Despite only trailing 7-0 after the first quarter, the Hiram College football team was outscored 35-0 in the second as Wittenberg University cruised to a 71-7 win against the Terriers in a North Coast Athletic Conference game in Springfield.
Wittenberg’s (8-1, 5-1 NCAC)) first two possessions of the game resulted in an interception by Hiram (0-9, 0-6 NCAC) defensive back Josh Peacock (Carson City, Nev./Carson) and a turnover on downs. The Tigers then got on the board with the only points of the first quarter coming on a 28-yard touchdown run by quarterback Reed Florence to put Wittenberg up, 7-0, after one period of play.
In the second quarter, Wittenberg struck for 35 points to blow the game open that included another TD run by Florence and three TD passes. The Tigers other score came on a 54-yard interception return en route to a 42-0 advantage at the break.
Coming out of the locker rooms, Wittenberg continued the offensive onslaught with a 36-yard field goal by Sean Williams and added an 11-yard TD scamper by tailback JaVanh Sanders. The extra point try following the Sanders’ score was missed, but the Tigers still had a 51-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Hiram scored its lone points on a one-yard TD run by freshman quarterback Zach Bailey (Warren/Niles McKinley) that ended a 12-play, 56-yard drive and the possible shutout making the score 51-7. But the Wittenberg continued to pile on the points as the Tigers answered the Terrier TD with 20 unanswered points en route to the 71-7 final.
Wittenberg was led by Florence who completed 15-of-20 passes for 162 yards with three TD. He also rushed for 49 yards on four carries and had one TD. Sanders finished the game with 94 yards rushing on 10 attempts and one score. Wide receiver Brendan Cunningham had eight catches for a game-high 98 yards and a TD. Defensively, the Tigers were led by Evan Killilea with eight tackles (four solo and four assists), including 2.5 tackles for loss.
Hiram was led offensively by Bailey who completed 21-of-42 passes for 127 yards. Junior receiver Darren Gibson (Lakewood) caught a game-high nine passes for 64 yards. On the ground, freshman T.J. Babauta (Lompac, Calif./Cabrillo) carried the ball eight times for 14 yards. Defensively, freshman Devonte Fleetion (Youngstown/East) had a game-high 12 tackles (six solo and six assists), including a half tackle for loss. Junior Tyler Williams (Ravenna/Rootstown) also finished in double-figures in tackles with 10 stops (four solo and six assists).
The Terriers will conclude the 2012 season next Saturday, Nov. 10 when they host Allegheny (Pa.) College in the NCAC and home finale at Charles A. Henry Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.