Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Saturday, September 08, 2007

We have a Winner! 42-41 Hillsdale beats Northern

Somewhere this week, I told everyone to bet the over, no matter what total somebody gave you between Hillsdale and Northern. 83 combined points, 1106 total yards of offense, and one dagger thrown after another. Yet, when it came down to it, Hillsdale won it with a monster play on defense.

I was deeply entrenched in a game of Trouble with little Chargerblue in the aftermath of her 5th birthday party. With one eye on my pegs and another on the video stream out of Marquette, my heart jumped and raced as NMU QB Buddy "Freaking" Rivera rolled out looking to once again rip our hearts out like that Indian dude in one of the Raiders of the Lost Ark movies. Charger defensive end Schuyler File said, "That sir will be quite enough." and flicked the ball from the former Grandville Bulldog's hand sending me and the rest of the Charger faithful and the Trouble board sky high and into euphoria.

It was the kind of game that Hillsdale has been involved in so many times before...and unfortunately had gone home on the wrong end. Last year with Northern. Last year at Ashland. But head coach Keith Otterbein has stressed since his arrival in Hillsdale that the difference maker is the team that "makes plays on Saturday afternoon".

Last year a gutty bunch of Chargers sucked up the loss of their leader and starting quarterback and pulled off an amazing comeback win against Indianapolis. A whole bunch of Chargers made plays on that Saturday afternoon and a bunch more made plays this afternoon as well. The list is huge. Waldie's 64 yard catch put Hillsdale up for good. Nicolet looked like he had peaked last week against an out-manned Gannon squad. All he did today was post another career high performance of 23/36 for 376 yards and 3 touchdowns. Palmer Schoening had a beautiful pick. Mark Petro is now 14/14 kicking PATs. Tom Korte had 14 stops and forced a fumble. Vinnie Panizzi flirted with the 100 yard mark and found the endzone 3 times. So many great performances. Sure, there were a few busts. We'll let Otter and the staff hammer things out in the film room. Right now all that matters is the 2 in the win column for the season. They slayed an old nemesis, got the U.P. jinx out of the way, and return to what should be a very Chargerblue Muddy Waters Stadium on Saturday.

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