Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Indy chokes out Hillsdale's homecoming comeback attempt

On a spectacular Homecoming Saturday, Hillsdale found itself in a 17-0 hole at halftime, one its defense feverishly tried to dig itself out of in the 2nd half.

It could have been worse but with Indy looking to add another TD a few minutes before half, Daniel Pittman forced a fumble that Tyler Jenks returned to the Hillsdale 39. The Chargers would put together a drive of 20 yards, three yards shy of their longest drive of the day, but would turn the ball over on downs before half.

The fact that 20 yards was the 2nd longest drive of the day pretty much summed one of the most anemic offense days Hillsdale has had in years. It was that bad. The somber conversations in the press box were mainly about how uncharacteristic the halftime stats were in a couple of areas. Indy held an 8 minute advantage in time of possession and the Chargers had only converted 1 first down. Both of those numbers have consistently gone Hillsdale's way over the majority of the Keith Otterbein era.

While joining Andy Brown on WCSR as a halftime guest I stated that the only real positive was that there was a great opportunity for someone in blue to give this team a spark.

A couple of linebackers, namely Brett Pasche and Steven Embry did just that as the defense nearly carried the Chargers single-handedly back to a win.

Defensive coordinator Craig Blanchard started to roll the dice a little early in the third quarter by blitzing Pasche to disrupt Indy quarterback Chris Mills. Pasche made the first big play of the half as he tackled a Greyhound running back for a loss. The disruption continued as Mills would surrender with a slide a couple of plays later for a loss of 4.  Embry made an even bigger play a couple of snaps later when he picked off Mills and returned the ball 33 yards inside the Indy 10.

Hillsdale picked up its second third down conversion and first points as Sam Landry found John Haley for 5 yards on 3rd and goal.

Great punting from Matt Eltringham and a swarming Chargers defense kept Indy pinned deep most of the half and pressuring Mills. With 9:00 left to play, Embry would put Hillsdale's last points on the board. On a very similar play as his 3rd quarter interception, the senior would pick off Mills again and this time take it all of the way into the endzone.

Hillsdale could muster nothing offensively to help the cause and on its last possession Indy was able to burn 3:54 to ice things.

In all fairness to the Greyhounds, the final score most likely should have been at least 23 or 24 to 14. Mills kept the ball on a 4th and goal play with seconds left and as he entered the endzone he took a couple of...let's call them "happy steps". The officiating crew took this as showboating and flagged him for unsportsmanlike conduct. Even from a horribly biased Hillsdale point of view the kid deserved to celebrate a little as he iced the game and didn't take it as high stepping. With recent rule changes, that penalty nullifies the points. This hardly warranted a flag, let alone one that would take points off of the scoreboard. However, if there is an officiating crew in D2 that would invoke it, it would be the one led by Napoleon's descendant in the white hat that continually publicly dressed-down Hillsdale's clock operator throughout the game.

On the day Hillsdale was just 3 of 14 on 3rd down and Indy held an 11 minute advantage in time of possession. That ain't Charger Football.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

It's Homecoming Week. It's Indianapolis. Brad Otterbein is in the house.

With the University of Indianapolis on deck for Homecoming, it is hard not to reminisce about Charger QB coach Brad Otterbein's heroics six years ago.

Earlier in the 2006 season veteran quarterback Mark Nicole had gotten injured and true freshman Brad Otterbein was handed the reins for the October 7th Homecoming matchup with Indianapolis for his first collegiate start.

The Greyhounds had led all day and were looking to ice the game in the last few minutes. Trailing 13-7, Charger defensive back Jared Kell secured at least a stay of execution with an interception at the 1 yard line giving Otterbein and the Chargers 98 yards but still a shot at victory with six minutes to play.

The rest is a great moment in Hillsdale College Football history. Listen to Andy Brown and Jim Eckhart's call from that day at Muddy Waters Stadium. Box Score

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Genna Hilgenbrink talks to WR Scott Lantis

This kid has been a favorite of mine since he was one of my preschoolers at Mary Randall Preschool. I am very excited to see Scott Lantis wear the Charger Blue on the football field after a nice career on the baseball field.

