Scanlon kicks well in WMU season opener
Published 1:54 pm Monday, September 2, 2013
EAST LANSING — For Dowagiac freshman Brett Scanlon, his first collegiate game will go down as a 26-13 loss to Michigan State in Spartan Stadium.
But for the Western Michigan kicker, Friday night was a win because he earned a starting spot for the Broncos. Scanlon will handle the kickoff duties for WMU and from the looks of his first two kicks, he has settled in quite well.
The Broncos had to open the game by kicking to the Spartans, so Scanlon didn’t have a lot of time to think about what was going on around him. He only had time to get warmed up and then step on the field and get the 2013 season under way.
His first collegiate kick reached the end zone, traveling 65 yards where it was received by Michigan State’s Nick Hill, who after a slight hesitation, returned it 27 yards.
That drive did not result in any points for the Spartans as both offenses struggled throughout the game.
Michigan State would eventually take a 7-0 lead on an interception of a Tyler Van Tubbergen pass by Jarius Jones, who lateraled it to Kurtis Drummond who returned it for a touchdown.
Both teams would struggle to find consistency in the first half, which was delayed nearly an hour by heavy rains and a brief thunderstorm.
When the two teams returned to the field, Western Michigan put together its best offensive output of the game, driving 59 yards on four plays to tie the score at 7-7 following a 14-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Zach Terrell to Clark Mussman with 6:14 to play in the opening half.
Scanlon returned to the field to kickoff for the Broncos, again knocking it down to the goal line where Hill picked it up and returned it 17 yards.
Again, Michigan State did not score on that drive.
The Spartans would build a 26-7 advantage on Western Michigan before a late Bronco touchdown with 1:51 to play would cut the lead to 26-13.
Western Michigan came out for the onside kick, using Andrew Halderman, the placekicker, for the attempt.
“It was awesome, such a great experience,” Scanlon said following the game. “I am so thankful to be a part of it and to be a part of the new era in Broncos football. I know the scoreboard didn’t show it tonight, but we are truly taking the program in the right direction. I believe that.”
Scanlon said his two kickoffs were decent, but he still has some work to do.
“I know I can do better,” he said. “I had the nerves running through me, but I got it out of the way. It should come a lot easier the first time.”
Scanlon was able to get involved in the second kickoff, helping bring down Hill.
“I got to stick my nose in there a little bit,” Scanlon said. “I had all that adrenaline going, so I didn’t feel a thing.”
Western Michigan is back at it Saturday when it hosts Nicholls State at 7 p.m.
Michigan State will host South Florida Saturday at noon.