Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Saturday, October 31, 2009 No tricks, just the treats: Hillsdale College football team wins fourth straight in 59-14 blasting of Bulldogs

No tricks, just the treats: Hillsdale College football team wins fourth straight in 59-14 blasting of Bulldogs
Hillsdale College Release

Chargers now 8-2 on the season (Joe Glendening, pictured, had a 25 yard punt block return and 2 yard rushing touchdown)

October 31, 2009 - The Hillsdale College football team left Big Rapids Saturday afternoon happier than a kid dressed in a ghost sheet with a bucket full of candy.

Scoring touchdowns from the offense, defense and special news story image teams, the Chargers won their fourth straight game in a 59-14 rout of Ferris State University at Top Taggert Field Saturday. Hillsdale, now 8-2 on the season and 7-2 in the GLIAC, plays its home regular season finale next week vs. winless Tiffin starting at 1 p.m. The Bulldogs are now 1-9 this season.

The Chargers’ performance was just as dominant as the final score indicated, as the team scored five times in the first half, held the Bulldogs to 43 total yards in the game’s first 30 minutes, and won at Ferris State for the first time since Nov. 4, 2000. It was also the first win for head coach Keith Otterbein in Big Rapids since he last coached FSU, during the 1994 season.

Full Story

Friday, October 30, 2009

Charger Comment Podcast Week 10: Otter returns to Ferris State

Hillsdale is headed to Ferris State for a 2:00 PM kickoff against the 1-8 Bulldogs. Head Coach Keith Otterbein had a ton of success at Ferris and it will be a bit of a homecoming for him and a number of Grand Rapids area Chargers. Otter gives us a bit of insight on how to handle upset alert.

Click to listen. October 30: Hillsdale at Ferris State

Thursday, October 29, 2009 Tony Nicolette's GLIAC Column Weekly GLIAC Column
by Tony Nicolette

#23 Hillsdale (6-2, 7-2) at Ferris State (0-8, 1-8)
The Chargers have completed their mid-season gauntlet, and now conclude the year with a pair of clubs that have only posted a single win between them. Coach Otterbein has brought this team along beautifully and they are playing their best ball of the season at exactly the right time.
Hillsdale Keys:
- Shorten the Game - HC simply wants to get out of this week and next as quickly as possible and with no injuries. The ground attack has been stellar and is the best weapon for keeping the clock moving. Against an FSU bunch yielding more than 268 yards per game, Hillsdale should have no trouble grinding things out.
- No Slip-Ups - Hillsdale has given up some yardage in the pass game, and chances are FSU will need to throw it a bunch in order to keep up. The Chargers need to handle their business and keep the Bulldog offense from getting things going.

Ferris Keys:
- Let it all Hang Out - FSU's season has been, well, a debacle. Youth, inexperience, injuries, etc., you name and it has hampered the Bulldogs. They have nothing to lose and plenty to spoil if they can put a good effort together. What the heck?
- Make some Big Plays - Anything that can get the fire lit and keep the 'Dawgs in the game is needed. Sometimes just making a couple of plays can be enough.

Prediction: I mentioned earlier that Hillsdale appears to be peaking. Ferris, on the other hand, is in an epic eight-game slide that has seen them score in double digits only once in the last seven games. The Chargers have come too far to start taking anyone lightly and destroy what they've built this year. Hillsdale 45, Ferris 7.

Full Column

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NCAA Division II Playoffs: Don't even try to do the math.

So, Hillsdale College finds itself in 3rd place in the Super Region 3 poll with two weeks left in the season.

Naturally, fans are starting wonder where the Chargers might end up in the seedings IF they can take care of business against 1-8 Ferris State and 0-8 Tiffin.

I have mentioned pretty much any time that I have posted about regional rankings that everything is done through a mathematical formula weighing won-loss record and strength of schedule. The problem lies within the fact that the NCAA doesn't show any of the work that goes into their mathematical handy work. I know one thing. They would have never made it out of my fourth grade class with practices like that.

All week across D2 fandom, but especially on the message board, people have been burning up #2 Ticonderogas and Casio calculator watches trying to replicate the results through home-brewed number crunching. I myself started to do some of the math and the infinite possibilities of who could beat who is just mind-numbing. There have been all kinds of scenarios that have Hillsdale as high as a #3 and yes however remote the chance may be, missing the field all together. Those naysayers are focused on the schedule strength we'll take playing teams with bad records.

Nobody has any definitive answer because nobody really knows all of the parts of the equation and the NCAA doesn't give us any numbers to reverse engineer. It's solitaire with 51 cards. You might end up getting really close, but you will never nail it.

Here is the bottom-line: don't worry about it. Worry about supporting the Chargers in these final two regular-season opportunities for the boys to beat the snot of the Bulldogs and the Dragons. One thing is for certain; losing focus to one of these clubs could instantly wipe out every bit of fun we have had this year. We'll worry about playoff seedings on November 8 when we are all watching ESPNU and hearing "Hillsdale College" announced for the first time in the Chargers' 19 year division II history.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 Frank "Muddy" Waters, Father of Saginaw Valley State football, reaches Saginaw Hall of Fame

Frank "Muddy" Waters, Father of Saginaw Valley State football, reaches Saginaw Hall of Fame

