Chargers Blast Wayne St., Light up Ford Field
Saturday, November 6, 2004
Saturday’s season finale couldn’t have gone much better for the Hillsdale College Football program. The Chargers raced out to a 37-10 first half lead and the victory party began early for the scores of alumni, family, and Hillsdale students who made the trip to Detroit’s Ford Field for Game One of the Collegiate Clash.
The Chargers brought an agressive game plan and for the most part ran at will against the Wayne St. defense. Senior Dan Wilson opened the scoring on the Chargers’ first drive when he exploded from 45 yards out and put the Chargers up 6-0. Matt Mechinger added the extra point.
On the next drive, the Charger defense clamped down on the Warriors and the special teams got into the action. Steve Otterbein squeezed through a gap to block the ensuing punt. Otterbein recovered the ball at the WSU 5 and Doug Dawson punched it in a few plays later to move the Charger lead to 13-0. Mechinger’s extra point was blocked.
The defense and Josh Mott did their best to keep the Charger offense rolling by picking off a Warrior pass late in the 1st quarter. Mechinger added a 33 yard field goal to cap the scoring drive, opening a 16-0 Hillsdale lead.
Wayne St. finally got on the board with a 34 yard field goal with 13:40 left in the 1st half.
Hillsdale quickly answered a minute later when quarterback Jesse Hoskins hit Dan Musielewicz on a 27 yard touchdown.Wayne State answered with their first touchdown, but a few too many Ford Field theatrics cost them a 15 yard taunting penalty, driving them back to their own twenty for the kickoff.
Hillsdale took advantage of the great field position, capping the drive with a 5 yard run from their other quarterback Mark Nicolet. Nicolet added 6 more with 1:30 left in the half when Chris Clay made a spectacular catch to put Hillsdale up 36-10. Mechinger’s kick finished off a big half of offense at 37-10.
Charger defensive back Mitch May pulled an unlikely double on the first Wayne State possession of the second half. May picked off a Nolan Martin pass and took it all of the way to the Wayne State 15 before fumbling it away. May made up for it 3 plays later when he intercepted Martin again.
Unfortunately, the Chargers couldn’t get any closer and Mechinger had his 37 yard attempt blocked.The pace slowed greatly in the second half as the Charger defense kept Wayne State in check and the Charger offense worked the clock and protected the football.
Hillsdale and Nicolet took a few shots at the endzone but could only manage the Wayne St. 8 yard line where they were stopped on fourth down.
On the day, Wilson finished his Hillsdale career in fine fashion with 124 yards on 26 rushes. Sadly, Hillsdale’s Phil Martin wasn’t able to reach the 1000 yard mark he was shooting for after a first half hip pointer kept him on the sideline most of the game. Nicolet was 16 of 25 for 157 yards. He threw for one touchdown and ran for another.