The Hillsdale College Chargers routed the Kentucky Wesleyan College Panthers 31 – 12, bringing them to a 5 – 5 record on the year and a 4 – 2 record in the conference with one regular season game remaining.
The Chargers are tied with their next opponent, Ohio Dominican University, for third place in the conference, trailing first place contenders Tiffin and Findlay.
Defense led the way for the Chargers on Saturday, generating four interceptions, three sacks, and two fumble recoveries. Junior defensive back Zach Herzog, who racked up 11 tackles in addition to an interception, a fumble recovery, and a sack, and was recognized as the G‑MAC’s Defensive Player of the Week.
Senior wide receiver Alec Foos, who finished the game with two total touchdowns, attributed much of the offense’s success to the defense.
“I think a big thing with our offense was how our defense played,” said Foos. “They put us in a good spot to capitalize on some points and we made some plays.”
Hillsdale’s first score of the day came by way of a three-yard touchdown run by Foos, following an interception by senior defensive lineman Joe Royer. Foos was responsible for the Chargers’s next score as well, this time on a 15-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Garritt Aissen.
The Panthers’s only points of the half came on a touchdown followed by a blocked extra point with 5:33 left in the second quarter, making the score 14 – 6. After a dropped punt by the Panthers recovered by sophomore linebacker Zach Urda, Aissen threw one more touchdown pass to conclude the half, this one to sophomore tight end Michael Harding, making the first-half score 21 – 6 Chargers.
Junior defensive lineman Kendall Tobin, who finished the game with 4 tackles and a sack, commented on the team’s effort to start fast against the Panthers.
“We knew that if we played like we could for a full four quarters, there isn’t a team in the division that we can’t at least hang with,” said Tobin. “We wanted to come out fast and furious with our hair on fire, and I think we did a pretty good job of that.”
After a 60-yard kickoff return, sophomore running back Jack Robinson ran for a 1‑yard touchdown to give the Chargers their fourth score of the day and first of the second half. The next score arrived with 7:47 left in the fourth quarter, on a field goal by redshirt freshman Julian Lee following another dropped Panther punt recovered by Herzog.
From there, the Panthers put together one final scoring drive in the fourth quarter, making the final score 31 – 12.
The Chargers’s final scheduled game of the season will be played at home this Saturday at 1 p.m. against division rivals Ohio Dominican University. Urda commented on the team’s desire to send off the seniors well.
“I want to get those guys out with a win,” said Urda. “They’ve taught me so much and they gave me so much confidence going into the season.”
Head Coach Keith Otterbein spoke on his mentality heading into his final game of the season.
“You want to play well, you want to end up with a winning record and all that stuff,” said Otterbein. “But it’s not a make or break, live or die game. We just want to go out because there’s an opportunity to go play a game and that’s our job, is to go win football games.”