Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Wednesday, September 30, 2009's Bob Eblen Talks Private Schools in National Column

September 30, 2009

I have a long held theory regarding private schools in Division II football that goes something like this:

It is an uphill battle for any private school to contend nationally in football at this level because of economics. Since it costs much more to go to a private school than it does to a public, the partial scholarship that is typical at this level leaves the prospective recruit paying more out of pocket to go to the private school.
Of course there are reasons that a student-athlete might still choose the private school, but generally speaking, the lower cost of going "public" is going to win out with recruits more often than not.

This theory has held up pretty well over the years. Just one private school (Lehigh in 1977) has ever won a D-II football national championship. It's been eight years since a private school has even won its region and advanced to the national semifinals. Outside of Carson-Newman and its three national championship game appearances in the late 90's, there really hasn't been a private school that has come close to becoming a national power.
In the past, the private schools that played in the "major" conferences seemed to be especially disadvantaged. Southwest Baptist left the MIAA because it couldn't compete. Neither Mercyhurst nor Gannon had ever had a winning record in the GLIAC before both left the league in 2008. I remember watching Augustana have some well-coached teams with a few talented front line players back in the days of the NCC. But the Vikings rarely had the depth to consistently compete with the big state schools.

I bring this issue up because I'm starting to get the sense that my theory may not be quite as solid as I once thought.

It all starts with second-ranked Abilene Christian. According to my theory, as the only private school in the LSC, ACU should not be a football powerhouse. But Chris Thomsen continues to out-recruit his counterparts in the conference when the other schools should have a built in advantage. With so much young talent in place, it doesn't seem like ACU is ready to go away any time soon.
Then you have the fact that Shaw has won two straight CIAA titles. Seton Hill reached the playoffs out of the WVIAC last season and another private school in that league-- Charleston-- appears to be the front-runner in the conference this season.

A quick peak at the GLIAC standings shows three private schools-- Findlay, Ashland, and Hillsdale-- just behind Grand Valley in the current standings.

And then there is the surprise team of 2009: Ouachita Baptist. Last year was the first time OBU has sported a winning record since moving into D-II in the mid-90's. Now the Tigers have blown out traditional GSC powers Valdosta State and Delta State in back to back weeks. It certainly appears as if OBU is at the very least a playoff team and just maybe [gulp] the front-runner in Super Region Two.

Maybe this is all just a blip on the radar and in a few years we will be back to complete dominance by the big public schools. But for now, it certainly appears that many private schools are gaining ground and figuring out ways to be highly competitive. Hopefully that trend will continue.

Full Column

Monday, September 28, 2009

All 4 Charger Fall Sports Nationally Ranked

From Hillsdale College Athletic Website:

As of 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 28, all four Hillsdale College fall sports teams are in the nation's top 25 for the first time ever. The Hillsdale College volleyball team was ranked 25th in the nation in last week's poll. The Charger women's cross country team is ranked 18th in the country, while the men's cross country team finished last week ranked 25th in the nation.

Full Release

Chargers Crack AFCA Top 25

From After five weeks of action, the top teams are settling into their spots as the Top 8 remained unchanged for the second straight week in the AFCA Division II Coaches' Top 25 Poll. Grand Valley State still holds down No. 1 with 24 first place votes. The Lakers downed Michigan Tech 55-7, to extend their record to 5-0.

Abilene Christian, North Alabama, Bloomsburg, and Central Washington round out the Top 5. There are two Top 25 match-ups this coming weekend as No. 6 Northwest Missouri State travels to No. 12 Missouri Western State, while No. 9 Texas A&M-Kingsville plays host to No. 11 Tarleton State. Three new teams enter the poll this week with Washburn coming in at No. 17, Wayne State (MI) entering at No. 22 and Hillsdale jumping in at No. 24.

AFCA Division II Coaches Top 25 (9/28)
1. Grand Valley State (24) (5-0)
2. Abilene Christian (5-0)
3. North Alabama (1) (5-0)
4. Bloomsburg (5-0)
5. Central Washington (5-0)
6. Northwest Missouri State (4-1)
7. Minnesota State-Mankato (5-0)
8. Minnesota-Duluth (4-1)
9. Texas A&M-Kingsville (5-0)
10. Albany State (4-0)
11. Tarleton State (5-0)
12. Missouri Western State (5-0)
13. Tuskegee (4-1)
14. Ouachita Baptist (4-0)
15. Charleston (5-0)
16. Saginaw Valley State (4-1)
17. Washburn (4-1)
18. Wayne State (NE) (4-1)
19. Edinboro (4-1)
20. Central Missouri (4-1)
21. Catawba (3-1)
22. Wayne State (MI) (4-1)
23. Midwestern State (4-1)
24. Hillsdale (4-1)
25. Delta State (2-2)


Super Region 3

Dropped Out
Ashland (#15), Pittsburg State (#23), Winona State (#25)

Others Receiving Votes
Nebraska-Kearney, Augustana, North Carolina-Pembroke, Angelo State, Bentley, California (PA), Ashland, Valdosta State, Wingate, Carson-Newman, Shippensburg, West Liberty State, Findlay, Bemidji State, Fort Hays State, Bowie State, Colorado School of Mines, Brevard, Mars Hill, Shaw, Winona State

Hillsdale's Vinnie Panizzi named GLIAC Player of the Week September 28, 2009

GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week:
Vinnie Panizzi - Hillsdale
(SR, RB, 5-10, 203, Grosse Pointe, Mich./South)
Senior RB Vinnie Panizzi set a new career-high for rushing yards for the second week in a row, running for 231 yards and three touchdowns in Hillsdale’s 38-19 win over #15 Ashland University Saturday. He averaged 8.3 yards per carry and became the first Charger to run for 200 or more yards in a game in nearly five years. He ran for 53 yards during Hillsdale’s second touchdown drive of the game.
Offensive Honor Roll: Nick Bellanco - AU, Mike Ryan - FS, Jonathan Mora - UF, P.T. Gates - GV, Mark Bossuah - NM, Anthony Brandon - NU, Charles Dowdell - SV, Mickey Mohner - WS.
2009 Off. Players of the Week: (8/31) C. Dowdell - SV; (9/7) T. Weatherhead - HC; (9/14) B. Iciek - GV; (9/21) J. Bell - WS; (9/28) V. Panizzi - HC.

Full Release 

Photo by Mary Veldheer for Find more content like this at

Saturday, September 26, 2009 Chargers Run Over Eagles

Chargers run over Eagles, 38-19
Panizzi runs for 231 yards in Hillsdale's win
Hillsdale College Release
Sept. 26, 2009 - Ask most football players and coaches what their favorite feeling is during a game, and the most likely answer you’ll get is when one team can run the ball down the other team’s throat from start to finish. That was one of many good feelings running through the players and coaches on the news story image Hillsdale College sidelines Saturday afternoon.

