Football team rallies but falls short against Hope, 35-30

Photo by Cassie Sabatella (
Photo by Cassie Sabatella (

HOLLAND, Mich. – A fourth quarter comeback fell short for Olivet College, as Hope College football team defeated the Comets, 35-30, in a Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) game today at Ray & Sue Smith Stadium in Holland.

Final score: Hope 35, Olivet 30
Location: Ray & Sue Smith Stadium; Holland, Mich.
Records: Olivet 4-3 overall, 2-2 MIAA; Hope 5-2 overall, 3-1 MIAA

  • The Flying Dutchmen took a 7-0 lead on a 31-yard touchdown run by Mike Miklusciak at the 9:35 mark of the first quarter.
  • The Comets answered with a 12-play drive, capped by a 5-yard touchdown pass from senior Lane Porter to senior Nick Thomas to level the score.
  • A short punt gave Olivet the ball back at its 45-yard line. On the third play of the drive and final play of the first quarter, sophomore Matthew Ellis rumbled 36 yards for the touchdown. The PAT kick was missed, and the Comets led 13-7.
  • Hope scored a touchdown on its next two drives to go ahead 21-13.
  • Olivet closed the gap to five points, 21-16, at halftime after junior Douglas Pollard made a 31-yard field as the second quarter clock expired.
  • The Flying Dutchmen stretched their lead back 28-16 after scoring a touchdown on their first possession of the third quarter.
  • Neither team was able to put any more points on the scoreboard in the third stanza.
  • Hope extended its lead to 35-16 at the 10:11 mark of the fourth quarter.
  • Ellis scampered two yards into the end zone to trim the Comets' deficit down to 12 points 35-23 with 6:31 left.
  • Hope was forced to punt the ball back to Olivet.
  • On the eighth play of the ensuing drive, Ellis rushed two yards for a touchdown. The PAT kick made the score 35-30 at the 2:08 mark.
  • The Comets' on-side kick attempt was not successful and the Flying Dutchmen were able to run out the clock.

  • Olivet totaled 369 yards.
  • Senior Jamaul Martin had 16 carries for 98 yards, while Ellis had 12 rushes for 92 yards and three touchdowns.
  • Porter completed 17-of-27 passes for 166 yards.
  • Thomas was the leading receiver with 10 catches for 96 yards.
  • Senior Coleton Swims topped the defense with 13 tackles, including eight solo stops.

  • Mason Opple accounted for 289 of Hope's 428 total yards.
  • Opple had 27 carries for 244 yards and three touchdowns. He threw for 45 yards on 6-of-12 passing.
  • Luke Beckhusen and Nick Holt each tallied 10 tackles.

  • Olivet hosts Kalamazoo College next Saturday, Oct. 27. Kick-off at the Cutler Athletic Complex in Olivet is 1 p.m.