By Geoff Mott | The Saginaw News

October 27, 2009, 12:09PM
OBIT WATERS.jpgAl Goldis | The Associated PressFrank "Muddy" Waters is shown Aug. 4, 2000, in his Meridian Township home. Behind him is football memorabilia, including his collection of game balls and his and his sons' high school and college football helmets. Waters, who died in 2006 at the age of 83, is a member of this year's class of inductees into the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame.
Frank “Muddy” Waters was late to his interview to be the first head football coach at Saginaw Valley State College back in 1974.
Already a Hall of Fame coach after building a national powerhouse at Hillsdale College with a 138-46-5 record, Waters left the college where the field was named after him for the chance to build his own program from the ground up.
The only problem was he couldn’t find the school to do it.
“He said when he took the job that all that was out there were a couple of buildings in a cornfield,” said son Frank “Murky” Waters, who spent 10 years as an assistant coach with his father, including all six seasons at SVSU.
“He ended up being late to his interview for the job because he had stopped for directions to Saginaw Valley. The people he asked directed us to Delta College. He got there and told the board that was to hire to him why he was late and a board member said that’s why they need a good coach. Nobody knows where Saginaw Valley State is.”
Waters, a Chico, Calif., native, changed all that in a tenure at SVSU that spanned from 1974 to 1979. With 200 students staying on a campus with dormitories built to house around 500, Waters convinced kids to play for him in the middle of a cornfield. Before he left to become coach at Michigan State University, Waters helped deliver SVSU the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title in 1979.
For his contribution to building a SVSU program that is now recognized as a top tier NCAA Division II football program — the Cardinals currently are ranked No. 3 in the regional playoff rankings — Waters is among nine inductees into this year’s class for the Saginaw County Sports Hall of Fame. The group will be honored Nov. 8 at Horizons Conference Center.
The induction will be the fifth for Muddy Waters, who died in 2006 at the age of 83. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000, along with the Michigan Sports HOF, the Hillsdale College Athletic HOF and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics HOF.
The one-time president of the NAIA Football Coaches Association, Waters was named Michigan Coach of the Year eight times.
After playing at Michigan State as a running back — he earned the nickname after carrying the ball for a then school record 40 times — he coached high school ball at Walled Lake and Albion. At Hillsdale, his team won a Division II record 34 games in a row, earning trips to the playoffs twice, including a trip to the 1957 Holiday Bowl.

Hillsdale Daily News: Charger offense shines in blowout win

Charger offense shines in blowout win

By James Gensterblum / Daily News Corespondent

This football season, the Hillsdale College Chargers’ offense has been tearing through their GLIAC competition with a balanced attack equally adept at doing damage through the air and on the ground.

This Saturday, however, the Chargers may have had their most impressive offensive performance yet. Hillsdale shredded their rivals, the Wayne State Warriors, for 532 yards in a 45-14 blowout victory that gives the Chargers an inside track for their first D-II playoff berth in school history.

“Our kids deserve a lot of credit,” said Hillsdale coach Keith Otterbein. “You could tell this week in practice that they recognized the importance of this game and they maintained that intensity all the way to the final whistle, but at the same time they stayed relaxed and loose enough to maintain their composure.  They hit that perfect balance and played a complete game in every facet.”

Chargers quarterback Troy Weatherhead opened the game on a tear, feasting on a banged-up and suspect Wayne State secondary for three first-half touchdowns, all to wideout Andre Holmes.

Holmes, 6-foot 5-inch, took advantage of a matchup against 5-foot 10- inch cornerback Stan Thornton, catching 5 passes for 113 yards including touchdowns of three, 22, and 68 yards in the first half alone.

“Our coaches always tell us that the opportunities are there for you to make big plays every game,” Holmes said. “You just have to reach out and take them. I think everyone on this team has really bought into that message and it shows when you watch us play.”

When Wayne State started doubling Holmes in the second half, Hillsdale turned to running back Vinny Panizzi, who gashed the mostly six- and seven-man fronts of the Warriors for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries.

That 100+ yard effort also gave Panizzi his third straight 1,000 yard season at Hillsdale, a milestone only matched by Hillsdale College Hall of famer and career rushing leader Scott Schulte.

“It feels great to be able to accomplish something like that, though getting the win feels even better,” Panizzi said. “It’s great to be playing here, with this group of guys, in games like this, and having the opportunity to achieve milestones at the same time.”

Weatherhead also continued his prolific output in the second half, hitting A.J. Kegg for his fourth touchdown of the game.  All told, Weatherhead finished 23-33 for 356 yards and no interceptions.

“Our offense is balanced enough that we don’t have to try to force anything, we can just take what they give us,” Panizzi said. “We feel like we can always find a matchup to exploit, no matter who we’re playing.”

On the defensive side of the ball, the Chargers faced a stern challenge in the GLIAC’s leading rusher, Joique Bell.

Bell lived up to his considerable hype, rushing for 165 yards and two TDs on 24 carries, but was largely a one-man show for the Warriors, as Hillsdale shut down Wayne State’s passing attack.
Complete story posted at RJ Walters: Down in the Dale blog

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hillsdale charges ahead to #3 in regional rankings

Fresh off a 45-14 win over previously regionally ranked Wayne State (MI), Hillsdale College has moved up to third position in the weekly NCAA regional rankings. Rankings are based on records and a conglomeration of strength of schedule calculations. The top 6 teams in each of the 4 "super regions" qualify for the playoffs that begin on November 14. Seeds 1 and 2 receive byes for week 1 while team 3 hosts team 6 and team 4 hosts team 5.
All regions ranked at

Hillsdale moves up 3 spots in Coaches' Poll to 22

AFCA Division II Poll

October 26, 2009

1 North Ala. 9-0
2 Central Wash. 9-0 
3 Northwest Mo. St. 8-1 
4 Minn. St. Mankato 9-0 
5 Grand Valley St. 8-1 
6 Minn. Duluth 8-1 
7 Tarleton St. 8-1 
8 Neb.-Kearney 8-1 
9 Tex. A&M-Kingsville 8-1 
10 Bloomsburg 8-1 
11 UNC Pembroke 7-1 
12 West Liberty St. 8-1 
13 Midwestern St. 7-2 
14 Albany St. (Ga.) 7-1
15 Abilene Christian 7-2
16 Tuskegee 6-2
17 Charleston (W.V.) 8-1
18 Carson-Newman 7-2
19 Central Mo. 7-2
20 California (Pa.) 7-2
21 Edinboro 7-2
22 Hillsdale 7-2
23 Mo. Western St. 7-2
24 Saginaw Valley 7-2 
25 Bentley 8-1 

OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: Shippensburg (Pa.), 43; Findlay (Ohio), 41; Washburn (Kan.), 35; Colorado School of Mines, 14; Wingate (N.C.), 14; Mars Hill (N.C.), 9; Shaw (N.C.), 3; Arkansas Tech, 1; Wayne St. (Mich.), 1.
DROPPED OUT: No. 16 Washburn, No. 22 Wayne State (Neb.).

Hillsdale's Andre Holmes: GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week

BAY CITY, Mich. - Hillsdale College junior wide receiver Andre Holmes (Elk Grove, Ill./Conant) was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) "Offensive Player of the Week" after leading the Chargers to a 45-14 win over Wayne State University on Saturday. Grand Valley State University junior defensive end Danny Richard (West Bloomfield, Mich.) garnered "Defensive Player of the Week" accolades for his efforts in a 34-7 Laker win over Ashland.  The University of Findlay junior place kicker Cameron Stevens (Orlando, Fla./Timbercreek) was tabbed the GLIAC "Special Teams Player of the Week" for leading the Oilers past Northern Michigan University.

