Aggressive play-calling pays off as Hillsdale College football team beats Michigan Tech

by Mike Pryson | Citizen Patriot
Saturday September 05, 2009, 11:10 PM

Mike Blanchard (pictured, hauled in a 38 yard touchdown reception in the win.)

HILLSDALE — Hillsdale College football coach Keith Otterbein decided to throw the conservative section of the playbook out the window Saturday, and it proved to be the difference in the Chargers’ 37-35 victory over Michigan Tech.

With Hillsdale leading 30-28 and less than 3 minutes to play, the Chargers had the ball on their own 27-yard line.

But instead of playing this one by the book and going to the ground to chew up some clock, Hillsdale went to the air.

Quarterback Troy Weatherhead hit Andre Holmes on a fly pattern down the left sideline for 53 yards to set up a 15-yard scoring run by Vince Panizzi that effectively put the game out of reach. Panizzi’s touchdown with 1:37 to play gave Hillsdale a 37-28 lead.

“All of your gut and all of your instincts are saying you’ve got to run the football, but they’re giving you the pass,” Otterbein said. “You’ve got to swallow real hard and call it. You’ve got to get out of your comfort zone a little bit.”

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