Week 7 of the college football season has passed and it was a rainy one. However, that did not stop the Flying Dutchmen football team as they put together yet another strong victory against conference opponent Adrian. They played hard in the rainy weather to defeat Adrian 22-3. This is Hope’s third conference victory and their 5th win in a row this season. The rain poured, and Hope poured on the points, with efficient offense and stellar defense.
Kicker Darren Ford (’18) had a productive outing for the Flying Dutchmen, hitting a long 42-yard field goal to put Hope in the lead early on. The Hope defense then began to have their way versus a proven Adrian running game. The Dutchmen offense then went on a tear early on and put the game out of reach. Momentum throughout the entire game was always in Hope’s favor, and it never really felt like Adrian was going to get back in the game. Hope showed play in and play out that they were simply was the better team on the field that day.
The Flying Dutchmen offense was very efficient, putting together long drives and holding onto the ball for 36 minutes and 3 seconds. Hope also did not turn the ball over once throughout the entire game which never allowed Adrian to shift the momentum. The running game worked well for Hope, bolstered by the strong offensive line play. The offense was led by Mason Opple (’20), who rushed the ball 20 times for 74 yards and 3 touchdowns. Wide receiver Kurtis Slenk (’18) also had a fine outing, catching the ball 4 times for 66 yards.
The defense had one of their best games of the season and showed yet again why they are one of the best in the country. The Dutchmen defense shut Adrian’s offense down throughout the game, forcing three-and-outs and only allowing a last second field goal throughout the entire game. The defensive line and linebackers played extremely well against the run, allowing only 67 total yards on the ground. The front seven was led by Griffin Wiegl (’18), who had 7 total tackles, 1 sack and 1 tackle for loss. Zack Telfor (’18) had another big day with 6 total tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss and 1 forced fumble and recovery. Mason Dekker (’18) shined as well accounting for 6 total tackles. The defensive secondary had a field day on Adrian, only allowing 166 passing yards and forcing 2 interceptions. Mason Rosado (’18) was a human highlight reel, responsible for both interceptions, 6 total tackles and 1 broken up pass.
This team has been on a roll; they are not just winning games, but running the opposition off the field. They are beating teams by double digits, and really clicking on both sides of the ball. This team is in mid-season form and it seems nothing will stop them from steam-rolling through the MIAA conference for the rest of the season. The defense is keeping opposing scores low while the offense is moving on all cylinders. The last three outings have had Hope beating Olivet 42-20, beating Alma 36-14 and finally as stated before, a near shut-out against Adrian 22-3. Both sides of the ball have been amazing so far, and there are no weaknesses in any part of Hope’s game. With both sides of the ball playing the way they are, this team could be one of the best Hope college teams in recent memory.
Hope will be hitting the road to play the undefeated Trine Thunder this Saturday, and the winner of that game will control their destiny in the MIAA. This game will be Hope’s toughest test this season, playing a very talented Trine squad led by Quarterback Evan Wyse (’18) and running back Lamar Carswell (’19), who have combined for 1,140 rushing yards in six games this season. There is a good possibility that Hope will pull out the victory and give Trine their first loss of the season. This game will be won in the trenches. Hope’s offensive line will provide the catalyst to lead them to a hard fought victory. The Flying Dutchmen are simply playing at too high a level to think anyone can beat them in the MIAA. They have beaten defending champs Olivet and Alma decisively, two of the better teams within the MIAA. This squad is showing all of Michigan that they are the top team in the MIAA football conference, and a perennial top 25 program in the country.
The next and final home football game for Hope will be against Albion on Nov. 4. The Flying Dutchmen will seek to cap off an MIAA Championship season against the Brits.