Trey Brock broke Hills­dale’s all-time recep­tions record in Sat­ur­day’s win. Cal Abbo | Col­legian

The Hillsdale College Chargers extended their winning streak to seven games on Sat­urday in a com­manding 34 – 0 win against the Ken­tucky Wes­leyan College Pan­thers. After shutting out oppo­nents three sep­arate times last season, the shutout against the Pan­thers this season is the Chargers’ first.

In the game, senior wide receiver Trey Brock became Hillsdale’s all-time leader in recep­tions, catching five passes for 116 yards and two touch­downs. Brock has caught 222 passes in his four-year career at Hillsdale, and already set records for most receiving yards and most touchdown recep­tions in a career earlier this season.

“I try not to pay too much attention to it. When I came here, I wanted to do those things because I knew how much I was willing to work,” Brock said. “I didn’t have any spe­cific goals, I just wanted to come and work as hard as I could and be the best player I could, and I knew if I did that, I could break some records. Those were my expec­ta­tions. It’s def­i­nitely an honor to have those acco­lades.”

Hillsdale’s defense entered the game leading the G‑MAC in fewest points allowed per game, and the win lowers the Chargers’ points allowed per game average to just 16.7. Despite the offense throwing four inter­cep­tions, Hillsdale’s defense inter­cepted two passes, forced and recovered a fumble, and forced a turnover on downs.

“It was critical that we were getting it back. Just didn’t make some great deci­sions,” head coach Keith Otterbein said of the turnover-heavy game. “I think we were trying to force things early. Trying to get ahead of our­selves instead of letting the game come to us, but we’ve got to do a great job of taking care of the ball and we didn’t make the greatest deci­sions on some of those throws.”

Senior quar­terback Chance Stewart threw two inter­cep­tions, freshman wide receiver Alec Foos threw an inter­ception on a trick play, and backup sophomore quar­terback Ty Cox threw an inter­ception. The four inter­cep­tions were the most thrown by the Chargers in a game this season.

“We’ve got to improve a lot from this past week. We were sloppy with the football. I missed out on a few deeper throws,” Stewart said. “We just need to clean things up, we were able to get away with it against Ken­tucky Wes­leyan, but this week we really need to be locked in with laser focus and have a really good week of prepa­ration. I know the guys will.”

Stewart even­tually settled in, and dis­tributed the ball to nine dif­ferent receivers, led by Brock. Brock’s first touchdown grab opened the scoring, an 11-yard pass he caught at the goal line and reached the ball into the end zone for the score. His second touchdown catch came on a 67-yard bomb from Stewart.

“The times we were able to push the ball down the field, it worked great,” Stewart said. “We’ve been doing that all year; that’s one of our strengths.”

The per­for­mance was Brock’s fourth 100-yard-plus receiving game this season. After catching just one pass for six yards between the season’s first two games, Brock is aver­aging 113 receiving yards per game in his last seven games, all against con­ference oppo­nents.

“Really happy for him. His team­mates are happy for him. He’s a heck of a player,” Otterbein said. “He’s had a solid career, but he’s turned it up this year and really worked hard. He’s prac­ticing hard and trying to work on all aspects of his game.”

Both teams’ first offensive pos­ses­sions of the game ended in inter­cep­tions. Hillsdale got the ball to begin the game, but Stewart under­threw a deep ball intended for Brock that was inter­cepted. The Chargers got the ball back, however, when sophomore defensive back Alex Anschutz inter­cepted a pass to set up Hillsdale’s first scoring drive. The inter­ception was Anschutz’s fourth of the year to lead the team.

Junior running back David Graham ran for a pair of touch­downs to extend the Chargers’ lead to 21 – 0, and junior line­backer Nate Jones’s inter­ception in the end zone in the closing seconds of the first half ensured the Pan­thers would be kept scoreless at halftime.

Graham’s two rushing touch­downs give him 12 on the season, tied for the most in the G‑MAC. He carried the ball 17 times for 73 yards in the game, and has found the end zone in eight con­sec­utive games.

“Just solid. He takes care of the ball, gets yards after contact, and has been really good in pass pro­tection,” Otterbein said. “He’s had a really, really solid year to back up what was a really solid year last year.”

In his second year as the Chargers’ starting running back, Graham said con­sis­tency and famil­iarity has been key to his per­for­mance as the season has pro­gressed.

“Later in the season, we’re starting to get a feel of where the blocks are and what the schemes are like,” Graham said. “Our passing game also helps open up the run a lot. We’re doing a good job with a really well-bal­anced attack right now.”

Stewart com­pleted 15 of 26 passes for 250 yards in the win. With two regular season games remaining, he is now just 596 yards shy of Troy Weatherhead’s record for most passing yards in program history.

The Chargers (8 – 1, 7 – 0 G‑MAC) remain at home this Sat­urday as they take on the Tiffin Uni­versity Dragons (9 – 0, 6 – 0). Since both teams are unde­feated against G‑MAC oppo­nents, the winner will earn the regular season con­ference cham­pi­onship. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. as the team will also cel­e­brate Senior Day during the final home game of the year.

“It’s cham­pi­onship week. You can’t ask for a better ending to play for a cham­pi­onship on Senior Day,” Stewart said. “The story is there, we just have to go out there and execute and do our job. The guys will be really focused this week and locked in. It will be a really fun time.”