Andre Holmes - Hillsdale College GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week:
Andre Holmes - Hillsdale College
(JR, WR, 6-5, 185, Elk Grove, Ill./Conant)
Holmes led the Chargers to a 45-14 win by the Chargers over Wayne State, scoring the team’s first three touchdowns, all coming in the game’s first 18 minutes of the game. He finished the game with five receptions for 119 yards and a career-high three scores. Holmes scored three of Hillsdale’s four first-half scores, as the team built a 28-0 lead over the Warriors. His third TD catch spanned 68 yards, the longest catch of the season for Holmes.

Sunday, October 25, 2009 Chargers' offense cruises to GLIAC win

October 25, 2009

Chargers' offense cruises to GLIAC win


Joique Bell scored two touchdowns, but the day belonged to host Hillsdale.

The Chargers led, 28-0, at halftime and rolled to a 45-14 victory Saturday over Wayne State. Hillsdale improved to 7-2, 6-2 in the GLIAC.

Hillsdale led, 31-0 -- thanks to three touchdown passes from Troy Weatherhead to Andre Holmes (3, 22 and 68 yards) and a 38-yard field goal by Mark Petro -- before the Warriors (6-3, 5-3) scored.

Bell ran for all four plays on a 54-yard drive that ended with a 30-yard score at 8:55 in the third quarter. He finished with 164 yards on 24 carries.

But the Chargers answered as Vinnie Panizzi rushed for his second touchdown at 6:48, increasing the lead to 38-7. Panizzi finished with 127 yards on 23 carries. At 13:03 of the fourth quarter, Weatherhead connected with A.J. Kegg on another touchdown for a 45-7 lead. With 10 seconds left, Bell added his second TD.

Weatherhead completed 23 of 33 passes for 356 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.

Big Shake-up in AFCA Top 25 coming

Saturday's AFCA Division II Top 25 results.

Look for the Chargers to make a big push as 7 ranked teams went down on Saturday.

1. North Alabama beats Valdosta State 62-27
2. Central Washington beats Humboldt St. 38-7
3. Bloomsburg loses to Shippenburg 28-27
4. NWMSU beats Washburn 22-19
5. Minnesota State beats SW Minnesota 42-32
6. GVSU beats Ashland 34-0
7. Minnesota Duluth beats Bemidji State 35-34
8. Albany State loses to Tuskegee 21-19
9. Abilene Christian loses to Tarleton State 13-6
10 Charleston loses to West Liberty 48-42
11. Tarleton State beats Abilene Christian 13-6
12. MO Western loses to So. Missouri 35-34
13. Nebraska Kearney beats Ft. Lewis 59-14
14. Texas AM Kingsville beats E. New Mexico 38-31
15. UNC Pembroke beats Concord 27-9
16. Warshburn loses to NWMSU 22-19
17. Midwestern -Texas beats Central Oklahoma 43-16
18. West Liberty beats Charleston 48-42
19. Tuskegee beats Albany State 21-19
20. Carson Newman beats Brevard 77-7
21. Central Missouri beats Nebraska-Omaha 49-31
22. Wayne State Neb loses to Augustana 27-24
23. Edinboro beats Mercyhurst 32-22
24. California beats Slippery Rock 44-7
25. Hillsdale beats Wayne State (MI) 45-14

Saturday, October 24, 2009 Football team makes serious statement in 45-14 win over Wayne State

Football team makes serious statement in 45-14 win over Wayne State
Chargers now 7-2 on the season
October 24, 2009 - If you asked Hillsdale College football head coach Keith Otterbein to draw up the perfect first half, it would likely resemble what took place on the Frank “Muddy” Waters news story image Stadium field on a misty Saturday afternoon.

Playing a flawless first 30 minutes, the Hillsdale College football team played one of its best games in one of its biggest games, defeating Wayne State 45-14 Saturday afternoon. The win improves the Chargers to 7-2 overall and 6-2 in the GLIAC on the season. The Warriors are now 6-3 overall. Hillsdale travels to Ferris State on Halloween afternoon for its final regular season road game next week.

The Charger offense executed brilliantly in building a 28-0 lead over the Warriors. Effectively mixing the run and pass, Hillsdale’s offense was at its unpredictable best, with QB Troy Weatherhead combining short throws with some big plays to the team’s talented receivers. Add tough running by RB Vinnie Panizzi, and you came up with an offense that wasn’t forced to punt for the game’s first 51 minutes.

Hillsdale scored on all four of its possessions in the first half, and the team’s two-dimensional offense was on full display. Three of those drives took a total of 29 plays to find paydirt. The other touchdown drive relied on the talent of WR Andre Holmes.

After building a 14-0 first-quarter lead, Weatherhead found Holmes for a 68-yard touchdown pass down the right sidelines that put an early stamp on this game, increasing the Chargers’ lead to 21-0 with 12 minutes left in the second quarter. The three-score lead forced Wayne State to pass more than it was used to doing at that point in the game, and allowed the Charger defense more freedom to make plays. It also allowed Hillsdale’s offense to return to its productive, deliberate personality, a time when the offense tends to be at its best.

The Warriors came into the game with Division II’s leading rusher,. Joique Bell, a player who was averaging 191 rushing yards per game this season. Hillsdale’s defense was up to the task vs. Bell, doing a good job of containing him and not allowing him to set a tempo for the game. Although Bell did finish with 165 yards on 24 carries, the Charger defense gave him 12 rushing yards lost in the game, and in that critical first part of the game, limited him to four yards on four carries in the game’s first 15 minutes.

Although Bell outrushed Panizzi, the Chargers’ starting tailback had a game he can be proud of. He ran the ball 23 times for 127 yards and scored two touchdowns. He was not tackled for a loss during the game, and chewed up the Warriors defense for those important yards in the middle of the field that allowed Hillsdale’s lethal passing game to do its work.

Pulling the trigger on that passing game was Weatherhead, who turned in an outstanding performance. He was 23-for-33 for 356 yards and four touchdown passes. It was the second week in a row Weatherhead’s passes found the end zone four times, and his 356 yards through the air are a season-high, and second most in a single game in his career.