In the signature win of this season so far, the Chargers used an offensive line and running game that was simply awesome in defeating No. 15 Ashland University 38-19 in Ashland Saturday. Hillsdale is now 4-1 overall and 3-1 in the GLIAC, while the Eagles fell to 3-2 overall and 3-1 in the conference.

Considering the quality of the opponent and the location of the game (on the road), there may be no sweeter win during head coach Keith Otterbein’s eight seasons with the Chargers than this one. Ashland came into the game ranked 12th in the nation, averaging 39 points per game during its three-game winning streak. But Hillsdale overpowered the Eagles on both sides of the line of scrimmage and never trailed in the game.

Senior RB Vinnie Panizzi (pictured) was coming off a career-high rushing game last week vs. the University of Indianapolis. He improved greatly upon that effort against the Eagles, becoming the first Charger running back to rush for more than 200 yards in a game in five years. He carried the ball 28 times for a career-best 231 yards and three touchdowns. It was his third three-touchdown game of the season, and he took full advantage of the outstanding blocking provided by offensive linemen Jared Veldheer, Mackie Meece, Phil Doerfler, Reid Meador and Patrick Harbour.

Full Release

Hillsdale beats #12 Ashland 38 to 19

Chargers get it done on the road


Hillsdale's Vinnie Panizzi: 28 for 231 yards 3TD Ashland: 80 yards rushing

Hillsdale: 435 yards total offense AU: 307

Chargers sack Billy Cundiff 4 times (Drew Berube 2, Marcellus Wade 1.5)

Gameday Weather: Ashland, OH

Collegian: Tall man, big shoes, high aspirations

Tall man, big shoes, high aspirations

Senior left tackle Jared Veldheer is on track for a career in the NFL

By: Nathan McClallen

Posted: 9/24/09

Hillsdale College has had its share of high-profile athletes over the past few years. Most students would recognize names such as Mark Nicolet ('08), Katie Cezat ('09) or Tom Korte ('09) due to their recognition on a national scale. There are others too. Players like Tony Gugino ('09), Stephanie Booms ('09) and numerous all-Americans in the track program have also brought attention to the college. However, senior offensive lineman Jared Veldheer could ultimately have the biggest impact on the world of professional sports.

"They [NFL scouts] came this spring," said head coach Keith Otterbein. "Statistically, there aren't a lot of guys in the country that are 6 feet, 7 inches, 321 pounds and can run a 4.87 [40-yard dash]."

In fact, there may not be any others. The 40-yard dash is a standard test the NFL uses to rate a player's ability to accelerate over a short distance. At the NFL combine this spring, the fastest time for an offensive lineman was 4.89 seconds, according to There are more eye-popping statistics.

Veldheer can bench press 225 lbs. 33 times and has a hang clean mark of 425 pounds in addition to having a 30-inch vertical. These numbers compare favorably to any offensive lineman drafted last year, which explains the NFL interest. However, success is dependent on more than just numbers.

"It really comes down to how much the guy loves the game of football," Otterbein said. "And that's where Jared is going to separate himself."

According to, he is the fourth ranked pro prospect. However, Veldheer said he is not dwelling on his professional future, but rather staying focused on the season.

"I figure if you go about it trying to play your best every Saturday, everything else will take care of itself," he said.

That's not to say he is not prepared for the NFL. Veldheer invests in a personal trainer over the summer months to increase his speed and agility, according to Otterbein.

"He has left no stone unturned," he said. "He is doing anything he can to give himself the best chance to be the best football player he can be."

Hillsdale College has reaped the benefits.

In his first three seasons, Veldheer has blocked for a 1,000 yard rusher and is well on his way to a fourth. Senior running back Vinnie Panizzi has 459 yards through four games.

"You can't say enough about Veldheer," said Panizzi. "He starts it all off."

Behind Veldheer's blocking, Panizzi has moved into third place in all time rushing yards at Hillsdale.

Veldheer's position on the offensive line is left tackle, which means he has the most responsibility to protect the quarterback. If he is good at run-blocking, he is better at pass-blocking.

Just how many sacks has he allowed this season?

"Zero," he said, revealing a hint of the satisfaction he has earned through perfection. "None in four years."
According to Otterbein, Veldheer may be underappreciated.

"Unfortunately for him, nobody cares about the left tackle until your quarterback is sitting on his hind end, then you're wondering why they can't pass protect," he said. "Call down to Indianapolis [University] and find out how fun it is to have your quarterback on his back all day long."

The next step, according to Otterbein, is getting into a college all-star game. Once he can prove he can match up with the best defensive ends in college football, all that's left is the draft. Otterbein admitted he doesn't know a whole lot about the process, but projected Veldheer to be a middle-round pick.

As for now, just take special note of #66. He won't be here forever.

"He hasn't missed a snap the last four years," said Otterbein. "Next year, when 'whoever' fills that role, well, those are some big shoes to fill."

Friday, September 25, 2009

Week 5 Podcast: #15 Ashland, Lose yourself in the moment

The Chargers are on the road and looking to make a statement at #15 Ashland. Offensive line coach Nate Shreffler stops by this week to talk about preparations for Ashland.

Student Section mystery is solved, message board smack, and the growing RSVP list for the Alumni flag football game and reunion.

Click to listen. September 25: Hillsdale at Ashland

Collegian: Spirit club revamped entering the fall

Spirit club revamped entering the fall
Group works around small budget to boost school spirit

By: Sarah Leitner

Posted: 9/24/09

This year the spirit club kicks off with new leadership, a new mascot and a new student section.

"Last year it wasn't really a club," sophomore (junior online) Erin Alderson said. "I thought if we made a club there would be a lot more brain power going toward it."

Alderson took over the duties as director of the spirit club this year. In addition to this change, the former advisor to the spirit club, Ashley LaCarter, graduated this past spring.

As a full-time employee of the college, being the director of the spirit club was in LaCarter's job description. When she graduated, the responsibility was switched to that of Director of Student Activities Rebekah Dell, her former coworker.

Despite this change of leadership, the club has neither slowed down nor ceased to plan events for the upcoming year.

After the blackout this past Saturday, the spirit club is looking to host more events in the future, Dell said. Some of the events to look forward to include some homecoming weekend activities such as a bonfire and fireworks and some kind of promotion for the last football game in November.

In the past, the club has held tailgates for different events and had an athlete date auction in which we auction out the athletes for a night out.

