During a stretch from midway through the second quarter to 4:44 left in the ball game, Hillsdale gave the St. Joe’s College chain gang some down time. For 7 straight possessions, the Charger defense kept the chains stationary allowing no first downs.
That performance allowed the Charger offense to move the football and work out the kinks enroute to a 30-7 opening week victory.
Hillsdale got on the board first, taking the opening drive 51 yards before Vinnie Panizzi barreled in from 3 yards out. Mark Petro made it 7-0 with the extra point.
St. Joe’s would respond on their first possession making it 7-7. 5:38 to play in the 1st quarter.
Panizzi would put Hillsdale ahead for good 14-7 with :49 left in the first half.
Charger quarterback Troy Weatherhead would begin to heat up a nice game of pitch and catch with junior WR Andre Holmes as two would move the ball consistently in the first half. The two would hook up 7 times for 72 yards in the 1st half alone.
Brad Spencer would get another Charger TD on a 3 yard plunge.
With the defense completely neutralizing anything St. Joe tried to do, Hillsdale would extend its lead to 24-7 at the half thanks to Mark Petro drilling a 40 yard field goal with :09 left on the clock.
The second half was a clinic led by the Hillsdale defensive unit. DL Drew Berube had two key pass deflections giving the Chargers plenty of time with the ball.
Petro would add a 34 yarder, set up nicely by a freshman Joe Glendenning 20 plus yard run that put Hillsdale within the redzone once again. 27-7 Chargers. He’d add a chipshot a possession later to make it 30-7.
Panizzi would cap the scoring at 37-7 with a 5 yard touchdown run with 4:40 to play. He carried the ball 18 times for 57 yards.
Hillsdale had 26 first downs to the Pumas’ 8, amassing 426 yards on 83 plays.
The yards broke down 131 on the ground and 295 through the air.
St. Joes was held to 182 total yards (48 rushing, 134 passing)
Hillsdale opens GLIAC play next week at home vs. Michigan Tech. Kickoff is noon.