The Hiram College football team opened the 2014 season with a come from behind 30-27 victory over Westminster (Pa.) on Saturday evening.
The Terriers stand at 1-0 on the season, while the Titans fall to 0-1.
Hiram trailed 24-3 at the half and 27-3 in the third quarter, before scoring the final 27 points of the game for the thrilling win.
Senior quarterback Robert Partridge (Massillon/Massillon Washington) paced the HC offense, going 23-of-40 for 309 yards and three touchdowns. He also carried the ball seven times for 33 yards.
Junior Britton Lewis (Tampa, Fla./Paul R. Wharton) had eight receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns, while junior Nate Eaton (South Euclid/Walnut Ridge) hauled in nine passes for 83 yards and a touchdown.
Trailing 27-22 with just 2:32 left, Partridge led the offense on a 12 play, 73 yard drive and hooked up with Lewis for a 14 yard touchdown with 19 seconds to give HC the lead. The ensuing two point conversion was good, making the score 30-27 in favor of the Terriers.
Westminster’s hail mary attempt in the closing seconds fell incomplete to give Hiram the win.
The Titans opened up a 24-3 lead at the break and added a field goal with 6:49 left in the third quarter to make it 27-3.
HC answered on its next drive with a four play drive that was capped off with a 31 yard touchdown pass from Partridge to Eaton.
In the fourth quarter, Partridge found Lewis for a 11 yard touchdown. The extra point failed making the score 27-16 in favor of Westminster.
After a stop by the defense, Hiram answered again with a one yard touchdown run from freshman running back Brendon Carr (Wellsville/Wellsville Local). The two point conversion try failed, making the score 27-22.
HC then got a stop and scored the go ahead touchdown for the win.
Westminster opened the game with a drive inside the five yardline, but had to settle for a field goal after the HC defense made four consecutive stops.
Senior Greg Klisuric (Mentor) converted a 24 yard field goal on Hiram’s first drive to tie the game at 3-3. The drive was sparked by a 53 yard completion from Partridge to Lewis.
Westminster would control the rest of the first half, scoring touchdowns on three of four possessions to take a 24-3 lead into the half.
On defense, senior James Romanowski (Chagrin Falls/Kenston) led the Terriers with nine tackles, while junior D.D. Fleetion (Youngstown/East) and junior Jacob Dengg(Jefferson/Jefferson Area) each had eight tackles.
Hiram will return to action on September 13, when it hosts its NCAC and home opener against Denison at 7 p.m.