"We're almost to the point where we're trying to make something cool and exciting for every game," Alderson said.

The new mascot, the black stallion in a football jersey, will appear at all the home games, and Dell said they hope to get him at the volleyball games as well.

"We also want to play off that the student section is on the visitor side this year," she said. "Really there is very little money to work with so they try and do activities that require very little funding. When budget allows we throw different promotional items into the stands."

The spirit club also oversees the "adopt-a-charger" program with the overall goal to strengthen athlete and non-athlete relationships in order to be a stronger student body, Dell said.

"I have heard some people say that sports do not have a place at Hillsdale College, but I disagree," sophomore Sonny Gast said. "Spirit club infuses the sports program with school spirit, and being at a small school it's great to know the majority of the athletes you see on the field, while at a bigger school you don't get the opportunity to meet most of the student-athletes on campus."

Gast said the main goal of spirit club is to support the athletes.

"Athletes have a lot on their plate," Gast said. "It's like having a full-time job so it's nice to have that support from someone who is not a teammate."

Although volunteers right now are doing a great job keeping up with the status quo, anyone who is interested in the spirit club should sign up, come to the monthly meetings or email Alderson at, she said.

"I know how talented everyone is on the Hillsdale campus and there's no reason why those talents shouldn't be put to use for spirit club," Alderson said. "We have quite a few ideas for big things we can do on campus, but we don't have enough volunteers yet to make something huge happen."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

History found in the Collegian Archives: Name Change

Hillsdale College has an amazing online archive that continues to grow as more articles are scanned. I was looking through some 1963 issues of The Collegian and came across this interesting blurb.

 The archives can be found here and are powered by Olive Software.

Football Reunion and Alumi Game Updates

•Thanks to all of the guys who have signed up to attend both the All-Era Football Reunion and Alumni Flag-Football Game to be held on Homecoming Weekend October 9-10.

Please make sure that if you have signed up for the alumni game that you take a second to fill out the reunion RSVP form.

If you are planning on attending, but haven't signed up for either, please do that ASAP.

Alumni Game sign-up - List of guys playing
Reunion sign-up - List of guys attending reunion

• The football alumni golf-outing has now been combined with the baseball alumi golf-outing. The event takes place on Friday October 9th at 10:00 AM, Hillsdale Country Club.

Ashland Times Gazette: Eagles ready for tough game against Chargers

Ashland Times-Gazette
September 29, 2009

Eagles ready for tough game against Chargers 

T-G Sports Editor
There are times when breathing room greets college football teams with open arms.

For the Ashland University program, a 41-14 win last Saturday at Tiffin was one of them. Eagles head coach Lee Owens said this Saturday against Hillsdale won't be.

"Weeks where you can put in some substitutes at the end of the game, it allows you to kind of recharge your batteries," Owens said. "... But there's going to be a string here, like we went through a year ago, with our backs against the wall and we can't afford to lose."

Returning to town for Game 2 at Jack Miller Stadium, the Eagles have an order against the Chargers that could be as tall as any they will face this regular season.

The list of daunting tasks includes:
n Owens said Hillsdale is normally the most physical game AU plays and is probably the best up front overall.

The team features 6-foot, 9-inch, 321-pound NFL-hopeful left tackle Jared Veldheer, as well as defensive lineman Drew Berube (6-4, 261; last year's GLIAC leader with 10.5 sacks).

After running for 140 yards and a touchdown against AU last year, Hillsdale running back Vinnie Panizzi comes to town after toting it for a career-high 188 yards and a score last week.

The Eagles won last year's meeting by a TD after forcing four Charger turnovers in the red zone, but Hillsdale enters Saturday's game with the No. 1 red zone offense in the GLIAC (95.8 percent).

Full Story

Photo from Ashland Times-Gazette

Tuesday, September 22, 2009 Weekly Top 25 Media Poll

2009 Top 25 Media Poll
September 22, 2009

Grand Valley
Abilene Christian
North Alabama
Central Washington
Northwest Missouri
Texas A&M-Kingsville
Minnesota State
Delta State
Central Missouri
Tarleton State
Missouri Western
Albany State
Saginaw Valley
Pittsburg State
Wayne State (Ne)
Midwestern State

GLIAC - Region 3 Teams

Copyright © 2000-2006 All rights reserved

Hillsdale's NCAA Division II and GLIAC Football Rankings at a glance

The NCAA's national statistics page makes it really easy now to see where the Chargers rank both nationally and in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.

Just visit the Chargers page at and a spreadsheet lists Hillsdale's national ranking in major statistical categories, gives the national leader, followed by Hillsdale's rank in the conference, and finally who the conference leader is.

After Hillsdale's lockdown of Indy, the Chargers now lead the GLIAC in total defense and are ranked 11th nationally.

Further down the page, individual Chargers are ranked. Mark Petro leads the nation in field goals while AJ Kegg leads the league in receptions per game as does Drew Berube in sacks per game with .88.

Hillsdale's Mark Petro Leads Nation in Field Goal Kicking

Averaging 2.50 field goals per game over the first four football games of the season, Hillsdale College place kicker Mark Petro leads all of NCAA Division II.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chargers Take the Field

Thanks to Jim Veldheer for posting this video from Saturday night.

View and add your own content like this to Chargerblue Space

Petro Named GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week

Hillsdale College's Mark Petro was named the GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week Monday for his effort against Indianapolis. The 23-0 win takes Hillsdale to 3-1 on the season, 2-1 in league play.

The Rocky River, OH senior had 2 extra points with 3 field goals sandwiched in between. He connected from 29, 32, and 36 yards out. On the year, Petro is 10-11 for fieldgoals and 12-13 for PATS.

GLIAC Release
Photo by Pete Mowry,

Sunday, September 20, 2009's Tony Nicolette's Knows how to Call 'Em

Why is Tony Nicolette the best regional columnist at Take a look at how he previewed things the Chargers needed to do in this week's Hillsdale-Indy game, and then look at how well they worked.

Hillsdale Keys:
 "Secondary must get the Stops - While HC isn't giving up tons of yardage, they're not making plays at key times. This is especially true against the pass where the Chargers are near the bottom of the league in terms of pass efficiency defense. That means opposing QB's are completing a high percentage when they do throw, and the Hillsdale D is yielding more big plays than they are making (given up five TD passes and made no interceptions in two league games). This must be fixed."

Hillsdale freshman DB Nick Galvan picked Indy at the Charger 4 to stop a long Hound drive. The line of scrimmage was the 22 and that is as deep at Indy would get all game. The Chargers would intercept Indy on the following drive, this time setting up the ball at the Greyhound 34. 1 passing 1st down for the game for UI. Indy was still 50% throwing at 10/20 but yielded just 45 yards and threw 2 interceptions. Hillsdale forced Indy to go 3 and out 5 of its first 6 possessions.

