The Hillsdale College Chargers put more points on the board in the fourth quarter than the Grand Valley State University Lakers, but couldn’t erase the deficit left after the second and third quarters in Saturday’s homecoming game.
“I think what that proves is our kids are going to keep playing and keep fighting,” head coach Keith Otterbein said. “We just didn’t do enough right in order to [win the game].”
After scoring on their opening drive and taking the lead 6 – 0, the Chargers only put three more points on the board until the fourth quarter. The 42 – 23 loss puts the Chargers at third in the Northern Division and fourth overall in the GLIAC. Hillsdale has a 6 – 3 overall record and a 6 – 2 record in the GLIAC.
Hillsdale was able to maintain its 6 – 0 lead throughout the first quarter, forcing a fumble on Grand Valley’s opening drive.
“That was a good way to start off the game,” senior running back Joe Glendening said. “We just couldn’t really get it going again.”
Early in the second quarter, the Lakers scored two touchdowns, and after a 19-yard field goal from Hillsdale’s senior kicker Colin McGreevy, they scored a third.
“We left a lot of points out on the field,” Glendening said.
Grand Valley didn’t let Hillsdale put any points on the board in the third quarter, scoring 14 unanswered points.
Otterbein pointed to a few big calls that didn’t go the Chargers’ way, poor play selection, and a strong Grand Valley team as big factors in Saturday’s game.
In the first quarter, the Lakers fumbled a kickoff return, which the Chargers recovered, but they were called offsides. If Hillsdale would have taken possession of the ball, their field position would have put them close to another touchdown to take a two-touchdown lead.
“We were not offsides,” Otterbein said.
In the third quarter the Lakers intercepted a pass in the end zone, but Otterbein said they should have been called on defensive holding or pass interference.
“Both plays were big momentum changing plays,” he said. “When those kind of calls don’t go your way, you have to find a way to overcome them.”
He also said that some of the play selections were not as strong as they should have been.
“We could have done a better job of game-day adjustments with play selection,” he said. “We didn’t do a great job as a staff getting the right plays called to put us in the optimum situations.”
But Otterbein said the team must get past this weekend and focus on winning the next game and the steps they have to take in order to do that.
“There are a lot of things we need to correct as far as technique and assignment football, which become more apparent when you play a good team like [on Saturday],” Otterbein said. “We were off just enough to where it affected the outcome of the game.”
Glendening said the team has to shake off this loss and go into the next game ready to win.
“We can’t let our confidence be shaken,” he said. “We know what kind of football team we are, and we are a better team than we were on Saturday.”
The Chargers will face Michigan Technological University on Saturday in an away game.