Holmes’ 68-yard touchdown reception was a season-long, and he finished with five receptions for 119 yards and three touchdowns. He scored the team’s first three touchdowns of the game. Complementing Holmes’ spectacular game was senior WR A.J. Kegg, who caught a season-high 10 passes for 131 yards and one highlight-reel touchdown. Kegg caught an 18-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, when he was interfered with, but made a sprawling catch on his back in the blue paint anyway, providing one more highlight on a day filled with them for the Chargers.

Credit should also go to the Charger offensive line, who not only blocked well for Panizzi, but gave Weatherhead important time to throw in the pocket for many of those long scoring passes.

Sophomore Joe Vear led the Hillsdale defense with 10 total tackles. Freshman Nick Galvan continued his terrific rookie season with an interception to go along with one tackle-for-loss and eight total stops and two pass break-ups. Senior Marcellus Wade was very active early in the game, and had eight total tackles. Senior Eric Schweller notched two tackles-for-loss.

Please click on the link below for the stats from Saturday's game.

Chargers 45, Wayne State 14

Friday, October 23, 2009

Editorial: The Collegian Weekly

The Collegian Weekly

Posted: 10/22/09

We'll admit it: we were skeptical. Had someone told us before the Oct. 10 homecoming game against Grand Valley State University that we would be writing the next Weekly about football, we would have envisioned a piece about how unfair and embarrassing it was to make our Chargers play the homecoming game against a school that we could not beat.

After all, the last time Hillsdale's football team beat GVSU's was more than 15 years ago on Oct. 15, 1994--early enough in Bill Clinton's presidency for America to still consider him a family man. Most members of Hillsdale College's class of '13 were three years old. Respected adults grooved to Boyz II Men with the windows down. It was a long, long time ago.

The team obviously did not deserve the skepticism, but Charger fans made up for it in their spirit after the win. Many alumni, now successful adults, ran around screaming and cheering like children. The devoted tailgaters weren't the only ones excited-the Tower Players' production of Our Town began with the Stage Manager congratulating the football team on their huge win, prompting wild cheer from the audience. Campus-wide, skeptics like us were put in our place.

Depending on the outcome of their game against Wayne State on Saturday, Oct. 24, the Hillsdale Chargers could make history again. If they win, they will almost certainly make the Division II playoffs-which has never happened before. That's right, never.

Wayne State may have a 6-2 record this season, but that shouldn't cause fans to lose faith in their Chargers. After all, GVSU had won 48 consecutive regular-season games before losing to Hillsdale.

So, Hillsdale-put away your doubts and pick up a beer (or your tailgating beverage of choice) and cheer on your Chargers. They deserve it.

Troy Weatherhead vs. Ninjas: Super Challenger Edition

Okay, so the first edition of this thing was too easy?

Try the super challenger edition!

Learn more about this project
Replacing Emoji...'s Tony Nicolette: Weekly Gliac Column

Tony Nicolette, GLIAC Column

"Co" Game of the Week
Wayne State (5-2, 6-2) at #24 Hillsdale (5-2, 6-2)

For the fifth straight week the Chargers face a team who is (at the time of the game) sporting a winning record and is/was first or second in the league. A win Saturday would net HC a 4-1 mark during this stretch and leave the Chargers with the easiest remaining path to 9-2 (Ferris and Tiffin) of the league's two-loss clubs.

Completing this five-game gauntlet with another win will require the Chargers to defeat Wayne State and the nation's leading rusher in Joique Bell - no small task by any stretch of the imagination. The Warriors won a low-scoring affair in Detroit when these two met last season.

By the way: Something to keep an eye on in this one is Bell's rushing total. He's less than five hundred yards from posting the second 2,000 yard rushing season of his career - certainly something you don't see every day. He'll face three of the league's top six rushing defenses in the next three weeks, so the task will be tall. As if this league didn't give us enough fun stuff to watch this year, now we get to follow this as well!

Wayne State Keys:
- Balancing Act - Yeah, we know that Joique and the ground game are WSU's bread-and-butter. With that said, Northern's physical defensive front kept him relatively in check a couple of weeks ago. Hillsdale is every bit as tough up front as NMU, so finding a way to get a bit more of passing game going will loosen things up a bit and maybe even hit for a big play.
- Front Seven must play like a Front Seventeen - Hillsdale has had hit their stride over the last couple of weeks and is now making it very hard to stop their offense. They can pound it on the ground, or pick you to death with short passes - all the while concerning you with the deep threat you know is there. Slowing the running game and putting pressure on Troy Weatherhead must happen for the Warriors to have success.

Hillsdale Keys:
- Keep it Rolling - The offense has been awful good of late, very tough to stop, and was all but perfect a week ago. I don't change a thing until Wayne makes me and proves they can take something away from me. Further, when HC is doing the things they have been they have a tendency to possess the ball well - and Joique Bell can't beat you when he's not in the game.
- Speaking of Bell - Hillsdale just needs to contain him. Yeah, it's a tall order. With that said, WSU is not set up to throw it all over the place. If the Chargers can keep Bell from taking over the game and make Mickey Mohner beat them HC has the advantage.

Prediction - I'm almost compelled to do another of my famous coin flips to pick this one. In the end, I think the Chargers at home and with their superior play on the offensive and defensive interiors will be the difference. I wouldn't be surprised if Bell has a big game, but even if he does I'd expect Vinnie Panizzi to follow suit - and I like the odds of Weatherhead being a difference-maker over Mohner. Hillsdale 37, Wayne State 31.

Full Column

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hillsdale Collegian: Chargers topple No. 1; Huge game Saturday

Chargers topple No. 1; Huge game Saturday

After defeating Goliath, Hillsdale knows massive implications surround their match-up with Wayne State Saturday

By: Nathan McClallen
Posted: 10/22/09

With four seconds left on the clock, undefeated No. 1 Grand Valley State University kicker Justin Trumble set up for a 49-yard field goal that would send Hillsdale College's homecoming game into overtime.

The kick went up, and time seemed to slow as the ball flipped end over end towards the uprights.

As the ball sailed wide right and time expired, hundreds of fans poured onto the field to celebrate the upset.

"NUMBER 1 GOES DOWN! NUMBER 1 GOES DOWN!" was the call from the announcers as they took in the scene.

After such a monumental victory, a lot of teams wouldn't have come out ready to play their next game.

According to junior quarterback Troy Weatherhead, that's why many Division II football experts picked Hillsdale to lose the next week on the road at No. 23 Northern Michigan University,
Instead, the Chargers avoided the "letdown" game, and picked up a 28-17 road win against a team that led the conference in rushing offense, holding them 21 points below their scoring average in the process.

