By Travis Whitton
For The Herald Bulletin
ANDERSON, Ind. —
On a perfect day for football, Defiance College spoiled Anderson University’s Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference opener by taking a decisive 34-0 win at Macholtz Stadium.
Anderson coach Bobby Ladner used three quarterbacks to try to muster some sort of rhythm on offense, but neither Brady Cavinee, Jon Coddington nor Chandler Farrow could get the job done. The three quarterbacks combined to go 16-of-50 for 178 yards and four interceptions.
“First thing we have to do is figure out our quarterback situation,” Ladner said. “We’ve got to nail down a quarterback who can lead the offense. We’re looking for leadership."
He also said the Ravens (0-3) have some offensive line issues that contributed to the lackluster performance. AU gained just 152 yards of total offense.
Despite the 34 points Defiance (1-3, 1-1 HCAC) scored, the Anderson defense played a solid game. Field possession and an interception return for a touchdown led to the Yellow Jackets' easy scoring opportunities.
“Defensively we had a really good game plan, and I’m really proud of the guys, they worked hard,” said Ladner. “We wanted to be more competitive. Our defense understood that concept of being more competitive, and I think they rose to the challenge. I’m really proud of the defense. I thought they played a good game.”
The Ravens coach said he feels his team is getting better each week, and he is seeing no threat of players giving up or losing morale.
“Everybody understands where we’re at. Everybody understands what has been the past, and they understand where we want to go and where we need to go,” he said. “They do understand that. I think there’s enthusiasm at the beginning, and then I think at the end they’re disappointed like everyone is, but they’re very resilient. They bounce back, and they do a good job.”
Ladner said he has a vision for his team, and that is his overriding question to his team at the end of each game.
“I talk to them about where we need to go, and how we’re going to get there,” he said. “Like I said, the key is staying together and continuing to build this program from the ground up. That’s the thing, and that’s what we need to do.”
He said his team will have to continue to work hard in practice and battle on game days in order to turn the Anderson program around. Ladner feels like his team is putting in the work, and he sees things turning around little by little.
Unfortunately his team could only muster 152 yards of offense compared to Defiance’s 327 yards. The Yellow Jackets got an eye-popping 120 yards and two touchdowns on the ground from quarterback Sean Washington, and he added 73 yards through the air.
One of the bright spots on AU's offense was Keith Thomas’ three catches for 64 yards. On defense, it was Tyler Ganus and Nate Moser’s 13 and 10 tackles, respectively. They also had a tackle for loss along with Sammy Faulkner.