hornshaw, Tyler Kirchoff, Ian Koziatek, Andy Lucas, Justin Phillips, Michael Stephan, Adam Walma and Cole Watson, student assistant coach Ryan Reason and student manager Ben Schroeder.
The only score of the first half was an 11-yard touchdown run by Brandan Campbell (’18), giving Hope a 7-0 at halftime. Then, Mike Miklusicak (’18) took over and Hope exploded for 24 points in the second half. The junior running back scored two of Hope’s three second-half touchdowns, including one for 42 yards to seal the victory with just over two minutes left in the game.
As it was most of the season, Hope’s offense was very run-oriented on Saturday. The Dutchmen rushed for 436 yards as a team, marking the second time this year they have surpassed 400 yards and the fifth time they have surpassed 300 yards. Hope already had one 1,000 yard rusher entering the game on Saturday, but they were determined to get another. Miklusicak entered the game needing 182 yards to reach the prestigious milestone. Not only did he reach 182, he kept going, finishing the game with 259 yards, the third most in a single game in Hope football history.
Campbell and Miklusicak are the first teammates in Hope’s 107 year history to both rush for over 1,000 yards in the same season.
Campbell averaged 136.1 yards per game en route to 1,361 on the season, fourth-most by a Hope player in a single season. He also scored 14 rushing touchdowns, which is good for fourth-most all-time, equaling Dan Bloemers (’03) and Ron Bekius (’58).
Miklusicak ran for 1,077 yards and 10 touchdowns. He ranks 10th among the Dutchmen’s single-season rushers.
Hope’s defense also played at a high level, limiting Concordia to -13 yards rushing and also recorded two interceptions. One by defensive back Mason Rosado (’18) and the other by Kyle Krumm (’19). Rosado also lead the team in tackles with seven. Krumm, Jacob Zanski (’18) and Jacob Pardonnet (’18) all finished the game with six tackles a piece.
Look for the team to improve on their 7-3 (5-1) record next season as they return many starters, including Miklusicak and Campbell. Hope will open next season at Monmouth College on Sept. 2.