Searching for an Identity

Andy Brown
Hillsdale Football Play-by-Play
WCSR Radio and Special to

The Chargers dropped their second game of the season, 17 to 14, at Findlay Saturday night.

I can’t imagine what the short bus ride back to Hillsdale was like. Hillsdale had every opportunity you could possibly ask for to win this game. The defense did a great job against the Findlay running game, Hillsdale got its own running game going, Hillsdale led by 14 on the road, but none of that matters now. The Chargers did not get it done when it mattered most, and now must face the prospect of returning to Muddy Waters Stadium to play Ferris with an 0-2 record against beatable teams.

In my opinion there were three major factors in the loss:

1. The Chargers did not respond well when two of their offensive starters, running back Phil Martin, and tackle Ike Daugherty, went down with injuries. Martin in particular had been a key factor in the Chargers’ successful first half, scoring both of Hillsdale’s touchdowns, and breaking a 55-yard run to give them a chance to score again at the end of the first half. Brett Neller ran the ball very hard, and didn’t do a bad job, but the loss of Martin seemed to tame Hillsdale’s offensive attitude. They are simply nowhere near as effective without Martin available. Martin attempted to play again on a heavily taped ankle, but couldn’t make the difference Hillsdale needed.

2. Aaron Scholl does not appear to be comfortable in this offense. Yes, Scholl ran for over 100 yards, but passing he was only 11 of 23 with three devastating interceptions. Scholl often seems to be caught between trying to find an open receiver and looking for a place to run. When a quarterback tries to do both of those things at the same time, his production will suffer. Don’t forget, Scholl was injured early last season, and missed the entire second half of the year. He does not have a great deal of experience. He also does not seem to be a particularly accurate passer. Scholl missed open receivers throughout the game, and even when the passes were completed, the receivers were not catching the ball in stride. The Chargers offense presents almost no vertical passing threat whatsoever. This allows defenses to pack everything inside and guard against the shorter passes. Of course, I don’t know if the coaches are calling for longer passes and Scholl is checking down or running, but the simple fact is that Scholl didn’t take any shots downfield. Either he must improve, or the coaches need to change the scheme to help him be more successful.

3. Keith Recker? I suppose my final point dovetails with my second, but the Chargers are getting very little production from their preseason All-American candidate Keith Recker. Keith looks as if he feels good and is ready to make plays, but he isn’t getting any chances. Wondering what impact he had in the Findlay game? How about 1 catch for 9 yards. That is it! Keith is a deadly weapon on third down and will catch every ball that is thrown in his relative vicinity. Unfortunately, Scholl either ran the ball on passing downs, tried to hit another receiver, or threw a bad pass to Recker. I bet they called several plays for Keith, but the ball only came his way three or four times, and he never had a chance to catch most of the passes. It would seem that Recker would be the perfect target for a young quarterback trying to build some confidence, but it is not happening so far. It could be that defenses are scheming ways to prevent Recker from making an impact, but the Chargers still must do better in getting him involved.

Bright Spots: Eric Webber: Two Sacks!! Phil Martin–great first half–he is for real.

Needs Some Work: Kicking game. Vertical passing attack.

Well, it seems that the link is back for the broadcasts. You can log on to to listen to all the Chargers game live over the internet! Jim and I will have the call on WCSR Saturday at 2:15! I will try to interview Muddy Waters, who is appearing with the 1955 team that went 9-0.


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