Weatherhead tied a career-high with four touchdown passes in the game, while senior Vinnie Panizzi had 30 carries for 130 yards. Panizzi currently ranks 10th in the nation in rushing yards per game.

This victory means that in their last two games, the Hillsdale football team has had two of their biggest wins in the last 20 years.

According to head coach Keith Otterbein, the game against Wayne State University this Saturday is now more important than the previous two combined.

"As you keep winning big games, the next one is that much bigger," he said.

Full Article

Podcast Week 9: Somebody's going home sad this Saturday

Hillsdale and Wayne State are all in this Saturday. Somebody is keeping their playoff hopes alive and somebody is going home sad.

WDTK 1400's Sean Baligian will have the call on the Warriors' side and joins us for the podcast this week.

Wayne State brings the nation's top rusher and kickoff return unit. Should be one to remember

Click to listen. October 22: Hillsdale vs. Wayne State

Troy Weatherhead vs. The Ninjas

Muddy Waters Stadium is under attack by ninjas and Charger quarterback Troy Weatherhead is the only one who can save the day.

How many ninjas can you knock out of action?

Learn more about this project

Special Teams will play big role in Wayne State - Hillsdale football matchup

Special teams will play a big role in the outcome of Saturday's pivotal GLIAC ballgame between Hillsdale College and Wayne State University.

WSU leads not only the league in kickoff returns but Division II as a whol. Hillsdale is second.

Wayne State has Josh Renel and Stan Thornton ranked 1 and 2 respectively and both have returns for TDs.

Hillsdale has great return guys in Nick Hixson and Mike Blanchard ranked 3 and 4 in the GLIAC respectivley. Both have been literally a step away from breaking returns to the house.

Wayne St. has a better league average when it comes to stopping returners.

Hillsdale has one of the nation's best kickers in Mark Petro. They also have one of the league's top punters in Eric Schweller.

(Nick Hixson will be looking to put points on the board in the return game, photo)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 Playoff hopefuls collide in Hillsdale as Chargers host Wayne State

FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Playoff hopefuls collide in Hillsdale as Chargers host Wayne State
Both teams 6-2 entering Saturday's game
Hillsdale College Release
Charger Football Game Notes - Oct. 24, 2009

October 21, 2009 - One of the longest-running rivalries in GLIAC football writes its 51st chapter today, only there’s quite a bit more on the line than the normal “we beat a rival” motivation.

Saturday, the Chargers will host Wayne State University as the centerpiece activity during Parents’ Weekend. These two teams have met every season since 1970, but rarely, if ever, has as much been on the line as it is Saturday.

Both teams are in the current Super Region 3 rankings. Hillsdale is fifth, while the Warriors are eighth in the region. The top six teams in each region qualify for the NCAA Division II playoffs. With both teams in, or near the top six, the game is drenched with playoff implications.

In conference play, these are two of the five teams tied for second place with a 5-2 GLIAC mark. Hillsdale and Wayne State are joined by Northern Michigan, Saginaw Valley State and Findlay in the tangle of teams sitting one game behind conference leader Grand Valley State.

Today’s game offers a fascinating matchup of a steadily improving defense against perhaps the best running back in GLIAC history. The Chargers allowed a total of 73 points in their first two GLIAC games of this season.

Since then (except for the loss at Findlay), the Hillsdale defense has clamped down on its opponents, holding four teams to at least 14 points below their season scoring average. The team is 4-0 in those games, including a shutout of Indianapolis, a 27-24 win over Grand Valley State, and last week’s 28-17 win over Northern Michigan on the road. NMU had outscored its opponents at home by a combined score of 141-20 before losing to the Chargers. The Wildcats were averaging 47 points per home game, then the Hillsdale defense held the team to 17 in the win last week.

That NMU team had the best team rushing offense in the GLIAC. This week, Hillsdale faces the conference’s individual rushing leader in the form of Joique Bell.

Bell, a senior running back, holds tons of school and GLIAC records and currently leads the nation with a rushing yards per-game average of 191. He is a big, strong, bruising back who has improved his speed over last season.

Bell presents the ultimate challenge to any rushing defense, but across the way, Hillsdale has a pretty good back of its own, Vinnie Panizzi.

With 30 yards rushing Saturday, Panizzi will become the second player in school history to have three 1,000-yard rushing seasons to his credit. He is coming off a 131-yard rushing performance vs. the Wildcats, and helps give Hillsdale one of the truest two-dimensional offensive personalities of any team in the GLIAC. Bell and Panizzi rank 1-2 in the GLIAC in average rushing yards per game.

Complementing Panizzi’s 131 rushing yards was four touchdown passes from junior QB Troy Weatherhead, who also threw for 276 yards and completed 76 percent of his passes. Weatherhead has 2,054 passing yards this season and is the first quarterback in school history with two 2,000-yard passing games in his career.

Hillsdale’s pass offense is No. 1 in the GLIAC and will be going against Wayne State’s 11th (out of 12) ranked pass defense in this game. So regardless of which off ense is on the field, there will be a compelling matchup to watch on both sides of the ball.

This has been an evenly matched rivalry through recent years, though the home teams have had the edge this decade. Wayne State hasn’t won at Hillsdale since Oct. 14, 2000, and the Chargers have averaged 37.5 points per game in their last four wins vs. the Warriors. Hillsdale leads the alltime series between the teams 36-13-1.

Last year, Wayne State’s defense shut down the Chargers in a 14-7 victory in Detroit. The seven points scored by Hillsdale in that game were the fewest since a 7-3 loss to Ashland on Oct. 15, 2005.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Mark Petro making a case for nation's best place kicker

Hillsdale College's Mark Petro is tied for second in Division II with 1.75 field goals per game. His .933 accuracy numbers are the highest for anyone with 10 or more attempts.

All D2 stats at

Hillsdale's Vinnie Panizzi, tenth ranked rusher in Division II

Hillsdale College's Vinnie Panizzi enters week 9 of the season ranked 10th in the country.

The senior has carried the ball 191 times and is just 30 yards shy of the 1000 yard mark for the 3rd straight season.

Hillsdale fans will get a chance to see the nation's best this Saturday as Wayne State's Joique Bell brings the 6-2 Warriors to Muddy Waters Stadium.

