Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Seeing Red, Chargers lose to Ashland

Despite trailing Ashland by two scores most of the game, Hillsdale had more than ample chances to get a win at home today. Unfortunately the Chargers fall to the Eagles 24-17 on a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Muddy Waters Stadium.

The Chargers marched the opening drive deep into Eagle territory before putting the ball on the deck at the Ashland 20. The Eagles responded with an 80 yard touchdown drive of their own to take a 7-0 lead.

Ashland would extend the lead to 10-0 before Vinnie Panizzi and Hillsdale found the endzone with 12:00 left in the 1st half. Ashland answered to go up 17-7 but the Chargers and kicker Mark Petro added a 34 yard field goal to go in 17-10 at the half.

After Ashland missed a field goal on the opening drive of the second half, Hillsdale missed a golden opportunity. After methodically moving the Chargers down the field to the Ashland 7, Troy Weatherhead's pass was picked off by Ashland's cory Skoczen and returned to midfield.

The Eagles seemingly had the magic as Cundiff and receiver Joe Horn would hook up for a 14 yard Ashland TD 9 plays later. Ashland 24 Hillsdale 10.

Hillsdale clawed back to within a touchdown as the Chargers answered quickly. This time Weatherhead found TE Matt Patillo in the endzone for a 17 yard strike. Ashland 24 Hillsdale 17.

A resurgent Charger defense stifled Ashland quarterback Billy Cundiff and really clamped down on slippery Ashland running back Dawon Harvey the rest of the way. Unfortunately more red zone disasters were in store for Hillsdale.

After a beautiful 3 and out by Hillsdale's defense, the Chargers used two neat passes to Aaron Waldie and AJ Kegg and a couple of punishing runs by Panizzi to bring up a first down at the AU 13. Weatherhead's 2nd pick of the day would come on the next play.

Hillsdale wasn't dead yet though. With 6:20 left to play, the Charger defense hurried Cundiff into an awful decision to let a prayer fly instead of taking the sack. Charger Matt Szula would grab it at the at the 45 and return it to the Eagle 38.

Once again, Hillsdale methodically moved to the Ashland 4. The ballgame hinged on 4th and 2. Weatherhead took the snap and headed right down the line on the option. At the last minute his pitch to Panizzi was intercepted. The Eagles got the one first down they needed to run out the clock.

Despite the final outcome, there were some great performances by Hillsdale. Panizzi had a dominant day, finding the endzone once and ripping off 140 yards on 29 carries. Waldie was kept out of the endzone but still grabbed 9 balls for 94 yards.

The Chargers had 27 first downs and 399 total yards. The Hillsdale defense held Ashland to 53 yards rushing and sacked Cundiff 3 times. Tom Korte had 1 and a half of those as part of his 14 tackles. He had 5 total tackles for loss for 21 yards. Szula had 8 stops and the interception.

Hillsdale falls to 3-2 on the season 2-2 in the GLIAC. Ashland is now 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the GLIAC.

Findlay visits Hillsdale for homecoming next weekend. Kickoff is the traditional 2:30 PM.

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