NEW WILMINGTON, PA. — The Hiram College football team was defeated by Westminster College, 17-7, tonight (Saturday, Sept. 3) in the season opener at Harold Burry Stadium in New Wilmington, Pa. [Game Stats]
With the loss, the Terriers begin the season 0-1 overall and the Titans open their season with a 1-0 overall record.
Hiram forced a punt in Westminster’s opening drive of the game, but the Terriers gave the ball back on their first possession of the game at their own seven yard line which led to a Titan touchdown on a six-yard run by John Proano that gave Westminster an early 7-0 lead. Later in the quarter on the Titans’ next drive, Westminster added to its lead thanks to a 22-yard field goal by Zac Henry for a 10-0 margin after the first quarter of play.
In the second quarter, Westminster found the endzone again on another six-yard scamper by Proano that was set up by an earlier fumble recovery on Hiram’s ensuing possession following the Henry field goal as the Titans extended their lead to 17-0. Hiram answered the score on its next possession on a three-yard TD run by sophomore quarterback Brandon Hanna (Ashtabula/Edgewood) that capped an eight-play, 70-yard drive and narrowed the gap to 17-7 with 5:19 left in the half. The Terriers got the ball back on a fumble recovery on the ensuing Westminster possession and would threaten to score again with the ball at the Titan 30-yard line. But the drive would end on an interception at the goal line and Westminster maintained its 17-7 lead at the break.
Both team’s offenses went stagnant in the second half as neither team would find the endzone, but the earlier Westminster lead would be the difference maker as the Titans went on to win by the final of 17-7.
Hiram won the total yards battle with 188 yards of offense (108 rushing and 80 passing), but committed six turnovers in the game. Westminster ended the game with 176 yards of offense (73 yards rushing and 103 passing).
Individually for the Titans, Proano led the way with 19 carries for 43 yards and two TD. Quarterback Shawn Lehocky completed 16-of-25 passes for 103 yards. Geno Pasquinelli led all wide receivers with 46 yards on six catches. Defensively, Nate Moot recorded a team-high six tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss.
Hanna led the Hiram offense with 110 yards on the ground on 18 carries and one TD. He also completed 16-of-25 passes for 80 yards. Hanna is the first Terrier to rush for 100 yards in a game since current senior running back Rodney Jacobs rushed for 108 yards against Carnegie Mellon (Pa.) University during the 2009 season. Sophomore wideout Richard Simpson (Kissimmee, Fla./Gateway) caught a game-tying high six passes for 32 yards. Defensively, senior All-North Coast Athletic Conference linebackers Oliver Dickerhoof (Alliance/Central Catholic) and Jon Hull (Buford, Ga./Mill Creek) both had a game-high 11 tackles. In addition, Dickerhoof added a sack and 1.5 tackles for loss, while Hull also recorded one sack.
Hiram will host Kenyon College next Saturday, Sept. 10 in the home and NCAC opener at Charles A. Henry Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.