A staunch defense and a record-tying kicking effort launched the Hope College football team to a 25-7 win at Adrian on Saturday.
Junior Darren Ford of Howell, Michigan (Howell HS) tied the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association single-game record by kicking four field goals.
Led by seven tackles from junior linebacker Griffin Weigl of Saginaw, Michigan (Nouvel Catholic Central) and interceptions from three players, the Flying Dutchmen limited Adrian to 220 yards of total offense.
Hope (3-3 overall) moved into sole possession of third place in the MIAA standings with a 2-1 league record.
The Flying Dutchmen never trailed as they spoiled the homecoming of an opponent for the second consecutive week.
Ford's field goals of 26 and 30 yards gave Hope a 6-0 halftime lead.
Ford connected on a 21-yard field goal 3 1/2 minutes into the third quarter, then senior quarterback Michael Custer of Zeeland, Michigan (Zeeland East) hooked up with freshman receiver Cooper Cecchini of Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) on a 75-yard touchdown pass with 6 ½ minutes left in the third quarter. It was the longest-scoring player of the season for the Flying Dutchmen.
After forcing Adrian to punt, the Flying Dutchmen marched on a 92-yard scoring drive that ended on a 10-yard touchdown run from junior running back Michael Miklusicak of Wayland, Michigan (Wayland) for a 22-0 lead.
Ford tied the MIAA record on a 19-yard field 2:07 into the fourth quarter to answer a 75-yard Adrian touchdown pass.
The Flying Dutchmen outgained Adrian 581 yards to 220, including a 396-55 edge in rushing yards.
Junior Brandan Campbell of Otsego, Michigan (Michigan) had 171 yards rushing on 20 carries. Miklusicak finished with 167 yards rushing on 34 carries.
Hope recorded three interceptions — its most in a game since Nov. 1, 2014 at Adrian. Picks came from seniors Kirk Gibson of Scotts, Michigan (Climax-Scotts) and Andy Lucas of McBain, Michigan (McBain), and junior Kimani Dooley of Detroit, Michigan (Clarenceville).
Hope returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 22 with a 5 p.m. game against Trine at Ray & Sue Smith Stadium. It is homecoming for the Flying Dutchmen.