"Control the Clock - Keeping their defense off the field is a good idea considering some of the struggles its had, and Hillsdale can do this by establishing its offensive rhythm - especially on the ground. UIndy has given up 175 rushing yards per game the last two weeks, so look for HC RB Vinnie Panizzi to have a big day."

Hillsdale won the time of possession battle 34:08 to Indy's 25:52. The Chargers ran the ball 47 times for 218 yards. Vinnie Panizzi had 188 of those himself. Both Charger TDs came on the ground. The Charger defense only had to defend 45 Indy offensive plays. Hillsdale took 79 offensive snaps.

End result equals 23-0 shutout. That's what I call being dialed into the d2 game.

Saturday, September 19, 2009 Blackout Shutout, Hillsdale 23 UIndy 0

Blackout Shutout: Charger football team blanks Indianapolis 23-0
Second shutout win in less than two years for Hillsdale
Sept. 19, 2009 - Hillsdale College Release

This one was by the defense and for the defense.

After giving up a total of 73 points in the past two games, the defense of the Hillsdale College football team recorded its first shutout in nearly two years in a 23-0 win over the University of Indianapolis Saturday night at Frank “Muddy” Waters Stadium. It was the first home night game for the Chargers in three years, and the win improves the team to 3-1 overall and 2-1 in GLIAC play. Next week, Hillsdale heads to Ashland to battle it out with the nationally ranked Eagles.

It was the first shutout victory for the Chargers since Sept. 29, 2007, when it whitewashed Michigan Tech 37-0 at home. Hillsdale’s last shutout prior to that game came way back in 1996.

Full Article

Friday, September 18, 2009 Tony Nicolette's Weekly Column (Post #777, better be lucky)

Indianapolis (0-2, 1-2) at Hillsdale (1-1, 2-1)

True to form, the Greyhounds have played tough thus far despite a pair of losses. As for Hillsdale, while my theory of them being the league "dark horse" might still have some legs the early returns are that their defense is no where near where I would have thought and my prediction may soon look pretty crummy.

UIndy Keys:
- Drop the Bomb - QB Rob Doyle had his best passing game as a collegian last week. The Hillsdale secondary has been prone to giving up some big plays (especially on third downs and key situations), and the UIndy passing game appears poised to exploit this.
- Stop the Bomb - While UIndy's pass game is coming along, Hillsdale's has been stellar all season. HC QB Troy Weatherhead is averaging more than 320 yards a game via the air and UIndy can't afford to get into a track meet with Hillsdale at Muddy Waters. They must slow the Chargers down.

Hillsdale Keys:
- Secondary must get the Stops - While HC isn't giving up tons of yardage, they're not making plays at key times. This is especially true against the pass where the Chargers are near the bottom of the league in terms of pass efficiency defense. That means opposing QB's are completing a high percentage when they do throw, and the Hillsdale D is yielding more big plays than they are making (given up five TD passes and made no interceptions in two league games). This must be fixed.
- Control the Clock - Keeping their defense off the field is a good idea considering some of the struggles its had, and Hillsdale can do this by establishing its offensive rhythm - especially on the ground. UIndy has given up 175 rushing yards per game the last two weeks, so look for HC RB Vinnie Panizzi to have a big day.

Prediction - The Greyhounds have played pretty decent thus far and I'm willing to bet they will here and take this one down to the wire. The last few years, it seems like a lot of Hillsdale's games are close (the last two weeks being prime examples) so another nail-biter wouldn't be a surprise. I'll take the Chargers and their offense at home, but it could easily be another high-scoring adventure. Hillsdale 40, UIndy 38.

Full Column

Fire up the Nanos, Podcast is up for week 4

The Chargers are back on home turf this Saturday and it is a rare night game. Brad Monastiere, Hillsdale SID joins the program.

Jim Mora is forever banned as the Chargers are 0-2 on weeks when the ex-coach chimes in during the show. I bet when he dies, they will peel back his skin and find he is really that wooden idol Greg Brady was wearing when he bit it surfing on the Brady Bunch...the jinx!

Reunion Weekend, the possible return of cheerleaders, and a sure-fire way to get Hillsdale students screaming at the games are also discussed.

Click to listen. September 18: Hillsdale v. Indy

Collegian: Cheerleading to return by basketball season

Cheerleading to make b-ball Debut

Besty Woodruff: Hillsdale Collegian

Issue date: 9/17/09 Section: Sports

Men's Basketball may have cheerleaders for its games this year thanks to a semester's work from sophomores Chloe Chapel and Ashlee LeCompte. Next week there will be a workshop, followed by tryouts. Chapel and LeCompte hope that everyone who is interested--regardless of experience or gender--will come to the workshop to try their hand at cheer.

"We're going to show Hillsdale what they've been missing," LeCompte said.

The group is waiting approval from the Student Federation before it can become an official club.

The idea for a cheerleading squad resurfaced last semester; Hillsdale had cheerleading until 2005. Neither Chapel nor LeCompte knew why cheerleading disappeared from campus, though they assume it was due to lack of interest from the student body.

"It's a shame to have a good football team with no cheerleaders," LeCompte said.

Full Article

Thursday, September 17, 2009

FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Night moves - Hillsdale College football team plays first home night game in three years Saturday vs. Greyhounds

Hillsdale College Release
Photo by Pete Mowry,

Sept. 16, 2009 - The lights will be on at Frank “Muddy” Waters Stadium this weekend, as the Hillsdale College football team welcomes its GLIAC rivals, the University of Indianapolis Greyhounds for a 7 p.m. Saturday kickoff.

The game is the first night start at Hillsdale since Sept. 23, 2006, a span of nearly three years. In that contest, the Chargers edged Ferris State 29-27 in a game played three days after the passing of Frank "Muddy" Waters.

This game features the top two passing attacks in the conference, and matches up two teams looking to rebound from tough losses last week.

Hillsdale (2-1 overall, 1-1 GLIAC) lost a 38-37 heartbreaker to Northwood University on Sept. 12. Although it was the fourth game in a row the Chargers have scored exactly 37 points, the Timberwolves got a couple of key defensive stops late in the game that helped them escape with the victory. In that game, Hillsdale’s off ense generated 30 first downs and 455 yards of total off ense, but it was not enough to wrap up a win.

