Chargers will way to league victory
Hillsdale Daily News, Oct. 23, 2006
Rich McGowan, Sports Editor
Hillsdale College was told to impose its will on Mercyhurst College. And on Saturday, the Chargers did just that.
On Friday Army General Robert Neller, father of senior running back Brett Neller, spoke to the team and told them of the importance of imposing one’s will on another in battle. The Chargers listened and proceeded to dominate Mercyhurst College to the tune of a 40–21 win.
“(Gen. Neller said) In any conflict the victor is the one that is able to impose their will on the other guy,” said Hillsdale coach Keith Otterbein. “If nobody surrenders then you get those close games, and we’ve had a lot of those where no one surrendered. I think today we were able to capture their will and impose our will on them.”
“He came and talked to us yesterday and really got us pumped up and got us ready to go,” said running back Phil Martin. I think that was a big part of it. “It was brilliant I can’t even describe it. He was a great speaker.”
The Chargers began to impose their will on the Lakers by forcing Mercyhurst turn–overs on its first two possessions and then taking advantage. Hills–dale scored first–quarter touchdowns on a 3–yard run by Greg Dixon and a 2–yard pass from Mark Nicolet to Andrew Hesselink.
“We played well and got off to a good start and when you get ahead and don’t have to come from behind there is a different feeling,” Otterbein said. “There wasn’t any difference in the preparation in the week it’s just the momentum of the game we were able to make plays early and gain that momentum.”
Martin would add another score with 3:54 to play in the first half to lift the Chargers to a 21–6 lead at halftime. Martin showed no ill effects form leaving last week’s game in the early going due to a knee injury as he ran for 135 yards on 17 carries Saturday. He went on a 57–yard jaunt early in the third quarter which set up a 1–yard touchdown by Brett Neller.
“Our offensive pretty much dominated their defensive line and our receivers put a hat on the DBs and I just had to run,” Martin said.
The Charger defense meanwhile held the Lakers’ offense in check. After early success running the ball, Mercyhurst struggled to move the ball in the second half.
“In the first half there was a few technical errors, a few mistakes, guys just not being in the right posts,” said senior linebacker Steve Balone. “We just fixed everything at halftime and it went really smooth.”
The win lifts the Chargers back up to .500 at 4–4 overall and in the GLIAC. Mercyhurst falls to 2–6. Next week Hillsdale travels to non–conference foe Tiffin University in Tiffin, Ohio.
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