A few thoughts on Hillsdale's win over Malone

With one play left to play in the first quarter, Malone had -39 yards total offense. 0-3 passing and an interception and 7 plays for loss. The last play of the quarter went for 39 yards to get them back to 0 to end the quarter.

All of the breaks on special teams that really tilted the field in ODU's favor last week came back in Hillsdale's favor this week. Malone had all kinds of trouble punting deep in their end and Todd Frickey made all of us who have ever worn the 43 jersey at Hillsdale proud as he went coast to coast to with the 2nd half opening kickoff. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown since October of 2005.

Sam Landry completed 16 passes to 11 different guys. Hillsdale got 152 combined yards rushing from three different backs.

The Chargers needed a game like this to get some confidence back and face a tough UIndy next week. Thanks Notre Dame! Hillsdale Pounces on Malone

Hillsdale College Release

The second trip to Ohio was the charm for the Hillsdale College football team.

Making its second trip south in as many weeks, the Chargers capitalized on many opportunities, especially early in the game, and defeated Malone University 41-16 at Canton's Hall of Fame Stadium Saturday afternoon. Hillsdale improves to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in the GLIAC with the victory. The Chargers will return home next week to face the University of Indianapolis for its homecoming game, with a 2:30 kickoff scheduled.

After its first 0-2 start in eight seasons, Hillsdale came out in wet conditions at Fawcett Stadium and pounced on the mistake-prone Pioneers early and often. Hillsdale's defense forced turnovers on the first two possessions of the game, coming on a fumble recovery by Tyler Jenks and an interception by Steve Harding, to gain deep field position right away.

The Chargers scored 10 points off those turnovers, taking a 10-0 lead less than six minutes into the game. On Malone's next drive, a punt snap went over the punter's head, and Todd Frickey recovered the bad snap on the two yard line. One play later, ben Jones plowed his way into the end zone, giving the Chargers a commanding 17-0 lead still early in the game.

Hillsdale took full control from there, using a trio of running backs to burn time off the clock, and keep the unpredictable Pioneer offense on the sidelines. The Chargers ran 12 more plays and held the ball for five more minutes compared to Malone for the game. The final score was tightened up as a result of two Malone touchdowns in the fourth quarter, well after the game had been decided.

Frickey made another huge play to open the second half. He returned the opening kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, extending Hillsdale's halftime lead from 27-2 to 34-3 lead just seconds into the third quarter. Frickey's kickoff return for touchdown was the first for Hillsdale since Chad Gurica did it at Mercyhurst on Oct. 29, 2005.

Sophomore Wade Wood enjoyed his most productive game of his career, catching one pass for 23 yards, while gaining 68 yards on 17 attempts for a touchdown. Junior Alex Koski nearly mirrored Wood's production, carrying the ball 13 times for 58 yards and a touchdown. Senior Isaac Spence added a touchdown run, picking up 26 yards on nine carries.

Monday, September 16, 2013 Big plays in 3rd quarter sink Chargers

Official Release from Hillsdale College

A wild third-quarter sequence doomed the Hillsdale College football team in its GLIAC opener Saturday afternoon.

Ohio Dominican University scored a safety, then followed that up with a 39-yard touchdown run three plays later to provide the decisive sequence in a 37-20 win over the Chargers at Panther Field in Columbus, Ohio. The Chargers fall to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the GLIAC with the loss. Hillsdale returns to Ohio next weekend, taking on Malone University at 2 p.m. Saturday in Canton.

The back-to-back scores by Ohio Dominican was just part of a 29-point third quarter that turned what started out as a defensive struggle into a wild shootout. ODU broke open a 14-14 game with 16 points in less than two minutes to pull away from the Chargers.

Hillsdale tied the game 14-14 early in the third quarter when senior quarterback Sam Landry connected with senior wide receiver Evan Sassack for their second scoring pass of the game. But the final 3:42 of the third quarter proved to be fatal for Hillsdale.

After the 39-yard run by ODU's Brandon Schoen, the Panthers forced a fumble at the Hillsdale 2-yard-line and pounced on the loose ball for another score.

Just 44 seconds later, the Chargers pulled back within 10 when Landry hit Evan Bach on a 58-yard touchdown pass to make the score 30-20. But the Panthers answered early in the fourth with a big play of their own, a 65-yard touchdown pass, to wrap up the scoring.