All D2 stats at

Chargers ranked #24 by Media Poll

2009 Top 25 Media Poll
October 20, 2009

Last Week
North Alabama
Central Washington
Northwest Missouri
Minnesota State
Grand Valley
Albany State
Abilene Christian
Missouri Western
Tarleton State
Texas A&M-Kingsville
Saginaw Valley
Wayne State (Ne)
Central Missouri
UNC Pembroke
Midwestern State
West Liberty

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hillsdale College Rises to 5th in D2 Super Region #3 Rankings

The newest Regional Rankings are out for Week 8 of the NCAA Division II football season. With its win over Northern Michigan, the Chargers move up 3 notches. The rankings are based on won-loss record, strength of schedule, and opponent strength of schedule. There is no selection committee per say. Hillsdale plays the 8th team in the region, Wayne State, next week in at Muddy Waters Stadium at 2:30. The top 6 regional teams qualify for the playoffs with teams 1 and 2 receiving byes for the 1st week.

Chargers Return to Top 25

After beating two straight ranked opponents, 6-2  Hillsdale College returns to the American Football Coaches Association Top 25 poll at #25.

Surprising fellow 6-2 club and Saturday's opponent Wayne State did not make the cut and neither did Saginaw Valley also sitting at 6-2 on the year.

2009 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll
October 19, 2009

RankSchool (1st votes) Rec. Pts. Prev. Last WeekNext Game
1. North Alabama (25) 8-0 625 2 D. Delta St. (Miss.), 34-24 Oct. 22 at Valdosta St. (Ga.)
2. Central Washington 8-0 592 3 D. Western Oregon, 23-21 Oct. 24 vs. Humboldt St. (Calif.)
3. Bloomsburg (Pa.) 8-0 567 4 D. Cheyney (Pa.), 28-6 Oct. 24 vs. Shippensburg (Pa.)
4. Northwest Missouri St. 7-1 544 5 D. Emporia St. (Kan.), 45-12 Oct. 24 vs. No. 16 Washburn (Kan.)
5. Minnesota St.-Mankato 8-0 525 6 D. Minnesota St.-Moorhead, 59-14 Oct. 24 vs. Southwest Minnesota St.
6. Grand Valley St. (Mich.) 7-1 492 8 D. No. 18 Findlay (Ohio), 38-13 Oct. 24 at Ashland (Ohio)
7. Minnesota-Duluth 7-1 475 9 D. St. Cloud State (Minn.), 31-7 Oct. 24 at Bemidji St. (Minn.)
8. Albany St. (Ga.) 7-0 427 10 D. Clark Atlanta (Ga.), 32-29 OT Oct. 24 vs. No. 19 Tuskegee (Ala.)
9. Abilene Christian (Texas) 7-1 425 1 Lost to West Texas A&M, 32-21 Oct. 24 at No. 11 Tarleton St. (Texas)
10. Charleston (W.Va.) 8-0 411 11 D. North Greenville (S.C.), 34-7 Oct. 24 vs. No. 18 West Liberty (W.Va.)
11. Tarleton St. (Texas) 7-1 368 13 D. Eastern New Mexico, 30-20 Oct. 24 vs. No. 9 Abilene Christian (Texas)
12. Missouri Western St. 7-1 348 15 D. No. 14 Central Missouri, 36-21 Oct. 24 vs. Missouri Southern St.
13. Nebraska-Kearney 7-1 315 16 D. Western New Mexico, 65-30 Oct. 24 at Fort Lewis (Colo.)
14. Texas A&M-Kingsville 7-1 274 7 Lost to No. 22 Midwestern St. (Texas), 38-7 Oct. 24 vs. Eastern New Mexico
15. North Carolina-Pembroke 6-1 240 17 Idle Oct. 24 at Concord (W.Va.)
16. Washburn (Kan.) 6-2 207 20 D. Pittsburg St. (Kan.), 55-3 Oct. 24 at No. 4 Northwest Missouri St.
17. Midwestern St. (Texas) 6-2 193 22 D. No. 7 Texas A&M-Kingsville, 38-7 Oct. 24 vs. Central Oklahoma
18. West Liberty (W.Va.) 7-1 151 21 D. Shepherd (W.Va.), 31-30 Oct. 24 at No. 10 Charleston (W.Va.)
19. Tuskegee (Ala.) 5-2 143 19 Idle Oct. 24 at No. 8 Albany St. (Ga.)
20. Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 6-2 118 25 D. Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.), 17-13 Oct. 24 vs. Brevard (N.C.)
21. Central Missouri 6-2 117 14 Lost to No. 15 Missouri Western St., 36-21 Oct. 24 at Nebraska-Omaha
22. Wayne St. (Neb.) 6-2 109 24 D. Winona St. (Minn.), 48-25 Oct. 24 vs. Augustana (S.D.)
23. Edinboro (Pa.) 6-2 99 12 Lost to California (Pa.), 38-14 Oct. 24 at Mercyhurst (Pa.)
24. California (Pa.) 6-2 97 NR D. No. 12 Edinboro (Pa.), 38-14 Oct. 24 at Slippery Rock (Pa.)
25. Hillsdale (Pa.) 6-2 72 NR D. No. 23 Northern Michigan, 28-17 Oct. 24 vs. Wayne St. (Mich.)

Dropped Out: Findlay (Ohio) (18), Northern Michigan (23).

Others Receiving Votes: Findlay (Ohio), 43; Saginaw Valley St. (Mich.), 36; Angelo St. (Texas), 33; Bentley (Mass.), 28; Wayne St. (Mich.), 20; Colorado School of Mines, 9; Shippensburg (Pa.), 8; Northern Michigan, 6; Bowie St. (Md.), 3; Shaw (N.C.), 2; Wingate (N.C.), 2; Valdosta St. (Ga.), 1.

Full Release

Scouting Wayne State: Weekly GLIAC Notes

Wayne State - The 2009 senior class has recorded 23 wins, tied-for-fourth most in the 92 years of WSU football ... sophomore middle linebacker Nick Thomas (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary) recorded a team-best 10 tackles (4-6) including five for loss (one shy of the school record) ... he contributed 2.5 sacks (of the 10 by WSU) and a pass break-up ... WSU limited Ferris State to 100 yards of total offense (145 passing, -45 rushing) ... FSU’s rushing total was the lowest by a WSU opponent this decade ... senior running back Joique Bell (Benton Harbor, Mich.) tied the GLIAC mark for rushing touchdowns in a game with six ... he rushed for 263 yards on 34 carries and did not lose any rushing yards ... he also had two receptions for 42 yards to finish with 305 all-purpose yards (tied-for-sixth best total in school history with the 305 he had vs. FSU on Nov. 11, 2006) ... WSU had 184 yards of total offense in the first 15 minutes and Bell accounted for 157 (115 rushing, 42 receiving) ...he is ninth in all-time NCAA scoring (all divisions) with 534 points (he passed the Chicago Bears’ Adrian Peterson, formerly of Georgia Southern in the FSU contest) ... Bell is 20th in all-time NCAA rushing yards (all divisions) with 6,175, while his all-purpose yards total of 7,395 ranks 12th in NCAA Division II history.

