The Hiram College football team was defeated by Denison University, 38-10, at the Charles A. Henry Field on Homecoming.
With the loss, the Terriers drop to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in the NCAC. The Big Red improve to 1-2 overall and 1-1 NCAC.
Hiram got the ball to start the game, but following a three-and-out by the Terriers, Denison wasted no time scoring on its first possession going 70 yards in 12 plays scoring on a seven-yard touchdown completion from quarterback Max Paulus to running back Sam Fioroni to give the Big Red a 7-0 lead with 8:18 left in the first quarter. Denison tacked on more points on its next possession with a 28-yard field goal from Matt Puracchio to extend the margin to 10-0 after the first stanza.
Denison continued to dominate the game, holding Hiram to minus four yards of offense when senior quarterback Brendan Rehor (Bay Village/Bay) found sophomore wide receiver Richard Simpson (Kissimee, Fla./Gateway) on a screen pass that turned into a 75-yard TD play with 13:22 left in the period that pulled Hiram to within a field goal, 10-7. Momentum looked to shift Hiram’s way after the score as the Terrier defense came up with a turnover on the next Big Red possession with an interception by sophomore linebacker Tyler Williams(Ravenna/Rootstown). Following a three-and-out by the Hiram offense after the interception, Denison then marched 59 yards in eight plays to find the endzone on a 18-yard TD completion from Paulus to Nick Keller to put the Big Red back up by 10 points, 17-7. Denison later took control by finding the endzone again, this time on a 36-yard TD pass play from Paulus to DuShawn Brown with 11 seconds left in the half to increase the margin to 24-7 at the break.
The second half would be all Denison as the Big Red scored the only points of the third quarter thanks to a TD pass from Paulus, his fourth of the game, to Steven Lilley to make the deficit 31-7 after three quarters.
Denison found the endzone one more time in the final quarter on a one-yard run by Fioroni with 11:52 left in the game. Hiram would tally the final points of the game on a 20-yard field goal that was set by an earlier 33-yard pass completion from freshman quarterback Zach Bailey (Warren/Niles McKinley) to Simpson. But the deficit was already too great as Denison cruised to the 38-10 final.
Denison ended the game with 430 yards of total offense (177 rushing and 253 passing). Paulus completed 21-of-34 passes for 247 yards with four TD and an interception. Fioroni led all rushers with 29 carries for 129 yards and a score. He also caught a game-high nine passes for a team-high 80 yards and a TD. Braden Layer caught eight passes for a team-high 89 yards.
Hiram was led by Simpson who caught five passes for a game-high 123 yards to go along with a TD. Rehor completed eight-of-16 attempts for 108 yards and the lone TD. Defensively, junior defensive back Josh Peacock (Carson City, Nev./Carson) and junior defensive backJohn Davis (Newton Falls) each recorded a game-high 10 tackles. Peacock also added a tackle for loss, while Davis recorded a half sack.
Hiram will travel to Delaware for a NCAC game against Ohio Wesleyan University next Saturday, Sept. 29. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.