Rest of the story

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hillsdale versus Ohio Dominican Free Video Webcast

One of the nice things about Hillsdale playing at Ohio Dominican is that the Columbus school offers live webcasts of their home games free via

Catch the Chargers at noon (EDT) on Saturday right here.

Live streaming video by Ustream

Charger Comment: Week 2

It's a funny thing. From at least the 1950's through the 1990's , Hillsdale College called it's football media guide the "Charger Comment". The College got away from that and so when I started doing a podcast on this site, I resurrected the name. The podcast got to be a bit much to handle and the "Charger Comment" monicker went back into mothballs.

Genna Hilgenbrink in association with the athletic department has breathed new life into the Comment and now does a weekly video series with Coach Otterbein. I am so glad to see the Charger Comment again.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Ferris makes crazy claim it has top D2 recruiting class

Ferris State's Tony Annese
Here is an audio clip posted at claiming that they have the overall best football recruiting class in Division II.

Play commercial.


There is no way to determine who has the best recruiting class in D2. There is no or any other system that ranks recruiting classes in this division like they do for FBS schools like Michigan and Alabama.

This is a pretty wild claim Ferris is making. It is one thing for us fans to argue but this is coming from the school's athletic office. There is absolutely no facts to substantiate it whatsoever.

It is just a good thing that recruiting class isn't one of the criteria used to rank teams come November for playoff spots. Ferris would have one sewn up already.

I guarantee our recruits are smarter....and have way shorter rap sheets.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Patrick Heckenlively shares Charger Pics

Patrick Heckenlively has been gracious enough to share all of his Charger Football photos with us at  The first gallery to share is from picture day. All photos in his galleries may be purchased through his website. 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Hillsdale comes up short to Cal in opener

With three seconds to play Hillsdale's Steven Mette's 48 yard field goal attempt sailed wide left and so did the Chargers' attempt at forcing overtime, dropping their season opener 22-19 to CAL U of Pennsylvania.

Hillsdale dominated the first half defensively and led 13-0 at halftime on two Mette field goals (43 and 28 yards) and a Sam Landry to Evan Bach touchdown of 28 yards.

Cal U also blocked a pair of Hillsdale field goal attempts from 33 and 50. It doesn't take a math major to know that if either had connected we may have at least seen overtime.

The Vulcans made adjustments in their passing game and picked Hillsdale apart on two scoring drives to make it 14-13 with 6:52 left in the game.

The Chargers responded quickly to regain the lead 19-14. Landry found Bach on a 39 yard gain he took to the 1 and Isaac Spence punched in a play later. The two point conversion failed.

Charger defensive back Daniel Pittman looked like the game's hero for a few moments as he stopped Cal's next possession with an interception, handing the ball back to the Hillsdale offense with 4 minutes and change.

Hillsdale needed a couple of first downs and some good clock management to put it on ice but the Chargers went nowhere but back. Two crucial penalties derailed the striking of the dagger. Cal U would drive 80 yards for what eventually proved to be the game winning score.

Landry would get Hillsdale as close as the Cal 31 before the field goal attempt but it was too little too late.

Hillsdale did a lot of great things in the ballgame. They won the turnover battle and Landry was pretty spectacular in his first game as a starter going 26/42 for 359 yards and a score.  The defense held Cal to 31 rushing yards on 28 attempts and picked up a pair each of sacks and interceptions. It's just too bad Team 121 couldn't finish tonight.

Hillsdale opens the GLIAC schedule next week at Ohio Dominican at noon.

Game Stats

Get your blue on!

Charger fans are urged to wear blue tonight as Hillsdale debuts its new home Adidas Tech Fit blue jerseys.

Thursday, September 05, 2013 Week 1 Preview and Essential Links

Brad Monastiere and his staff have posted their first weekly preview for the 2013 season as the Chargers host Cal (PA) on Saturday Night at 7:00 PM.

Game Preview
Cal U Football Page
Game Notes (.pdf)
Live Stats
Live Radio: Hillsdale |  Cal
Live Video:

Timeless words from 1907 edition of the Hillsdale Collegian

December 11, 1907 Hillsdale Collegian
A few years back I bought a December 1907 copy of the Hillsdale Collegian on eBay for a couple of bucks.

