Freshman running back David Perkins (Santa Ana, Calif./Segerstrom) rushed for a team-high 107 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but the Hiram College football team came out on the losing end of a 20-16 decision against Kenyon College in a North Coast Athletic Conference game in Gambier.
Hiram (2-4, 1-4 NCAC) scored early in the first quarter on its opening possession when Perkins broke free for a 76-yard TD run at the 14:12 minute mark to give the Terriers a 7-0 advantage. Kenyon (4-2, 4-1 NCAC) evened the score at 7-7 just past the midway point of the period when quarterback Jake Bates found Blake Calcei on a 13-yard scoring play with 7:22 left in the frame. The two touchdowns were all the scoring after the first 15 minutes as both teams remained tied at 7-7.
In the second quarter, Kenyon had three consecutive drives end on fourth down plays, including two possessions inside the redzone that ended in zero points for the Lords. Just under seven minutes to go in the half, Kenyon got the ball in Hiram territory on an interception, but the Lords gave the ball right back thanks to an interception by sophomoreAndrew Torres (Cape Coral, Fla./Mariner). The turnover led to Perkins’ second rushing touchdown of the game, this time from 10-yards out with 1:59 to go in the half that ended a seven-play, 78-yard drive. But the extra point attempt was no good as Hiram took a 13-7 lead into the locker rooms.
On Kenyon’s first possession of the third quarter, the Lords went 65 yards in nine plays, that included a pass interference call on a fourth-down play that kept the drive going for Kenyon. Running back Brandon January found the endzone on a three-yard run, but the Lords missed the extra point, keeping the game tied at 13-13. Later in the period, Kenyon moved ahead on the scoreboard on an eight-yard pass play from Bates to Brian Hunca with 1:47 to go making the score 20-13 after three quarters of play.
Following an early defensive interception by Hiram’s Phil Arnold (Eastlake/Eastlake North), the Terriers narrowed the deficit on a 32-yard field goal by junior Greg Klisuric (Mentor) at the 8:58 mark, making the score 20-16. Hiram would have one more possession in the quarter and drove to the Kenyon eight yard line setting up a possible go-ahead scoring opportunity. The Terriers were forced to attempt a fourth-down play that ended in an incomplete pass, giving the ball back to Kenyon with just under two minutes to go. The turnover would be all Kenyon needed as the Lords were able to run out the clock and hold on for a 20-16 victory.
Kenyon ended the game with 410 yards of total offense (264 rushing and 146 passing) and was led by January with 181 yards on the ground on 28 carries to go along with a TD. Bates completed 14-of-22 passes for 146 yards with two TD and two interceptions. Hunca caught a game-tying high five passes for 63 yards and a TD.
Hiram had 267 yards of offense (104 rushing and 163 passing) and was led by Perkins’ 107 yards rushing on 18 attempts and two scores. Senior quarterback George Blake (Parma) completed 10-of-29 passes for 163 yards, but had two interceptions. Senior wide receiverRichard Simpson (Kissimmee, Fla./Gateway) caught five passes for a career and game-high 136 yards. Defensively, three Hiram players recorded 10 or more tackles, led by All-NCAC senior Josh Peacock (Carson City, Nev./Carson) with a game-high 13 stops (10 solo and three assists), including a tackle for loss.
Hiram will have its bye week next Saturday and will host Ohio Wesleyan University in its next game on Saturday, Oct. 26 in a NCAC contest at Henry Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.