Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

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.

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