Tribune-Star staff report
TERRE HAUTE —
The 2014 Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology football schedule features five home games, including the return of a traditional non-conference opponent.
The Engineers will look to defend their first conference championship in 25 years this fall. Rose-Hulman shared Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference title honors with nationally ranked Franklin College in 2013.
Rose-Hulman opens the season at Kalamazoo College in Michigan for the second consecutive season. The Fightin' Engineers and Hornets will battle for the fifth consecutive season on Sept. 6 at 1 p.m.
Rose-Hulman looks to avenge narrow losses to the Hornets over each of the past two seasons in this year's opener. Kalamazoo's victories were by the tight scores of 28-23 in 2013 and 29-28 in 2012.
The Engineers welcome a new foe to Cook Stadium for the home opener. Rose-Hulman will face Illinois College on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. The Blueboys qualified for the NCAA Division III Playoffs in 2012 and have a 17-4 record over the last two seasons.
Rose-Hulman leads Illinois College 16-10-1 in a series that will resume for the first time since 1983. Rose-Hulman and Illinois College were both members of the Prairie Athletic Conference during the 1960s and 1970s.
The HCAC begins a new schedule rotation this year, and Rose-Hulman opens the league schedule at Hanover College on Sept. 20 at 2:30 p.m. Rose-Hulman defeated the Panthers 38-14 at Cook Stadium in 2013.
The Engineers will have two weeks to prepare for their second conference matchup, which is the Homecoming Game against Anderson University on Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. Rose-Hulman earned a 42-14 victory at Anderson in November.
The two-game homestand also includes a matchup with Bluffton University at Cook Stadium on Oct. 11. Rose-Hulman enjoyed its largest in-game comeback victory since 1988 with a 34-26 win at Bluffton last season.
Rose-Hulman then hits the road for two straight HCAC contests. The Engineers head to Defiance on Oct. 18, then travel to Franklin on Oct. 25. Rose-Hulman topped Defiance 23-19 on Homecoming in 2013, while the Engineers look to avenge their lone conference loss at Franklin the next weekend.
The schedule includes two November home games in the final three contests. Rose-Hulman will host Manchester University during the annual Hall of Fame Induction Weekend on Nov. 1. The Engineers opened the conference title season in 2013 with a 44-30 victory at Manchester.
The final road game of the 2014 season takes place at Mount St. Joseph on Nov. 8. Rose-Hulman earned its first shutout since 2006 with a 34-0 victory over the Lions on Senior Day last season.
Rose-Hulman and Earlham College will renew the Battle of the Borders Broadsword series at Cook Stadium in the regular season finale on Nov. 15. The Engineers defeated Earlham 53-15 in the finale last season to secure a share of the HCAC championship.
Jeff Sokol returns for his fourth year on the Engineer sidelines this season and has a career mark of 17-7 against HCAC competition. Rose-Hulman has also established a new school record with nine consecutive seasons finishing with records of .500 or better.
2014 ROSE-HULMAN FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Sept. 6: at Kalamazoo, 1 p.m.
Sept. 13: Illinois College, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20: at Hanover, 2:30 p.m.
Oct. 4: Anderson, 2 p.m.
Oct. 11: Bluffton, 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 18: at Defiance, 1:30 p.m.
Oct. 25: at Franklin, 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 1: Manchester, 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 8: at Mt. St. Joseph, 1:30 p.m.
Nov. 15: Earlham, 1:30 p.m.