NU takes aim at Hillsdale for fifth straight win
Midland Daily News 09/30/2005
After an 0-2 start, Hillsdale College’s football team exploded for a combined total of 77 points in back-to-back wins over Ferris State and Gannon recently. Sixth-ranked Saginaw Valley State cooled the Chargers down in a 24-3 victory last Saturday, and Northwood coach Pat Riepma hopes his Timberwolves can do the same this Saturday.
No. 19 Northwood (4-1 overall, 3-1 GLIAC) hosts Hillsdale (2-3 overall and in the conference) at noon at Hantz Stadium during Homecoming/Auto Show weekend.
“They’ve always been able to score points, and our games have always been competitive,” Riepma said of the Chargers. “They had Findlay down 14-0 before a losing a tough one, 17-14 (in week two). They’re a very good football team that is a couple of points from being 4-1.”
After opening the season with losses of 29-21 to Indianapolis and 17-14 to Findlay, the Chargers beat Ferris 34-14 and Gannon 43-9 before falling to SVSU last week.
HC’s focus is running the football, and junior tailback Phil Martin is the Chargers’ primary offensive weapon. Hillsdale ranks fifth in the GLIAC in rushing offense at 161.4 yards per game, and Martin is third in rushing (90.4 ypg), third in scoring (8.4 ppg), and third in all-purpose yards (128.8 ypg).
“He’s a very legitimate running back,” Riepma said of Martin, who has gained 452 yards and scored seven touchdowns on the ground. “He’s in the top echelon of our league, and he’s a strong runner. He’s someone to definitely prepare for and someone you try to contain to the best of your ability.”
Junior quarterback Aaron Scholl (Ed. note: see Scholl post below) is the Chargers’ second-leading rusher with 199 yards and a TD. Through the air, Scholl has completed 51 percent of his passes for 468 yards and four TDs with six interceptions.
Senior tight end Keith Recker (nine catches, 119 yards, TD) and senior wide receiver Ryan Hermosillo (8-86) are Scholl’s main targets.
According to Riepma, HC’s offense relies heavily on deception to confuse defenses.