Indianapolis is coming off a 27-23 loss at home to Wayne State University last week. In that contest, the Greyhounds held a 17-12 lead at halftime, but were victimized by a Joique Bell touchdown run and a 90-yard kickoff return for a score by Josh Renel in the third quarter that ultimately proved to be the difference in the game.

In short, both teams believe they should be coming off wins instead of losses, making this game carry a little extra importance, not that this rivalry needed any more spice.

The Chargers and Greyhounds have had some memorable clashes on the gridiron in recent years, and one of them was a night start at Hillsdale five years ago.

In that game, the two teams combined to set several records and create a lot of memories in a 49-43 Chargers win on Aug. 28, 2004. That game went on for four overtimes and was the signature win in Hillsdale College head coach Keith Otterbein’s first three seasons as coach of the Chargers.

Full Release

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Defense will determine outcome of Hillsdale football season

In the game of football, it's the offense that makes the headlines and gets the most attention. The offense scores the lion's share of points is often picked apart by the critics if it can't generate enough of them. Hillsdale College has an offense generating eye-popping stats and beginning to move the ball with ease and grace against the clubs it's faced so far this year. Unfortunately, as cliché as it has become a top-notch defense is what it takes to truly become a championship level team. Well, a ton-notch defense and a top-notch offense. Against St. Joe's it seemed all there, but over the last pair of games it appears that how that defensive piece goes will be the determining factor in how the rest of this season goes.

Hillsdale's loss to Northwood wasn't even an hour old when emails began to roll in, some with a noticeable amount of panic.

The dream season march to the playoffs, was all but a fleeting hope slowly sliding through their fingers. The numbers 7-4 started to pop up and I could already sense a level of disappointment.

At that point on Saturday, I too was disappointed. I was disappointed we didn't win the ballgame, especially after such another great offensive output. I was disappointed that over the last two weeks Hillsdale has given up 75 points and I was disappointed that I had failed to fully understand how big the impact of graduating Tom Korte would be to the Charger defense as well.

It must be clear that I don't put this loss on the defense alone. In any 2 point defeat you can go back in hind-sight and identify a number of key breakdowns in all aspects of the game that could have changed the outcome.

My disappointment quickly faded for a number of reasons:
  1.  Hillsdale played in the middle of my daughter's 7th birthday party and that was a beautiful day at our house. When your kids get old enough and the party just runs itself and you can sit in a launch chair most of the day, you are overcome with joy and relief.
  2. The Maize and Blue treated me to one of their finest performances in years by beating Notre Dame. A year ago they treated me to one of their historical worsts as I was pounded by rain while sitting in Notre Dame Stadium
  3. The Packers made Jay Cutler look like a chump and beat the Moaners of the Midway.
Most importantly, I remembered what is so great about the game of football: every day is an opportunity to get better.

The Charger defense had a lights out performance against St. Joe's but for whatever reason has struggled the last weeks. I am sure any member of that unit will tell you to a man that they are not happy with either week either. They've shown some flashes of greatness like that huge 3rd down sack David Bakker had against Tech. All it is going to take is some consistency and continually getting better. We've got some great pieces and some key elements need to get healthy. I guarantee nobody is working harder than defensive coordinator Craig Blanchard, trying to get all of the pieces working together.

It is a really long season and all that matters is the next Saturday. In 5 days, the Chargers get to perform again. There are 7 more Saturdays after that.

Don't panic Charger fans! A great season can still materialize. I think we'll find out Northwood is a lot than most expected when this thing is said and done. Hopefully around 11:00 o'clock Saturday night, we'll have watched a Charger team that has renewed all of our hope for the truly special season these guys are all working so hard for.

Saturday, September 12, 2009 Northwood Upends Chargers 38-37

Northwood upends Chargers, 38-37
Hillsdale College Release

Sept. 12, 2009 - Any road trip in the GLIAC is a treacherous one, something the Hillsdale College football team learned Saturday afternoon.

In a back-and-forth affair, the Chargers came out on the losing end of a 38-37 contest vs. Northwood University in Midland. The loss drops Hillsdale to 2-1 on the season and 1-1 in GLIAC play. The Timberwolves are 2-0 this season.

A sack near midfield by Northwood’s Eric Southern ended the final drive of the game by the Chargers, who rallied from a nine-point first-half deficit to take the lead twice in a wild fourth quarter. The two teams combined to score 25 points in the fourth quarter, and punted a total of five times in the entire game.

Junior quarterback Troy Weatherhead, who had another news story image spectacular game, completed passes of 16 and 19 yards to Mike Blanchard to get Hillsdale to midfield on a drive that began with 32 seconds left on the clock and no timeouts remaining. But Southern’s sack with six seconds remaining clinched the win for the Timberwolves.

In a game dominated by the offenses, Weatherhead put together another sterling performance. He was 28-for-41 for 348 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for another score. His short passes to the team’s wide receivers gained yardage throughout the ballgame, and he directed the Hillsdale offense to 455 total yards on the afternoon.

Full Story

Friday, September 11, 2009

Midland Daily News: Timberwolves face dangerous Hillsdale team

Timberwolves face dangerous Hillsdale team
By Fred Kelly
of the Daily News
Published: Friday, September 11, 2009 11:38 AM EDT

As exciting as Northwood’s last-minute win over Northern Michigan was last Saturday, Timberwolves’ coach Mike Sullivan had already put the game out of his mind by the start of this week.

With Hillsdale coming to town this Saturday for a noon GLIAC football match-up, Sullivan has enough to think about as it is.

“That (Northern Michigan) game is behind us now. Now, it’s on to the next game,” said Sullivan, whose Timberwolves edged NMU 23-21 last week on Pat Sijan’s 41-yard field goal with 14 seconds left.

Sullivan added that his team has a little extra zip in its step during practice this week. At the same time, the Timberwolves have plenty of room for improvement, he said.

“There’s an atmosphere of excitement (among the team) with the fact that we’re 1-0, but we need to work to get to 2-0,” he noted. “We’ll focus on what we can do to make ourselves better at every single position on the field and how we can take a step forward.”

NU’s defense, which kept the Timberwolves in the game early against Northern but allowed a 17-point second-half lead to slip away, will be tested again by a Hillsdale offense which has been putting up big numbers through the air.

The Chargers come into Saturday at 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the GLIAC after beating St. Joseph’s 37-7 in week one, then edging Michigan Tech 37-35 last Saturday in their conference opener.

In those two games, Hillsdale averaged over 309 yards passing and over 452 yards of total offense.

“They’ve got a strong wide receiver (junior Andre Holmes), and their quarterback (junior Troy Weatherhead) does a nice job of getting him the ball. They also like to use the tight end (senior Matt Patillo) in the passing game,” Sullivan said.

