Yellow Jackets Sports Weekly Recap (Oct. 31- Nov. 6)

By: Brandon Unverferth

Photography: Hanna Young

Football: Sat. Nov. 5

Defiance 24 (2-7) vs Manchester University 21 (1-8)

Senior #5 Machari Bighams finds open space vs Manchester

The Defiance College football team hosted the Manchester Spartans (HCAC conference opponent) Saturday afternoon at Justin F. Coressel Stadium for senior day. Defiance seniors (DT) Rigo Villa, (ILB) Thomas Coltrain, (CB) Ja’qway Janvier, (CB) V’Sean Palmer, (DB) Brian Murat, (QB) Jordan Ambrose, (SB) Justin Caballero, (TE) Cole Recker, (ILB) D’Angelo Espinal, (QB) Seth Pearson, (FS) Jaylen Redd, (ILB) Hunter Stettner, (C) Te’Von Carson-Payton, (LS) Noah Pistory, and (DT) Miguel Gomez were recognized during the festivities. The Manchester Spartans were able to strike the end zone first in this matchup as they scored near the midway point (8:41) of the first quarter, thanks to a 4-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back David Smith. The Yellow Jackets were quick to respond as freshman wide receiver Da’Realyst Clark returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards to the end zone, to tie things up at 7. Nearly four minutes into the second quarter (11:19), senior Machari Bighams punched one into the end zone from three yards out, to give Defiance a 14-7 lead. Five minutes later (6:21 left in the second), Yellow Jackets’ senior Brian Murat intercepted a pass from Manchester junior quarterback Eric James and returned it 98 yards to the end zone, to stretch the Defiance lead to 21-7. Defiance sophomore kicker Zeke Sanchez was able to capitalize on a last-second field goal from 12 yards out, to give Defiance a 24-7 lead into the locker room. Manchester tailback David Smith found the end zone twice in the third quarter on runs of 13 yards and two yards to shave Defiance’s lead to three (24-21) with 2:41 left in the third quarter. Both sides of the football (offense and defense) for Defiance did their part to close out the win, despite no second-half points from the Yellow Jackets. A Defiance fumble deep in their own territory provided Manchester with the football at the Jackets’ 20-yard line with 14:07 left in the contest, but the Defiance defense was able to hold the Spartans to a four-and-out to regain possession. After both teams traded punts, the Yellow Jacket offense took over with 8:25 left in the fourth quarter and bled out the remainder of the clock, to secure the senior day celebration victory. Defiance held the edge in takeaways, 3-2, while each team converted one of those turnovers into a touchdown. Defiance’s special teams accounted for 12 points in the contest (kickoff return touchdown, field goal, three points after touchdown). Out of Manchester’s 222 rushing yards, 202 were by sophomore David Smith. Smith scored all three Manchester touchdowns to put him on the brink of a 1,000-yard rushing season (982). Senior Thomas Coltrain led the Yellow Jackets with 13 tackles, including a game-high three for loss.

When senior TE Cole Recker was asked by The Defender about his thoughts following the Manchester victory, he expressed, “It was great to get another win for Yellow Jacket nation! It may not have been the prettiest win, but in the end we were able to get it done. I am so proud of how our defense and special teams played today. They made the plays that needed to be made. With the biggest game of the year coming up next week, we have to have a sharp week of practice this week ahead. We are very confident that we can bring “The Hammer” back to Defiance! I hope everyone can make it out to Bluffton next Saturday, to watch us beat the Beavers.”

Wrestling: Sat. Nov. 5

The Yellow Jackets wrestling team traveled to Adrian, Michigan, Saturday morning for the Adrian College Invitational at Adrian College. 15 teams participated in the invitational including Adrian College, Alfred State College, Averett University, Campbellsville University, Case Western Reserve University, Cornerstone University, Heidelberg University, Henry Ford College, Jamestown Community College, Siena Heights University, St. Clair County Community College, Toledo University, Pittsburg- Bradford University, and Wabash College. Defiance placed 15th overall on the day with a team score of 0.5. In the 141 weight class, freshman Elisha Jones went 0-2 and scored 0.0 team points (fall losses to Alfred State’s Shawn Hall and Adrian’s Blaise Kokkales). Junior Shamique Bryant (149 weight class) went 0-2 and scored 0.0 team points, losing to Hai Siu (Henry Ford College) and Zachary Palette (Adrian). Freshman Jake Scoville (149 weight class) went 0-2 and scored 0.0 team points, losing to Domonic Delgato (Henry Ford) and Lody Cheatham (Campbellsville). Freshman Brandon Ruiz (149 weight class) went 0-2 and scored 0.0 team points, losing to Nico Smith (Henry Ford) and Justin Sweeney (Case Western). Junior Brent Eicher (157 weight class) went 0-2 and scored 0.0 team points, including a loss to Jesse Alvarado (Averett) by tech fall. Senior Keringten Martin (165 weight class) went 0-2 and scored 0.0 team points, losing to Gage Parker (Siena Heights) and Carson Pottenger (Heidelburg). Senior Jack Minner (197 weight class) went 0-2 and scored 0.0 team points, losing to Jackson Beck-Calvert (Adrian) and Wesley Peters (Siena Heights). Sophomore Joey Perez (197 weight class) went 0-2 and scored 0.0 team points, losing to Andrew Oster (Toledo) and Andrew Denney (St. Clair). Freshman Lesly Fleurissaint (285 weight class) went 0-2 and scored 0.0 team points, losing to Evan Albrecht (Alfred State) and Andre Penney (St Clair). Freshman Kelvin Ruffin (285 weight class) went 1-2 and scored 0.5 team points for the Yellow Jackets. Ruffin was victorious 2-1 over Mario Harkonen (Cornerstone University) in Consolation Round 1.  


Friday, Nov. 11

Men’s Basketball (0-0) vs Miami University-Middletown (0-1)

(Defiance Purple & Gold Tournament)

Location: Karl H. Weaner Center

(6:00 pm)

Saturday, Nov. 12

Men’s Basketball (0-0) vs Wilmington College (0-0)

(Defiance Purple & Gold Tournament)

Location: Karl H. Weaner Center

(3:00 pm)


Monday, Nov. 7

Men’s Basketball (0-0) at Oakland University (0-0)


(5:30 pm)

Tuesday, Nov. 8

Women’s Basketball (0-0) at Kenyon College (0-0)

(7:00 pm)

Saturday, Nov. 12

Men’s Cross Country at Hope College (NCAA Division III Regionals)


Women’s Cross Country at Hope College (NCAA Division III Regionals) 


Football (2-7) at Bluffton University (2-7)

(1:30 pm)

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