UNIVERSITY CIRCLE, OHIO — The Hiram College football team was defeated by Case, 34-7, today (Saturday, Oct. 15) in a non-conference game in University Circle. [Game Stats]
With the loss, the Terriers drop to 1-6 overall and the Spartans improve to 5-1 overall for the season.
Case looked to make a statement early in the game returning the opening kickoff 59 yards setting up the Spartans in excellent field position at the Hiram 30-yard line. Case found the endzone five plays later to take an early 7-0 lead with 12:22 left to play in the period. Following a three-and-out on the ensuing possession, the Terriers got the ball back on a fumble recovery by senior defensive back Mike Brown (Cleveland/Glenville) which led to a three-yard touchdown run by sophomore quarterback Brendan Hanna (Ashtabula/Lakeside) evening the score at 7-7. Also during the drive, Hanna connected with junior tight end Tom Moran (Parma Heights/St. Ignatius) for 51 yards on a second down play and later hooked up again on a six-yard pass play leading up to the Hanna score. Case answered with an ensuing 74 yard kickoff return to the Hiram 17-yard line, but the Spartans would only manage to add a 34-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead. The Terriers looked to answer the Case field goal with a field goal attempt of their own following another Case fumble, but the 30-yard try by freshman Greg Klisuric (Mentor) sailed wide right, keeping the game deadlocked at 10-7 after the first quarter of play.
In the second quarter, Case committed back-to-back turnovers on its first two possessions of the period, but the Terriers failed to capitalize keeping the score 10-7. The Spartans later converted a recovered fumble of their own on a Hiram punt return that led to a one-yard TD run by Manny Sicre at the 6:41 minute mark to extend the margin to 17-7. Case found the endzone again on its next drive after forcing a Hiram three-and-out, this time on a 15-yard pass play from quarterback Erik Olson to Sicre ending the scoring in the half as the Spartans took a 24-7 edge into the locker rooms.
Case scored the only points in the second half, all in the third quarter, on a two-yard TD pass completion from Olson to Bryan Metlesitz and a 34-yard field goal by Daniel Vasil as the Spartans would go on to the 34-7 victory.
Case totaled 278 yards of offense (91 rushing and 187 passing), but would commit four turnovers in the game. The Spartans were led by Olson who completed 17-of-27 passes for 142 yards with a pair of TD and an interception. Sicre finished the game with 53 yards on the ground in 15 attempts and a TD. Metlesitz led all receivers with game-highs of eight receptions for 71 yards and a TD. Defensively, five Spartan players each recorded a team-best seven tackles.
Hiram had 196 yards of total offense (38 rushing and 158 passing) with Hanna leading the way. He completed 21-of-40 passes for 158 yards, but tossed one interception. Junior running back Chris Austin Cleveland/Glenville) carried the ball eight times for 19 yards. Moran finished the game with a team-tying high five receptions for a team-best 69 yards. On defense, sophomore defensive back Josh Peacock (Carson City, Nev./Carson) had a game-high 11 tackles (five solo and six assists) to go along with a fumble recovery. Senior All-North Coast Athletic Conference linebacker Oliver Dickerhoof (Alliance/Central Catholic) added 10 tackles (four solo and six assists).
Hiram will have its bye week next week and will then host The College of Wooster in the first-ever night game at Charles A. Henry Field on Saturday, Oct. 29. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.