Late Rally Falls Short in Loss to Kalamazoo

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TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology scored two fourth quarter touchdowns before falling just shy in a 29-28 loss to Kalamazoo College in the college football opener for both schools on Saturday night.

Senior Kyle Kovach (Munster/Andrean) rushed for 223 yards and two touchdowns, and freshman Jacob Dye (Tipton) hauled in two touchdown receptions to lead the Rose-Hulman offensive effort.

Trailing 29-15 after three quarters, Rose-Hulman rallied to within 29-22 on a 40-yard touchdown pass from senior Mitch Snyder (Casey, Ill./Casey-Westfield) to Dye.  The Fightin' Engineers closed to within 29-28 on a 60-yard run by Kovach with 2:15 remaining, but Kalamazoo stopped the point after attempt to secure the win.

Rose-Hulman amassed 433 yards of total offense in the game, highlighted by touchdown runs of 65 and 60 yards by Kovach.  Snyder finished 21-37 through the air for 166 yards and two scores.

Other key offensive contributors included junior Connor Gerhart (La Mesa, Calif./La Jolla Country Day) with five catches for 30 yards; and freshman Aaron Abbott (Lebanon, Ohio) with 92 yards on four kickoff returns and a 29-yard third-down rush.  Kovach also had six receptions for 24 yards.

Aaron McGuire led the Kalamazoo offense with 246 passing yards and 111 rushing yards with three scores.  Dimeko Price rushed for 81 yards and Josh Wise led the receivers with 79 yards on five catches.

Defensively, junior Craig Voges (Huntingburg/Forest Park) led the Engineer defense with 12 tackles and three pass breakups.  Senior Ryan Gallagher (Greenwood) added 11 tackles and one forced fumble.

Sophomore Spencer Balash (Monroe/Adams Central) added an interception in the endzone, and senior Jordan Martin (Shelbyville/Triton Central) hauled in an interception to keep the Fightin' Engineers within striing distance.  Junior Dean Griffing (Plano, Ill./Aurora Christian) added 2.5 sacks to the defensive effort.

Rose-Hulman opened the scoring with a safety, when junior D.J. Lawson (Indianapolis/Pike) hauled down Price in the endzone early in the first quarter.  Colin Leffert scored from three yards out to make the score 7-2 Kalamazoo, but Snyder and Dye connected on a 15-yard strike to put Rose-Hulman in front 8-7 after one quarter.

Kalamazoo regained the lead at 14-8 on a fourth down, 23-yard scoring run by McGuire.  Kovach answered with a 65-yard touchdown sprint to put Rose-Hulman ahead 15-14 late in the second quarter.

Kalamazoo relied on a 27-yard scoring run and a one-yard plunge both by McGuire to take a 29-15 lead after three quarters, setting the stage for Rose-Hulman's rally.

Kalamazoo stands 1-0 on the season, while Rose-Hulman dropped to 0-1.  The Fightin' Engineers return to action next Saturday night at Centre College.