Much of the issue celebrates the exploits of the Hillsdale "11"'s 4-2 season, especially its 21-0 shutout of hated Albion and the 87-5 win over Kalamazoo which was the highest score that year in Michigan and the second highest in the nation. Hillsdale outscored its opponents 144-63 and the reported called many of those points to be "fluke" touchdowns.

As entertaining as the accounts of football being played in the early 1900's can be, I found a little piece of timeless football wisdom written by former Athletic John A. Dalrymple:

"The country wants football players as citizens. It has too many mollycoddles now. It wants men who can take knocks and play on, who won't stoop to low mean tricks. Men who will obey their captain whoever he is, will run interference who seemingly gets the honor. All of these things football will do and Hillsdale owes it to itself, its students, and the country to furnish such men. "

It still does and Hillsdale Football continues to deliver.

Recovery Complete: Cam White is ready to play on Sundays

After a knee injury prematurely cut Cam White's fabulous Hillsdale College Football career short and delayed his training as a pro prospect, the All-GLIAC H-Back didn't let it derail his dream of playing on Sundays.

By climbing the huge hill of rehab and training at Jared Veldheer and Mark Ehnis' Power Strength, Cam White is as Ehnis describes, the "best D2 NFL-prospect you’ve never heard of…until now."

Check this out.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

WCSR Radio: 4th Annual Charger Football Roundtable

Thanks to Andy Brown from WCSR Radio for assembling another great panel for our annual roundtable. It is always fun to break down the Hillsdale College football season each September.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013 Week 1 Football Update with Keith Otterbein

Genna Hilgenbrink sits down with Charger head coach Keith Otterbein for the first of a weekly series of football updates promised by the athletic department's office of sports information. Preseason Top 25 Poll Top 25 Poll
September 2, 2013

Team 2012 Record
1 Valdosta State 12-2
2 Minnesota State 13-1
3 Northwest Missouri 10-3
4 West Texas A&M 12-3
5 Missouri Western 12-2
6 CSU-Pueblo 12-1
7 Ashland 11-1
8 Winston-Salem 14-1
9 Grand Valley 8-3
10 IUP 12-2
11 Minnesota Duluth 10-2
12 Henderson State 10-1
13 West Alabama 9-4
14 Shippensburg 11-2
15 Midwestern State 9-2
16 Bloomsburg 10-2
17 Carson-Newman 9-3
18 Saginaw Valley 8-3
19 New Haven 10-1
20 Pittsburg State 7-3
21 Chadron State 9-3
22 Indianapolis 10-3
23 Lenoir-Rhyne 9-3
24 Shepherd 8-3
25 Harding 9-2

Hillsdale opponents in bold

Chargers and Vulcans both replace a lot

"Next man up." What is about to become the next over-used phrase du jour in the football media is what this off-season has been all about for both the Hillsdale College and California (PA) University football programs.

In Hillsdale Sam Landry might be built like a linebacker but he is the new face of the Chargers as quarterback. Isaac Spence the bruiser and Bennett Lewis the speedster will provide a thunder and lightning approach as they look to replace all-time leading rusher Joe Glendening who graduated this past Spring.

The team that handed  the Chargers a 30-22 defeat in last year's opener, California University of Pennsylvania also has a number of marquee players to replace before they get to Hillsdale on Saturday night to kick off the Division II College Football season.

Peter Lalich graduated as the Vulcan's fourth leading passer and will be replaced by Cody Schroeder, a sophomore who started a stint at QB last year after Lalich suffered an injury.

“Cody Schroeder is the clear-cut starter,” Head Coach Mike Kellar told Trib Live Sports reporter Jeremy Sellew. “He was the starter each of the last two springs and he took over when Pete was hurt last year.”

Cal also will be looking for a replacement to its go-to rusher for the past three years Lamont Smith. Last year's Center Eric Kush is now a member of the Kansas City Chief and All-American safety Rontez Miles is with the Jets.

One additional athlete Cal will need to replace is redshirt freshman Claudy Mathieu. Keller suspended the defensive lineman last weekend after Mathieu was arrested on assault charges stemming from a brawl at Subway on Saturday Night.

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