“They’ve got a nice scheme offensively. They run the ball (to set up the pass), and they’re able to hit on play-action, and they’ll spread you out a little bit, also,” Sullivan added. “They’re able to move the ball around and put it in the air.”

Full Story

AJ Kegg photo courtesy of Pete Mowry and

The GLIAC Measuring Stick will be in Full Use this Saturday

We will know more about the GLIAC after this week's games.

Michigan Tech at Ashland will be a big measuring stick game for me this weekend. It will be interesting to see how these two teams handle each other. Hillsdale pretty much had its way offensively with Tech last weekend, especially through the air where Troy Weatherhead was 24/32 for 324 and 3 TD, 0 Int. But, Tech was still able to make it a great ballgame with 35 points of their own.

I am anxious to see what the Ashland offense does against Tech and what Tech does against the Ashland defense. This will give me a little insight into the Hillsdale - Ashland matchup as well as where the Chargers fit amongst the top GLIAC teams (Ashland picked 2nd by the coaches, Tech picked 3rd in the preseason poll).

The ultimate GLIAC measuring stick will be in play Saturday Night when Saginaw Valley heads into Allendale for GVSU's home opener. The Cards have 2 nice road wins and face their 3rd straight roady. We'll see how well they handle that and what Grand Valley does against a defense most agree is legitimately pretty stout.

Of course, we all know the measuring stick that matters most for Hillsdale is how the Chargers play against Northwood on Saturday and then Indianapolis a week later under the lights at home.

Week 3 Podcast Now Online...Take 4

The Chargers take to the road to face Northwood and the Woodbone Option this Saturday at noon. Nobody joins me because they all big-timed me. Actually, I tried to go last minute for guests and everyone was just as busy as me. Speaking of last minute, sorry this took until Friday to post.

Take a listen as Jim Mora delivers his 2 cents. Maverick and Andre Holmes make Charger Comment debuts...Ice...Man.

Click to listen. September 11: Hillsdale at Northwood

Image courtesy of Pete Mowry and

Thursday, September 10, 2009 Hillsdale seeks 3-0 start on the road vs. Northwood Saturday

Hillsdale College Release

Sept. 9, 2009 - Coming off a well-played, dramatic victory over Michigan Tech inits home opener last week, the Hillsdale College football team knows it can't take anything for granted in its week 3 matchup with the Northwood University Timberwolves.

The two teams will meet on the Hantz Stadium grass for the first time in nearly four years starting at noon Saturday. Andy Brown and Jim Eckhardt from WCSR 92.1-FM will have the radio call and all the action live from Midland. Live stats and webcasting of the game will also be available.

Hillsdale comes into the game with a 2-0 record, having scored 37 points in each of its first two games. While the Chargers' point total has been the same in the first two games, the margin of victory has been very different. Hillsdale wiped out St. Joseph's College 37-7 in the season opener, shutting out the Pumas over the game's final 50 minutes.

But last week, Hillsdale needed to recover an onsides kick in the game's final minute to preserve a 37-35 win over a very tough Michigan Tech team. The win was not only significant because of the quality of opponent, but was the 100th in the head coaching career of Keith Otterbein. This week, Coach Otterbein and his troops travel to a stadium where they've had very little success over the years.

Full Release

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Weatherhead Wins GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week

From the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference office:

GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week:
Troy Weatherhead - Hillsdale
(JR, QB, 6-3, 205, Grand Rapids, Mich./Comstock Park)

Weatherhead turned in a terrific game in Hillsdale’s 37-35 win over Michigan Tech on Saturday. He completed 24-of-32 passes for 324 yards and a career-high tying three touchdown passes. His TD passes came once in each of the first three quarters, and he started off the game completing his first 10 passes in a row. He also did not throw an interception or commit a turnover in the Chargers’ key win over the Huskies.

Offensive Honor Roll: Nick Bellanco - AU, Kyle Parish - FS, Mike Chambers - UF, Brad Iciek - GV, Halston Love -UI, Steve Short - MT, Carter Kopach - NM, Michael Gilmore - NU, Nick Galina - SV.

Full Release

Monday, September 07, 2009

AFCA NCAA Division II Weekly Poll

2009 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll
September 7, 2009
Rank School (1st votes) Rec. Pts. Prev. Last Week Next Game
1. Grand Valley St. (Mich.) (25) 2-0 625 1 D. Indianapolis (Ind.), 26-10 Sept. 12 vs. No. 16 Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.)
2. Abilene Christian (Texas) 2-0 589 3 D. Fort Lewis (Colo.), 58-10 Sept. 12 vs. Texas A&M-Commerce
3. North Alabama 2-0 571 4 D. No. 22 Carson-Newman (Tenn.), 31-14 Sept. 12 at Henderson St. (Ark.)
4. Pittsburg St. (Kan.) 2-0 556 5 D. No. 7 Chadron St. (Colo.), 41-13 Sept. 12 vs. No. 7 Northwest Missouri St.
5. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 2-0 524 6 D. No. 17 California (Pa.), 17-10 Sept. 12 at Mercyhurst (Pa.)
6. Central Washington 2-0 499 9 D. No. 2 Minnesota-Duluth, 13-10 Sept. 12 vs. West Texas A&M
7. Northwest Missouri St. 1-1 459 8 D. Southwest Baptist (Mo.), 49-14 Sept. 12 vs. No. 4 Pittsburg St. (Kan.)
8. Minnesota St.-Mankato 2-0 386 10 D. Bemidji St. (Minn.), 37-34 OT Sept. 12 at Mary (N.D.)
9. Minnesota-Duluth 1-1 361 2 Lost to No. 9 Central Washington, 13-10 Sept. 12 at Southwest Minnesota St.
10. Delta St. (Miss.) 0-1 344 11 Idle Sept. 12 at Arkansas-Monticello
11. Texas A&M-Kingsville 2-0 320 18 D. East Central (Okla.), 39-7 Sept. 12 vs. No. 24 Central Oklahoma
12. Albany St. (Ga.) 2-0 315 16 D. Kentucky St., 45-0 Sept. 12 at Stillman (Ala.)
13. Central Missouri 2-0 298 19 D. Missouri S&T, 50-13 Sept. 12 at Emporia St. (Kan.)
14. Tuskegee (Ala.) 1-1 276 12 Lost to Miles (Ala.), 23-16 Sept. 12 vs. Fort Valley St. (Ga.)
15. Chadron St. (Neb.) 1-1 272 7 Lost to No. 5 Pittsburg St. (Kan.), 41-13 Sept. 12 vs. Adams St. (Colo.)
16. Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.) 2-0 221 24 D. Wayne St. (Mich.), 21-13 Sept. 12 at No. 1 Grand Valley St. (Mich.)
17. Catawba (N.C.) 2-0 187 25 D. Fayetteville St. (N.C.), 21-20 Sept. 12 vs. Livingstone (N.C.)
18. Valdosta St. (Ga.) 0-1 171 20 Idle Sept. 12 vs. Southern Arkansas
19. Ashland (Ohio) 1-1 148 23 D. Ferris St. (Mich.), 44-23 Sept. 12 vs. Michigan Tech
20. Winona St. (Minn.) 2-0 144 NR D. Northern St. (S.D.), 52-17 Sept. 12 at Bemidji St. (Minn.)
21. West Chester (Pa.) 1-1 142 14 Lost to Delaware, 35-0 Sept. 12 vs. California (Pa.)
22. Tarleton St. (Texas) 2-0 82 NR D. Northeastern St. (Okla.), 6-0 Sept. 12 vs. East Central (Okla.)
23. Wayne St. (Neb.) 2-0 79 NR D. Minnesota St.-Moorhead, 41-0 Sept. 12 vs. St. Cloud State (Minn.)
24t. Central Oklahoma 1-1 63 NR D. No. 13 West Texas A&M, 24-17 Sept. 12 at No. 11 Texas A&M-Kingsville
24t. Indiana (Pa.) 2-0 63 NR D. C.W. Post (N.Y.), 27-14 Sept. 12 vs. Millersville (Pa.)

