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September 7, 2013

Rose-Hulman football drops opener at Kalamazoo

TERRE HAUTE — Big plays in the second half proved to be too much to overcome for the Rose-Hulman football team, as the Engineers fell on the road to Kalamazoo 28-23 on Saturday at Angell Field.

Quarterback Ryan Landwehr led the Rose-Hulman offense, completing 19 of 34 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns. He was also the Engineers’ top rusher, finishing with 62 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries.

Rose took an early lead, striking first on a 3-yard run by Landwehr with 6:07 to go in the first quarter. The 10-play, 37-yard drive was set up by a Kalamazoo fumble, forced by Anthony Adamo and recovered by Josh Sonneberger.

Kalamazoo responded with 14 seconds left in first quarter, playing on a short field after Josh Wise returned a Rose-Hulman punt to the Kalamazoo 48-yard line. Quarterback Justin Danzy rushed 1 yard for a touchdown seven plays later to tie the game.

The visitors took a 16-7 lead, getting a safety when a high snap to Kalamazoo’s punter was kicked out of the back of the end zone, then scoring on Landwehr’s 4-yard pass to Jake Dye to complete an eight-play, 55-yard drive. An end-zone interception by Adamo preserved that lead at halftime.

Two big plays helped shift the momentum back to the home team, starting when Elijah Hamilton-Wray returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown to trim Rose-Hulman’s lead to 16-14.

On the very next drive, Kalamazoo forced a Rose-Hulman fumble and Jake Larioza returned it 30 yards for a touchdown to give the Hornets a 21-16 lead with 13:40 left in the third quarter.

The Engineers capitalized on another Kalamazoo mishap near the end of the third quarter, when the Hornets mishandled a punt attempt. Sterling Mitchell and Kris Geyer-Roberts were able to make the tackle on the Kalamazoo 35-yard line. Landwehr hit a wide-open Aaron Abbott over the middle for a 37-yard touchdown pass four plays later.

Kalamazoo had one last answer, as Danzy hit Wise for a 26-yard touchdown pass  with 28 seconds left in the third quarter. The Rose defense came up with several big stops in the fourth quarter but the offense wasn’t able to capitalize.

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