Full League Release

Don't Stop Believing! Beat Wayne State. None bigger than Saturday

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hillsdale busts out in 3rd quarter for football win at Northern Michigan

Hillsdale College heard all week how good this Northern Michigan football team was this year. The Chargers heard about how they have struggled historically in the Superior Dome after long bus rides. They also heard how difficult it will be for them to rebound emotionally from the elation of beating Grand Valley.

They took all of those friendly reminders and rolled them up into a poised and physical...nearly surgical 28-17 win over 23rd ranked NMU today in Marquette.

Vinnie Panizzi (pictured left by Todd Lancaster earlier in the season) ate up 131 yards and even more importantly time off the clock and Wildcat stamina enroute to the Chargers' third win over nationally ranked opponents. Behind a bruising Hillsdale line the Blue and White scored 21 third quarter points to blow open a game that was tied 7 a piece at halftime.

The first half was nip and tuck and the Chargers ripped away an early NMU scoring chance when the Chargers stood up RB Antonio Wallace, stripped him, and Nick Galvan recovered.

Hillsdale got on the board at 10:59 of the 2nd quarter when Troy Weatherhead hit Mike Blanchard for a 20 yard touchdown. Northern would answer on the next drive and the early defensive battle entered the midway point all knotted at 7.

The third quarter was dominated by the Chargers who got Weatherhead scoring strikes of 20 yards to AJ Kegg, 21 to Andre Holmes, and 38 to sophomore tight end Brent Bergquist. The score was Bergquist's first collegiate reception.

Charger kicker Mark Petro was Mr. Automatic again this week chipping in a perfect 4 of 4 PAT attempts.

Northern would add a Rockne Belmonte field goal to trail 28-10 after 3 quarters and would add a Mark Bossuah 1 yard TD plunge in the 4th quarter to get no closer than the 28-17 final score.

The Charger defense came up with some big plays down the stretch that included forcing a second Walker fumble that David Bakker recovered and stripping NMU receiver Zac Nichols in the endzone. The Wildcats mounted a 12 play fourth quarter drive that ended up burning a lot of clock and would ultimately end when Cart Kopach's 4th down and 15 pass fell incomplete.

So much for a letdown from the Chargers. Hillsdale eclipsed the 400 yard mark again getting 132 yards rushing and 276 passing.

Weatherhead was 24 of 30 for 276 yards and the 4 touchdowns. Kegg led the receivers with 7 catches for 72 yards. Holmes had 6 for 52. Blanchard had 2 for 39 and Matt Patillo had 2 for 38.

Joe Vear led Hillsdale with 11 stops. Nick Hixson had 10 and Marcellus Wade had 8.

6-2 Wayne State comes into Hillsdale next Saturday with both teams knowing a win keeps playoff aspirations alive. The Warriors whipped Ferris State today 45-7.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mining Journal: Little things paying off for NMU

Little things are paying off for NMU

By BILL HARRIS Journal Sports Writer
POSTED: October 16, 2009

Zac Nichols

MARQUETTE - Doing the little things right is paying off in a big way for the Northern Michigan University football team, and the Wildcats hope to continue their winning ways on Saturday against Hillsdale College.

After six games, the Wildcats are 5-1, have knocked off a pair of American Football Coaching Association Division II top 25 teams (Saginaw Valley State and Wayne State), and have broken into the poll themselves with a No. 23 national ranking for the first time since AFCA poll was started in 1992.

NMU coach Bernie Anderson said that if the poll was started after the first five games it would be more realistic, but knows that's not the reality.

"Once you do get into the second half of the season the ratings become more meaningful, even though it's based on a win-loss record, but that is the ultimate measure," Anderson said.

And being ranked is a good thing for everyone involved.

"It's good for our players, our program and the university, and we'll take it," Anderson said. "It's nice to fly under the radar a little bit, but when you're 5-1 and you've beaten some good football teams, you're going to get recognized."

And Northern has beaten good football teams, the latest being SVSU and WSU, who have learned that things are starting to come together for the Wildcats.

Offensively, Northern's passing attack has upped its game to complement the run, and Anderson said that the combination of the two adds a new dynamic to Northern's offense.

"We're more two-dimensional, which is a good thing," he said. "We have the ability to run - we have three good backs - but have a couple good wide receivers and a good quarterback to get them the ball, and it's making us more productive offensively."

Full Article's Tony Nicolette: Weekly Gliac Column

"Co" Game of the Week
Hillsdale (4-2, 5-2) at #24 Northern Michigan (5-1, 5-1)

When Hillsdale traveled to Findlay a couple of weeks ago after their impressive thumping of Ashland, the Chargers put forth a rather lackluster performance. They look to avoid the "letdown" again this week after the huge win over Grand Valley. The SuperiorDome has been a form of kryptonite for a lot of teams, and HC is no exception. The 'Cats will be ready and this game pits two of the league's more physical clubs.

Hillsdale Keys:
- Pass Protect - While Northern is near the top of the league in almost every statistical category (especially on defense), they have yet to face a passing attack with the overall potency possessed by the Chargers. If HC can give Troy Weatherhead time they should be able to move the ball.
- Throw salt over your left shoulder with your right hand - Or use whatever voodoo hex remover you want (you know, like in Tin Cup when KC and Cheech were on the driving range trying to get rid of the chili dips?). With all due respect to Northern, I've seen a ton of teams over the years go up to that Dome and not play their game. HC can't afford a let down in this one and needs to play like they know they can.

Northern Keys:
- One-two Punch - Northern always looks to establish the run first. Getting Bossuah and Wallace going early has worked all year and will bode well for the 'Cats if those two get cranked up in this one.
- Trap Troy - Getting pressure on HC's QB is a key. Findlay was very successful at it, and for the most part GV wasn't. If NMU can keep him running and un-settled it throws the HC offense of the rails.

