If there was ever a game where the final score didn’t match the actual match-up, this was one of them.
Hillsdale meticulously ground out a 31-3 lead and cleared its bench with a quarter to play. Tiffin took advantage of the Hillsdale inexperience, scoring 21 fourth quarter points with big plays. The decision to give kids one last chance to play on the field at Muddy Waters Stadium still paid off in the end with the Chargers hanging on to win 31-24.
For the majority of the game, Hillsdale dominated the Dragons. On the ground, Joe Glendening only had 62 yards on 14 carries but left the game under his own power midway through the second quarter. Backups Brad Spencer and Brian Thompson proved worthy backups carrying the ball 10 times a piece. Spencer would pick up 55 yards while Thompson had 40. Both carried for touchdowns as did H-Back Kevin Hershock. Even Troy Weatherhead contributed with 25 yards on 4 carries including an 11 yard scamper.
Speaking of Weatherhead, through 3 quarters of work he completed 22 of 29 passes for 265 and a touchdown to Andre Holmes. He finishes the regular season with a 77% completion mark shattering the Hillsdale and old GLIAC configuration record of 71% set by Charger Pat Riepma in 1981 and the current configuration GLIAC record of 69% set by Curt Anes in 2001. Whenever the season ends for Hillsdale, if Weatherhead can stay about 74%, he will own the highest completion percentage mark by any college quarterback in any division!
Holmes had 8 catches for 127 yards and the TD now making him #1 on the career yards list, career receptions list, single season yards list, and single season catch list. 8 other Chargers caught balls including Cam White who had 4 receptions.
Despite the big plays at the end, the core of the defense was exceptional, limiting Tiffin to 34 total rushing yards. Tiffin could only muster 5 first downs and 62 total first half yards.
Jed Thompson was the only Charger to register a sack and had 4 total tackles. Devin Moynihan and Nick Hixson had 6 stops a piece and Steven Harding had 6. Joining Thompson with 4 were Steven Embry, Jake Weddle, Brett Pasche, and David Bakker.
Hillsdale’s fate now rests in the hands of the NCAA selection formula, regional, and national committees. ESPNNews will announce at 3 PM EST tomorrow whether Hillsdale holds onto to the 6th seed and that last Super Region 3 playoff spot. Hillsdale came into the as the 6th ranked team.
With the 9-2 record, Hillsdale ties Wayne State for a share of the first ever GLIAC South Division title.