The football team’s season ended last Saturday with a strong 33-14 win against Adrian College, finishing their season with an 8-2 record, matching last year’s standing. The team took second overall in the MIAA, falling only to Trine University. The Flying Dutchmen were led by 17 seniors over the season. Senior Tate Knapp was first in the MIAA in sacks at 12. Senior Mike Miklusicak ended his career with 2,274 rushing yards, moving him to seventhmost rushing yards in Hope football history. Junior Mason Opple was a staple in the victory, throwing 179 yards and scoring two rushing touchdowns over the game. That moved his season record to 18 rushing touchdowns, second in the MIAA and third most in a season for any Hope football player, with a year to improve.
Head coach Peter Stuursma commented on the finishing game of the season: “The key to the second half was when we had a good drive to start the second half. We got three points out of it, and that made a big difference from a confidence standpoint. I thought they had a little momentum at the end of the first half. We had three pretty good drives after that to put an exclamation point on it.” Junior Christian Bos and senior Jake Kozlowski both scored touchdowns in the game, with Kozlowski following Opple with 15 touchdown passes throughout the season. Stuursma commented on the pride he holds for the team: “Credit goes to our players that were able to buy in with what we wanted to do here and will us to do that. I’m proud of their efforts. I’m proud of the things they are doing in the offseason like the weight room. They certainly raised the bar.”