Prediction - This one has the looks of a brawl, as these are two of the more physical clubs in the league. While I think everyone knows that the 'Cats are "for real" at this point with a couple of the quality wins they've had, their overall schedule hasn't been the strongest to date. They are in the middle of a four week gauntlet and passed the first test, but can they continue their fine play? Despite the question marks and the firepower Hillsdale brings in, NMU has been the more consistent of the two to this point. In addition, until someone proves to me this year that they can beat the 'Cats at home it's pretty darn hard for me to pick against them. Northern 33, Hillsdale 27.

Player Profile
Fresh off the program's biggest win in years, this week we chat with Hillsdale's DT Mark Yassay. The senior from Northville is a three-year starter and a mainstay up front for the Chargers.
What is your major?

What's your favorite class?
International Business

Other than your home field, what are your favorite and least favorite places to play in the GLIAC?
My favorite place is Michigan Tech, while my least favorite is Findlay.

How is life on the road in the GLIAC? How do you pass the time on the long trips?
I enjoy life on the road. You are with your team and you have a job to do, you have 55 guys with one goal, and that is a special situation to be a part of. On long road trips I talk to my teammates.

Who is the hardest hitter on your team? In the GLIAC?
On my team and the GLIAC it is (HC LB's) Joe Stempien and Matt Szula.

How many text messages do you get/send in a day?
Around ten.

What's your favorite food?
My moms stuffed cabbage.

What's your favorite TV Show?
Ultimate Fighter--Heavy Weights

What influenced your decision to choose Hillsdale/playing in Division II?
My dad played a large role. He explained to me that I only have one chance at college and I should do something that I enjoy. I chose Hillsdale for the education, and the opportunity to play Charger Football.

What do you hope to do after graduation?
Go to Law School.

Thanks, Mark, and congrats again on the great win this past weekend and a great career in Charger Blue.

GLIAC Trivia
Last week, I wanted to know who coached Indianapolis to its only unbeaten season. Dave Shaw led the Greyhounds to an 8-0 mark in 1953. Congrats to Brad (Findlay '03) for being the first in with the correct response. Your copy of the D2 Preview Mag will be on its way soon.
This week, we're looking for the last Hillsdale defensive lineman to earn an All-American plaudit. Let me know who it was and what year he earned the honor. Of course, a copy of our fine publication is up grabs to the first one to get me the fella's name at

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Whack an NMU Wildcat

Learn more about this project

Although Charger gametime is still a little under 48 hours away, you can get your shots in early on Northern Michigan.

Check out's first ever video game: Whack an NMU Wildcat.

Green Out planned at the Superior Dome

When I lived in Arizona, I was a Phoenix Coyotes season ticket holder the first year they were in the Valley of the Sun. One of the traditions they brought from Winnepeg was the the white-out. That made inside and ice rink. It was pretty amazing to experience.

Grand Valley has held its blue-out. See the play on words? Hillsdale held the student black-out for a night game demonstrating its own creativity. Those are pretty tough colors.

Now Northern is getting into the "out" business with a green-out on Saturday for the Superior Dome. Green-out? Okay. I guess it has a better ring to it that a yellow-out or gold-out. Seems like a white-out would go better with the Northern thing.

Hopefully, NMU player and fan faces will match their green attire when this thing is over. Hillsdale's Wade plays major role in gridiron upset

October 15, 2009

Hillsdale's Wade plays major role in gridiron upset

Former Falcon linebacker rejoins starting lineup for victory over Grand Valley

By Dan O'Meara

Hillsdale College linebacker Marcellus Wade (#55 pictured above) talks with former Farmington High teammate Eddie Knoblock every Sunday about their football games the previous day.

Wade got the regular call from Knoblock, a linebacker at Northern Michigan University, on Saturday of last week instead.

Wade and the Chargers sent a shock wave around the Great Lakes Conference — and even the country — when they upset Grand Valley, the No. 1-ranked team in NCAA Division II, 27-24.

“I got a call from him within a half hour of getting out of the locker room,” Wade said. “He's like, ‘What did you guys do?' I said: ‘I'm still in shock.' It was really, really crazy, and it was a huge win for our program.

“It's the biggest win to happen in my career at Hillsdale. People ask, ‘Well, how good are you guys?' It shows we're right there with everybody in the league. It reverberated throughout the GLIAC.”

Wade, a fifth-year senior, made his first start in two seasons at inside linebacker and had his best performance since the fifth game of 2007. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound Wade was instrumental in the victory with 10 tackles, including five solo stops.

With the outcome still in doubt, Grand Valley got the ball on a turnover at the Hillsdale 40-yard line.

“A lot of teams might have said: ‘Oh, here we go; this is where they take over,'” Wade said. “I looked around the huddle, and we didn't have that attitude.

“We stopped them two plays in a row. On third down, they got a pass interference call and a new set of downs. Less spiritual teams would not have fought through it the way we did.

“We held them to a field goal and took it 70 yards for a score. That was huge. I'll never forget that as long as I live. It says a lot about my team and what we've done to get to where we are.”

The Chargers are 5-2 overall and 4-2 in the GLIAC with four games remaining and a chance to qualify for the Division II playoffs after beating a team of Grand Valley's rank and reputation.

“If we win out, we have a good shot at getting in,” Wade said. “If we can take care of business from here on, I'd say we're in for sure.

“The next game will be bigger than the Grand Valley game, and it will be Wayne State after that. It's always fun to be playing for something in October.”

That Wade is even on the team, that he put himself in a position to earn a start and have the impact he did is due to his perseverance, hard work and commitment.

Wade, by his own assessment, has had an up-and-down career that began with him playing in every game as a true freshman in 2005.

An ankle injury late in that season resulted in surgery and Wade taking a redshirt year. He came back strong and started every game in 2007, finishing third on the team with 54 tackles.

But another injury in spring football the next year caused Wade to drop on the depth chart. It took until the middle of this season for him to work his way back into a starting role.

“At times I felt God was testing me throughout everything,” Wade said. “Last year I didn't play a lot and questioned where I was supposed to be.

“To start the Grand Valley game and come full circle, to get a win my senior year and do as well as I did, it's a wonderful experience. I associate that with where I'm supposed to be and the things I needed to do to get me to where I need to be.

“I had a lot of tests leading up to this moment. To start the game and play every snap and come out with a win, it's the stuff of fairy tales.”

Read full article.

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