The football team lines up during a team scrimmage 
Courtesy | Hillsdale College Ath­letic Department

In both home football games the Chargers have played this season, stu­dents have made a mass exodus from their spots in the stands right before the second half.

The third and fourth quarters of each game see no more than a couple dozen fans spread across the student-section bleachers, a sad com­parison to the packed group of dressed up hecklers who pop­u­lated the stands in the first half.

This is not for lack of excitement either. The Chargers’ home opener saw the team go toe-to-toe with the Uni­versity of Indi­anapolis, who was ranked No. 12 in all of D2 football at the time. The Chargers scored 21 of their 31 points in the second half, including a jump-ball touchdown as time expired, leaving them just short of an incredible upset.

Hillsdale’s home­coming game, their second home game of the season, was as electric a crowd as I’ve seen at a Charger football game — in the first half, that is. The home­coming court took the field at halftime, watching as Brennan Nokelby and Maya Kaniapio were named King and Queen.

But just like the home opener, the stands again emptied in the second half as Sim­ponites and Greek houses alike made their way out of the stadium. This time, Charger fans missed an even more exciting game. After dev­as­tating injuries, Garret Aissen, the team’s third string quar­terback, stepped in to save the game. He helped rattle off 21 unan­swered points, leading his team to their first win of the season in dra­matic fashion, all with nearly no one in the stands.

At a school where our ath­letic teams get far less attention than they deserve, football, at the very least, should be the exception. As the home­coming game proved, the tailgate alone is worth the couple extra hours spent down the hill, and let’s be honest, are you really going to do any­thing pro­ductive on a Sat­urday night with the time you would have spent cheering on your classmates?