Manchester University
Oak Leaves

September 22, 2017

Alma College

Senior offensive lineman Robby Davis focuses on his next move in the game against Alma College on Saturday, Sept. 9.

Photo courtesy of MU Athletics

Football Team Defeats Coach's 'Alma' Mater 

Kylie Kroger 

Spartan football walked away with a nail-biting 33-31 win at Alma College on Sept. 9. This win was particularly noteworthy for Coach Nathan Jensen, head coach of the football program at Manchester, and a former four-year coach at Alma. "The guys that were there [at Alma] and that were starters for this game were guys that I had coached,” he said.

The game started off with Alma scoring two touchdowns in the first quarter, leading Jensen to call a timeout to rally his team. “Once I got us refocused, man, did they play hard,” he said. Jensen also added that they focused on playing an incredibly clean game. “They played the right way,” he said. “Not a lot of people realize this, but we had zero penalties. We played hard, really hard, but yet we played disciplined football, which is key."

Walking away from the game at Alma with a win under their belt was a good place to enter into their first home game of the season. "The Alma game was so big for us to get a win that we can build off of,” said first-year Skylar Brock. “It felt really good knowing that we beat a good team on the road.”

Spartans return from their bye week for their home opener tomorrow, Saturday, Sept. 23, against Mount Saint Joseph University.

While Spartans hope to enter into their first home game and the first of their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference scheduled games of the season with a win, they have an even bigger goal in mind for their home opener. This weekend is the Samaritan’s Feet game to benefit inner-city schoolchildren by providing them with a new pair of tennis shoes.

"Being able to play the game I love and give back to the community is something that is very special to me and a lot of guys on the team as well,” said junior Jacob Cooper. “The community of Manchester really supports the football team and always makes it to the games. I feel like it is our job to give back to them as well.”

Attendees of Saturday's game are encouraged to make a monetary donation, or bring a new pair of children's tennis shoes. This year's goal is to raise at least $1,200 to go toward the charitable program. The partnership between the HCAC and Samaritan’s Feet began several years ago, and has stuck. "We go in, take off the kid's old socks and shoes and put them in a bag for them to keep,” Jensen said. “But then we wash their feet, we give them a brand-new pair of socks and a brand-new pair of tennis shoes.”

As for preparation to face off against Mount Saint Joseph, Jensen is optimistic. "We made such huge strides from our game at Trine to our game at Alma,” he said. “I am excited to see what we do this next week against Mount Saint Joe and what we did better this week than what we did last week.”

Manchester hosts Mount Saint Joseph's University at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at the Carl W. Burt Memorial Stadium.