The Chargers host Tiffin this Sat­urday. The winner will be the G‑MAC regular-season champion. Cal Abbo | Col­legian

Senior quar­terback Chance Stewart calls it “the biggest football game I’ve ever played in.” On Sat­urday, the Hillsdale College Chargers will have a shot to win a regular-season con­ference cham­pi­onship for the first time since 2011. Standing between Hillsdale and a G‑MAC regular-season cham­pi­onship are the Tiffin Uni­versity Dragons, unde­feated for the season and ranked No. 15 nationally. Hillsdale enters the weekend ranked No. 25.

The Chargers’ only loss this season came in a non-con­ference game against Michigan Tech Uni­versity on Sept. 8. Hillsdale, like Tiffin, is unde­feated in the G‑MAC. The nearest teams to Tiffin and Hillsdale in the con­ference standings are the Uni­versity of Findlay and Ohio Dominican Uni­versity. Both teams are two games behind the Chargers and Dragons, so whoever emerges vic­to­rious on Sat­urday will clinch the regular season con­ference cham­pi­onship.

Hillsdale last played Tiffin in 2016, when both teams were in the GLIAC. The Dragons won, 37 – 20. The last time Tiffin played on the Chargers’ turf, Hillsdale won 38 – 24 on Oct. 24, 2015. That win was the first of Stewart’s career at Hillsdale.

Tiffin and Hillsdale have seem­ingly been on a col­lision course toward Saturday’s game all season long. The teams rank first or second in the con­ference, or second and first, in numerous sta­tis­tical cat­e­gories.

The Chargers’ defense ranks first in the con­ference in points allowed per game, inter­cep­tions, and pass defense effi­ciency, while the Dragons are second in each of those cat­e­gories. Tiffin con­trols time of pos­session and con­verts fourth downs on offense better than any other team in the G‑MAC.

But senior wide receiver Trey Brock, who leads Hillsdale and the G‑MAC in receiving yards per game, said he and the Chargers have no doubt who will be the superior team on Sat­urday.

“We have a lot of con­fi­dence. When we beat them, it’s not going to be an upset,” Brock said. “I believe we’re the better team. I don’t think they want it more than we do. Everybody is on board.”

Head coach Keith Otterbein’s one-game-at-a-time focus is ever-important as the Chargers prepare for their biggest game of the season to date. Should they win on Sat­urday, the Chargers could be playing for a berth in the NCAA playoffs the next week against the Uni­versity of Indi­anapolis. But Hillsdale’s current focus is on Tiffin, and Tiffin only.

“You go and do all that work all spring, all summer, and all fall, and right now, what you do is you take all that in per­spective,” Otterbein said. “You go through the same process, get ready in the same way, and let the game come to you.”

Stewart may con­sider this Sat­urday the biggest game of his life, but he also dis­played that per­spective.

“It’s week 10,” Stewart said. “This is just another G‑MAC game.”

He’s right about that. It also happens to be the G‑MAC’s game of the year.

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Nathan is a junior at Hillsdale College studying Rhetoric and Public Address and Journalism. He is Sports Editor and beat reporter for the Football, Women's Basketball, and Baseball teams for the Hillsdale Collegian. When he's not watching or writing about sports, Nathan enjoys playing organ and singing. Originally from St. Louis Missouri, Nathan now lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You can follow Nathan on twitter @nategrime or Hillsdale Collegian Sports at @HDaleSports.