September 21, 2019

From HOPE.EDU (by Greg Chandler)

The Hope College football team built up a 20-point halftime lead, then survived a second-half comeback bid by a high-powered offense Saturday to defeat unbeaten Aurora University (Illinois), 34-32, on Saturday at Ray and Sue Smith Stadium.

With the win, the Flying Dutchmen will take a 2-1 record into a bye week. Hope now prepares to launch Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association play Saturday, October 5, at defending league champion Trine University.

“It’s huge to get a win going into the bye week,” head coach Peter Stuursma said. “We get to get some guys healed up, learn from what we did right and wrong. We’ve got a good week-and-a half to prepare for our next game.”

Senior safety Luke Beckhusen of Coldwater, Michigan (Coldwater HS) sealed the win by recovering an onside kick after Aurora (2-1) scored with 53 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter on a hook-and-ladder play that covered 67 yards.

Quarterback Mason Opple then kneeled twice to run out the final seconds. The senior from Hudsonville, Michigan (Hudsonville) passed for 202 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 86 yards and two scores.

Eight of Opple’s 12 completions went to senior receiver Christian Bos of Hudsonville, Michigan (Unity Christian HS), who finished with a career-high 162 receiving yards and two touchdowns.