The Olivet football team ended homecoming on a high note with a 35-6 win over the Kalamazoo College Hornets on Saturday, Oct. 8 in front of a packed house at the Cutler Event Center.
The Comets started rolling early on defense forcing a three and out on the Hornets first possession. A short punt by Kalamazoo set up Olivet on the Hornet 35 yard line for their opening drive.
Olivet drove down the field and finished on their first offensive possession with a one yard touchdown run by senior running back Chris Jones to take an early 7-0 lead with 10:27 remaining in the first quarter.
On the second drive for Kalamazoo, junior defensive back Walter Love III was called for a personal foul penalty of targeting on a helmet to helmet hit and was ejected from the game.
After another strong defensive stand by the Comets, Olivet took over on its own 20 yard line. Seven plays later the Comets were able to reach the end zone with a nine yard touchdown run by senior running back Damorria Lilly to go up 14-0 with 4:51 remaining in the first quarter.
The early Comet dominance didn’t stop there as Olivet sophomore Kyle Neering blocked a Kalamazoo punt that put the Comets at the Hornets 28yard line
Three plays later, fifth year senior quarterback Braden Black connected with junior wide receiver Kornelius Saxton for a 15yard touchdown pass to put the Comets on top 21-0 with 10:37 to go in the second quarter.
On the opening drive of the second half Olivet fumbled on the Kalamazoo 29 yard line. After the turnover The Hornets drove down the field 71 yards in eight plays capping off the drive on a seven yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Alex White. The following extra point attempt was blocked by Senior Justin Madar making the score 21-6 with 9:42 left in the third quarter.
The Comets once again struggled on their next offensive drive with two consecutive penalties; Olivet ended the day with 10 penalties for 95 yards. The Comets were forced to punt as senior Ryan Anderson booted a 56 yard punt to the Hornet 28 yard line and was returned by junior Seth Dexter 13 yards to the 41 yard line.
Two plays later, Olivet sophomore defensive back Jaquan Short intercepted a White pass and returned the interception for 24 yards to the Hornet 25 yard line. The interception was Short’s first of the 2016 campaign and the fourth of his collegiate career.
Taking over on offense, Olivet would strike quickly as Black connected with fellow senior wide receiver Mitchell Bailey on a 23 yard touchdown pass.
The final scoring play for the Comets occurred in the fourth quarter from the Hornet 23 yard line with 7:52 remaining as Black connected with sophomore wide receiver Jacob Jodway for a 23 yard touchdown pass. The reception was the first touchdown catch of Jodway’s collegiate career. Jodway’s touchdown would be the last score from either side.
Five different Comets scored, with Black leading the way through the air throwing for 260 yards with three touchdown passes. Black was also named the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) offensive player of the week. This is the third consecutive week that a Comet player was named the MIAA player of the week
Overall, the Comets had 373 yards of total offense (260 passing, 116 rushing). Bailey and Saxton led the way in the receiving department with eight catches and scoring one touchdown each. Lilly led the rushing attack for the Comets with 58 rushing yards on 14 carries with one touchdown for the Comets.
On defense, Olivet held Kalamazoo to six points allowing 242 yards of total offense, 247 passing yards and negative five rushing yards. Senior defensive end Robert Cuba led the way defensively tallying two sacks and three and a half tackles for loss.
For the Hornets, White completed 17 of 44 passes for 218 passing yards, one interception as well as negative 12 rushing yards on 11 carries with one rushing touchdown. Junior running back Lorenzo Redmond led the Hornets with 10 rushing yards on six carries with no touchdowns. Sophomore wide receiver Zak Zagon and junior wide receiver Seth Dexter led the way receiving wise with four catches for 68 yards and 64 yards, respectively.
Defensively for the Hornets, sophomore Jakob Frederick led the team with 13 total tackles.
The Comets moved to 4-1 overall and are first place (2-0) in the MIAA standings. The Hornets dropped to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the MIAA.
The Comets next game is Saturday, Oct. 15 on the road at Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium in a rivalry game against the 0-5 Albion Britons.
The game will be broadcasted live on 89.1 The One WOCR FM with kickoff at 1 p.m. and pregame starting at 12:40 p.m.