Dropped Out: West Texas A&M (13), Edinboro (Pa.) (15), California (Pa.) (17), Glenville St. (W.Va.) (21), Carson-Newman (Tenn.) (22).

Others Receiving Votes: Washburn (Kan.), 61; Wingate (N.C.), 54; Augustana (S.D.), 41; Edinboro (Pa.), 38; Glenville St. (W.Va.), 31; California (Pa.), 29; Midwestern St. (Texas), 27; Charleston (W.Va.), 23; Missouri Western St., 20; Arkansas Tech, 19; West Texas A&M, 18; Tusculum (Tenn.), 16; North Carolina-Pembroke, 15; Indianapolis (Ind.), 14; Wayne St. (Mich.), 11; Newberry (S.C.), 6; Hillsdale (Mich.), 5; Findlay (Ohio), 1; Ouachita Baptist (Ark.), 1.

For more information on the AFCA and its programs, log on to the AFCA’s website at

Sunday, September 06, 2009 Aggressive play-calling pays off as Hillsdale College football team beats Michigan Tech

by Mike Pryson | Citizen Patriot
Saturday September 05, 2009, 11:10 PM

Mike Blanchard (pictured, hauled in a 38 yard touchdown reception in the win.)

HILLSDALE — Hillsdale College football coach Keith Otterbein decided to throw the conservative section of the playbook out the window Saturday, and it proved to be the difference in the Chargers' 37-35 victory over Michigan Tech.

With Hillsdale leading 30-28 and less than 3 minutes to play, the Chargers had the ball on their own 27-yard line.

But instead of playing this one by the book and going to the ground to chew up some clock, Hillsdale went to the air.

Quarterback Troy Weatherhead hit Andre Holmes on a fly pattern down the left sideline for 53 yards to set up a 15-yard scoring run by Vince Panizzi that effectively put the game out of reach. Panizzi's touchdown with 1:37 to play gave Hillsdale a 37-28 lead.

"All of your gut and all of your instincts are saying you've got to run the football, but they're giving you the pass," Otterbein said. "You've got to swallow real hard and call it. You've got to get out of your comfort zone a little bit."

Full Story

Otter picks up 100th career victory

Keith Otterbein won his 40th game as head coach of the Hillsdale College football program on Saturday to give him 100 career wins. He won 60 games while the head coach at Ferris State during the 1980's and 90's.

Otter moves to 40-39 at Hillsdale, 2 games into his 8th year. He is 17-8 in his last 25 games with the Chargers. At Ferris State, Keith ended his tenure on a 30-6 run and was 60-39-3 from 1984 to 1994.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Hillsdale vs. Michigan Tech, a few numbers

Check out some of these numbers from today's offensive output.

Hillsdale scores 37 for second week in a row.

Hillsdale QB Troy Weatherhead, 24 of 32 for 324 yards, 3 TD, no INT, 23 yards rushing, longest completion was 53 yards to Andre Holmes.

Hillsdale receivers: AJ Kegg 9 catches for 88 yards, 22 yard long, 3 carries for 20, Andre Holmes 7 rec for 153 yards, 1 TD, 53 yard long, Matt Patillo 4 for 33, 1 TD, Mike Blanchard 2 for 50, 1 TD.

Hillsdale rushing led by Vinnie Panizzi 21 carries for 96 yards, 1 TD.

Kicking Mark Petro, 3/4 FG, 4/4 PAT, Andrew Wilburn, 2 punts (45 and 55 yards).

HC totals 155 rushing, 324 passing, 479 total yards.

Hillsdale D: Mat Szula 6 solos 4 assists 1 tfl, Nick Galvan 6 solos 2 assists, David Bakker 5 solos 4 assists. Chargers win home opener in offensive battle with Michigan Tech

Chargers win home opener in offensive battle with Michigan Tech
Head Coach Keith Otterbein earns 100th win
Hillsdale College Release

Today’s GLIAC matchup featured two of the most powerful offenses in league as the Hillsdale College Chargers defeated the Huskies of Michigan Tech 37-35.

The win today was a milestone for head coach Keith Otterbein picking up his 100th career victory as a head coach.

The Chargers are now 1-0 in the GLIAC while the Huskies fall to 0-1.

Michigan Tech took advantage of their first possession, moving the ball 69 yards on 11 plays. Quarterback Steve Short found Bobby Slowik in the end zone on a 29-yard pass for the first score of the game.

The Charger offense, picking up where it left off last week, opened the day with a scoring drive of their own. Senior Vinnie Pannizi gave the Chargers good starting field position returning the Michigan Tech kick to the 40-yard line.

Weatherhead found Senior AJ Kegg on third down of the opening series for a 19-yard gain to extend the drive. After a seven yard rush by Panizzi and a 12 yard reception by Junior Mike Blanchard, Weatherhead found Andre Holmes in the end zone to tie the game at 7-7.

Hillsdale picked up a 20-yard field goal thanks to the leg of Mark Petro, before the Chargers and Huskies traded touchdowns to make the score 17-14.

Petro added a second field goal, this time from 24-yards, to close out the half.

Hillsdale and Michigan Tech would trade scores during the second half, but Hillsdale never relinquished the lead.

