HIRAM, OHIO — On a day that saw torrential downpours prior to kickoff and dedication ceremony of the brand new field, the Hiram College football team won in exciting fashion beating Kenyon College, 16-13, today (Saturday, Sept. 10) in the North Coast Athletic Conference and home opener at Charles A. Henry Field. [Game Stats]
With the win, the Terriers improve to 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the NCAC. The Lords fall to 0-2 overall and 0-1 NCAC.
The game started out as a defensive struggle between the two teams as the first points of the game weren’t scored until six seconds before the end of the first half on a 38-yard field goal by Hiram freshman kicker Greg Klisuric (Mentor). Both teams would have scoring chances prior to the Klisuric field goal, but strong defensive efforts kept both teams from finding the endzone and the Terriers maintained a slim 3-0 lead at halftime.
The second half began in similar fashion to the first as Hiram’s first drive of the third quarter would end in a Kenyon interception which led to a game-tying field goal by the Lords’ Max Chodosh from 28-yards out evening the score at 3-3 at the 10:52 minute mark. The Terriers then went three-and-out on their next possession and Kenyon marched 71 yards in 10 plays and took the lead on a 31-yard kick by Chodosh to give Kenyon a 6-3 advantage. Hiram began its ensuing possession following the Kenyon field goal in the final minutes of the third quarter and drove to the Kenyon 11 yard line as the clock expired in the period setting up the Terriers in excellent field possition to start the final quarter of play.
Hiram got to the Kenyon six yard line in the fourth quarter, but the drive would stall, setting up a potential tying field goal attempt by Klisuric. But a botched snap forced sophomore holder/quarterback George Blake (Parma) to scramble and found Klisuric in the corner of the endzone for a touchdown from six yards out which gave Hiram the lead with 14:53 left to play. In a replay of the field goal attempt, Hiram again had troubles with the snap on the extra point attempt and Blake was forced to scramble again. He found Klisuric again in the corner of the endzone, but this time Klisuric could not corral the pass, but the Terriers still took over the lead with the score of 9-6. The Lords then went to their “hurry-up” offense on their ensuing possession and went 69 yards in nine plays in just 2:10 to regain the lead thanks to a five yard TD run by quarterback Dan Shannon with 12:35 left to go for a 13-9 margin. Following a four-and-out by Hiram in its next possession, the Terriers got the ball back at the Kenyon 22 yard line on a fumble recovery by senior defensive lineman Brandon Nuby (Spring Hill, Fla./Nature Coast). The Kenyon defense held strong again and forced the Terriers in to another four-and-out possession. Kenyon got the ball and drove to the Hiram 13 yard line, but would be forced in to another field goal attempt, this time from 29 yards out. Hiram freshman defensive lineman James Gearhart (Mercer/West Middlesex Area) blocked the kick, keeping the Terriers within striking distance. Hiram then marched 80 yards in 10 plays that included a drive-saving 27-yard pass completion from sophomore quarterback Brandon Hanna (Ashtabula/Lakeside) to freshman wide receiver Jeff Schofield (New Smyrna Beach, Fla./New Smyrna Beach), and ended in a six-yard TD run by Hanna to give Hiram the lead at 16-13 with 2:47 left to play. But the Lords wouldn’t go quietly as Kenyon responded getting all the way to the Hiram seven yard line with just seconds remaining in the game. Senior defensive lineman Jarrod Lewis (Petersburg/Springfield Local) then came up with one of the plays of the game as he picked off a Kenyon screen pass on a second and goal play which sealed the 16-13 victory for the Terriers.
Both teams combined for a total of 869 yards of total offense with Kenyon accumlating 442 yards (108 rushing and 334 passing) and Hiram totaling 427 yards (252 rushing and 175 passing. The Lords were led by quarterback Dan Shannon who completed 34-of-45 passes for 334 yards and two interceptions. He also carried the ball 10 times for 28 yards and had one TD. Brett Williams led all Lord rushers with 62 yards on 11 carries. Charles Small caught a team-high nine passes for 67 yards, followed by Derek Barbato with eight receptions for a team-best 93 yards. Defensively, Kenyon was led by Michael Papagni with a game-high 15 tackles. Luke Bissinger was second with 13 stops, including a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Hiram was led by Hanna who completed 18-of-25 passes for 162 yards and also rushed for a game-tying high 84 yards on 20 carries and a TD. Junior running back Chris Austin (Cleveland/Glenville) also rushed for 84 yards in 16 carries. Schofield lead all receivers with a game-high 10 catches and a game-best 104 yards. Defensively, Hiram was led by senior All-NCAC linebacker Oliver Dickerhoof (Alliance/Central Catholic) and senior defensive back Mike Brown (Cleveland/Glenville) with 13 tackles each. Sophomore defensive back Josh Peacock (Carson City, Nev./Carson) posted 10 tackles, including an interception and a half tackle for loss.
Hiram will go on the road for its next two games beginning with a NCAC matchup against Denison University next Saturday, Sept. 17 in Granville. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.