Despite a hard-fought first half, the Hiram College football team came out on the losing end of a 39-0 decision against Oberlin College in a North Coast Athletic Conference game at Charles A. Henry Field.
Following a scoreless first quarter, Oberlin (3-5, 2-3 NCAC) got on the board at the 11:48 minute mark of the second quarter on a six-yard touchdown pass play from quarterback Josh Mandel to runningback Moses Richardson capping a three-play, nine-yard drive that was set up by an earlier botched snapped on a Hiram punt attempt on the Terrier side of the field. The Yeomen failed to convert on the extra point, but would take a 6-0 lead. Hiram (0-8, 0-5 NCAC) drove to the Oberlin 28-yard line on its ensuing possession, but the drive would end on a negative pass play on fourth down which led to a nine-play, 68-yard scoring drive by Oberlin and ended with a seven-yard strike from Mandel to Robin Witjes. The Yeomen went for two following the score, but failed to convert, making the score 12-0 with 2:31 left in the half. Hiram got one last chance to put points on the board before halftime on a punt attempt that was fielded by the Oberlin returner, but he could not control the kick resulting in a fumble that was recovered by the Terriers at the Yeomen 25-yard line. Three plays later, the Terriers attempted a 40-yard field goal, but the kick sailed wide left resulting in a 12-point deficit at the break.
In the third quarter, Oberlin found the endzone on its first possession of the period on a one-yard TD run by Richardson at the 8:05 mark. The Yeomen failed to convert another extra point following the TD, but still extended their lead to 18-0. Oberlin found the endzone again on their next possession after forcing the Terriers to punt on a one-yard TD run by running back Blake Buckhannon with 5:03 to go padding the lead to 25-0. The two scoring plays were all the points recorded in the quarter as the Yeomen took a sizeable 25-0 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
Oberlin sealed the victory with a pair of scores in the final 15 minutes on a two-yard TD scamper by Nick Theofilos and a nine-yard TD run by Justin Williams as the Yeomen would go on to claim the 39-0 victory.
The Yeomen were led by Richardson who rushed for 100 yards on 18 carries and had one TD. Mandel completed 13-of-22 passes for 179 yards and two TD. Wide Receiver Robin Witjes recorded team-highs of six catches for 63 yards and a score. Defensively, Clay Eaton had a team-high seven tackles (five solo and two assists) with 4.5 tackles for loss, including 2.5 sacks.
Hiram was led by freshman running back T.J. Babauta (Lompac, Calif./Cabrillo) with 38 yards on 11 carries. Freshman quarterback Zach Bailey (Warren/Niles McKinley) completed 10-of-18 passes for 50 yards. Junior wideout Richard Simpson (Kissimmee, Fla./Gateway) led the team in both receptions (four) and yards (41). On defense, the Terriers were led by juniorJosh Peacock (Carson City, Nev./Carson) with a game-high 12 tackles (six solo and six assists), including two tackles for loss.
Hiram will look for its first win of the season when it travels to Springfield for a NCAC matchup against Wittenberg University next Saturday, Nov. 3. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.