The Olivet College football team hosted the Kalamazoo College Hornets on Oct. 8. Kalamazoo came into the game with a 3-2 record, while head coach Dan Musielewicz’s Comets were 4-0 on the season prior to kickoff.
Olivet raced to an early lead, when Deonte Higgins, junior, ran for a touchdown with 12:19 remaining in the first quarter. The extra point by Sam Roose, senior, made the score 7-0.
Kalamazoo’s opening drive stalled after Ricky Williamson and Dennis Simmons, both seniors, recorded back-to-back sacks. The Hornets attempted to punt, but they fumbled the snap and Damani Carter, senior, recovered the ball for an Olivet touchdown. The Comets missed the extra point, making the score 13-0.
A short kickoff by Olivet gave the Hornets good field position to start their second drive of the afternoon. Kalamazoo gained some yardage, but a holding penalty coupled with two incomplete passes led to another fourth down. The Hornets successfully kicked a 49-yard field goal to make the score 13-3 with 8:01 left in the first quarter.
The Comets’ next drive ended near midfield, so they punted to Kalamazoo. The Hornets then drove the length of the field and scored a touchdown to make the score 13-10.
Olivet responded by going on a touchdown drive of their own, scoring on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Evan Ormsby, sophomore, to Jalen Broussard, senior. That score gave the Comets a 20-10 lead early in the second quarter.
Kalamazoo’s next drive was over quickly, with the Olivet defense forcing a quick three and out. Olivet received the Hornet punt and drove down the field again. The campaign was capped off by a 5-yard touchdown run from Nuke Crowell, senior, making the score 27-10.
The Comets continued to shine defensively, with Kalamazoo’s next drive ending after Simmons and John Thompson, senior, each made tackles for loss. The Hornets were forced to punt. Olivet’s ensuing drive was just as quick, only with a different outcome. After just four plays, the Comets reached the endzone again on a pass from Ormsby to Jacari Hamilton, senior. At halftime, the score stood at 34-10, Olivet.
Kalamazoo received the second half kickoff, but the Comet defense was still dominant, forcing another punt. However, the Hornet defense responded with a stop of its own. When the Comets attempted to punt, it was blocked by Kalamazoo and returned for a touchdown.
Ahead 34-17 and hoping to regain the game’s momentum, the Comet offense took the field once more. On the first play of the drive, Ormsby connected with Hamilton for a 53-yard pass. Crowell ran for a 22-yard touchdown on the very next play, extending the Comet lead to 41-17.
Kalamazoo missed a field goal late in the third quarter, leading to another Olivet drive that took the game into its final period. The Kalamazoo defense held, forcing the Comets to punt. The Hornets put together a lengthy drive, but failed to convert a fourth down play on Olivet’s 6-yard line.
The game ended with Olivet driving to midfield and kneeling in victory formation to run out the clock, sealing their 41-17 homecoming win. Olivet is now 5-0 this season and 1-0 in MIAA play, while Kalamazoo is 3-3 and 0-1 in the conference.
The Comet offense had 506 total yards, 320 of which were rushing. Ormsby threw for all 186 of Olivet’s passing yards, along with two touchdowns. The Comets gained an average of 8.0 yards per rush, while holding Kalamazoo’s offense to 0.9 yards per rush.
Crowell rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 9.1 yards per carry. Higgins scored the other Comet rushing touchdown.
Hamilton and Broussard each had one receiving touchdown, with Hamilton’s 62-yard game leading all Comet receivers. Roose contributed five extra points to the Comet offense.
Sophomore Kolbe Lewis led Olivet with nine tackles, and the Comet defense recorded five sacks and 10 tackles for loss on the day.
The Comets are home again next Saturday, Oct. 15, against Trine University at 1 p.m.
Photos by Abbey Peters.