Full Release

Friday, September 04, 2009

Week 2 Podcast, Otter on the Huskies

The Chargers open their home slate. Tech comes to town and the main man gives us a peek into the inner workings of preparing for a top opponent.

Hillsdale Head Coach Keith Otterbein joins the program this week.

Click to listen. September 4: Hillsdale vs. Michigan Tech

Detroit News: GLIAC Foes Take Aim at King

GLIAC foes take aim at king
David Goricki / The Detroit News

Grand Valley State has been king of the mountain in the GLIAC this decade, winning six conference championships and four national titles (2002, '03, '05 and '06). The Lakers have won four consecutive conference titles and enter the season with a 40-game conference winning streak.

Can anyone in the GLIAC knock Grand Valley State from the top spot?

• Ashland held a 36-21 third-quarter lead last season before Grand Valley State scored 27 straight points to earn a 48-42 victory. Grand Valley State went on to dominate Ashland in the second-round of the D-II playoffs, 40-7.

• Wayne State played Grand Valley State tough in the regular-season finale. The Warriors held a 10-3 third-quarter lead before falling 24-10.

Simply, Grand Valley State has the poise and experience to win close games.

Grand Valley State also is loaded with talent, led by the nucleus of QB Brad Iciek , RB James Berezik and WR Blake Smolen .

Ashland moves to improve defense

Ashland has one of the most potent offenses in the country, led by first-team QB Bill Cundiff , RB Dawon Harvey and WRs Joe Horn and Nick Bellanco .

Ashland averaged 34.8 points, but had trouble stopping opponents, allowing 29.5 points a game.

With the defensive deficiency in mind, and the fact Ashland is opening a 5,217-seat stadium, coach Lee Owens is hoping to give fans a new look.

So, Owens hired 67-year-old Tim Rose as defensive coordinator. Rose has 29 years of Division I experience and was coach at Miami of Ohio (1983-89) and defensive coordinator of Toledo, where the Rockets improved from 98th in the nation in defense to 23rd his first season (2005).

Owens hopes for the same kind of quick fix at Ashland.

Will Wayne State make playoffs?

Wayne State made a major climb in the standings last season, improving from three to eight victories.

The next question is obvious: Can the Warriors take the next step and make the Division II playoffs?

Well, it could be tough to beat Grand Valley State and Ashland, but Wayne State could still make a playoff appearance if it wins the rest of its games, including a big test against Hillsdale.

With All-America RB Joique Bell in the lineup, anything is possible.

Bell holds conference season records for rushing yards and points scored.

Watch out for Hillsdale

Hillsdale finished 7-4 last season and is picked to finish sixth in the preseason conference coaches poll.

Still, Hillsdale is considered a threat to upset any of the contenders with its explosive offense led by 6-foot-8, 310-pound All-American tackle Jared Veldheer .

QB Troy Weatherhead returns, and is accurate -- 66.1 percent -- and efficient -- 2,874 yards, 21 TDs.

But what makes Weatherhead an even bigger threat is the return of WR A.J. Kegg (74 receptions, 9 TDs) and RB Vinnie Panizzi (1,086 yards, 11 TDs).

All-America K Mark Petro was 15 for 19 on field goals last season.

The Sporting News rated Veldheer, Petro and DL Drew Berube (10.5 sacks) as All-Americans.

Story Link

Thursday, September 03, 2009 Tony Nicolette Breaks down HC - MTU as his Game of the Week

Tony Nicolette
September 3, 2009

Michigan Tech (0-0, 0-0) at Hillsdale (0-0, 1-0)

This tilt pits a pair of teams with high hopes and expectations. Both have spent each of the last two post-seasons sitting at home after having opportunities to be in the playoff field. I won't go so far as to label a game this early in the season as a "must-win", but both teams sure need it to gain some early confidence and momentum against a quality opponent.

Tech Keys:
- Hit'em Quick - The Huskies need to find a way to come out smokin' and establish an early lead. They have yet to play, and are at a disadvantage from that perspective. Finding a way to jump on Hillsdale early and take they Chargers away from their game plan is a must.
- Strong defense - Tech gave up a lot of yards and almost 30 points per game last year. Hillsdale's offense is just too potent to stop entirely, so they'd better find a way to keep HC from finishing drives and putting up points.

Hillsdale Keys:
- Get after Short - QB pressure is a given, but at times Steve Short has been more prone than most to mistakes. When he doesn't play well, Tech struggles. Finding a way to keep him off the field and guys like Vinnie Panizzi on it give HC a big advantage.
- Stop the Ground Game - If Short isn't at his best, allowing Tech's line and Phil Milbrath to run over you isn't an especially appealing alternative. You can't just stop one component of the offense when playing Tech. Shutting down both facets is necessary as the Huskies have/can win relying on either route.

Prediction - Again, this isn't a "must-win" situation but I really think that both teams see this as the exact type of game in which they have to prove to themselves and the rest of the league that they mean business. The opponent is a expected to finish in the top half of the league so having the advantage in terms of head-to-head could play into both their playoff and league standings.

In all likelihood, Hillsdale is going to move the ball in this one. How their defense looks could tell the story. If they allow Tech to get a rhythm on offense this could be a wild one like last year. I like Hillsdale at home (where their defense almost always plays better), and with a game under their belts. Hillsdale 30, Tech 21.

Full Gliac Column

Michigan Tech Preview from

Charger football team welcomes Michigan Tech for 2009 home opener
Hillsdale College Release

Sept. 2, 2009 - Rarely has a GLIAC football game been played so early in the season that could potentially mean so much to the two squads involved. But such are the stakes in Saturday's game between Hillsdale College and Michigan Tech University.

Hillsdale’s 2009 home opener also serves as the season opener for the Huskies. These are two teams that finished in the upper tier of the GLIAC in 2008, and it would surprise very few people if either of these teams finished in the top three in the conference standings in 2009.

Hillsdale (1-0) comes into the game off a fairly clean season-opening win, 37-7, over St. Joseph’s College in Indiana. In that game, the Chargers executed well on both sides of the ball. Hillsdale had 426 total yards compared to 182 for the Pumas. The Chargers generated 26 first downs while allowing only eight, and scored four rushing touchdowns, and were 7-for-7 on field goal and extra point opportunities.

But the Huskies will provide a much tougher test for the Chargers today. Since 2004, Michigan Tech has established itself as one of the most consistent football programs in the GLIAC, finishing over .500 each season since then. Last year, MTU was 8-3, with two of its three losses coming to playoff teams (Grand Valley State and Ashland).

Full Release

Search The News and Comment

The Web News and Comment

Blog Archive

Google Analytics