The skies above the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium were lit up by the passes thrown by Hillsdale College senior quarterback Chance Stewart Saturday afternoon.
Stewart became the first player in school history with two 400-yard passing games in a career, as he threw for 450 yards and 4 touchdowns in as wild 45-35 win over Malone Univerrsity in Canton, Ohio.
The win, Hillsdale's third straight, makes the team 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
In the highest scoring game of this season, Stewart was on target, completing 30-of-43 passes, those going to eight different receivers. Stewart's passes usually found their way through a myriad of defenders, and he moved the pocket intelligently, avoiding the Malone rush effectively.
His 450 yards would have been a school record, were it not for his 485-yard game on Sept. 23, 2017 at Indianapolis. He now owns the top two single-game passing yard records in Hillsdale College history.
Stewart's favorite target over his four-year career has been Trey Brock, the Chargers' All-American wide receiver. Brock had a huge game, catching 9 passes for 173 yards and 3 touchdowns. Those three scores gives Brock 30 touchdown receptions in his career, tying the record set by Aaron Waldie in 2008.
Sophomore wide receiver Konnor Maloney had 7 receptions for 143 yards, which included a 33-yard touchdown catch from Stewart.
Brock and Maloney became the first set of teammates to each go over the 100-yard receiving barrier in a game since November 20, 2010, the Chargers' last NCAA playoff game.
Malone scored on each of its first two possessions to take a 14-7 lead midway through the first quarter. But the Chargers responded by scoring the next 17 consecutive points to take the lead for good. Stewart found Brock on a 48-yard bomb with 2:25 left in the first quarter to tie the game at 14.
A Joe Philipp field goal put Hillsdale up 17-14, and Maloney's 33-yard scoring catch came on Hillsdale's next drive, extending the lead to 10. The Pioneers scored with 20 seconds left in the half, slicing the Charger lead to three at halftime.
Three differentplayers scored Hillsdale's next three touchdowns, starting with Brock's third TD catch midway through the third quarter. Running backs David Graham (5 yard run) and Casey O'Brien (2 yard run) found paydirt on back-to-back possessions to clinch the victory.
Hillsdale generated 566 yards of total offense, a single-game season high. Graham ran the ball 16 times for 88 yards, while O'Brien set a season-high in rushing yards with 54 on 9 attempts. Graham and O'Brien each had runs of more than 20 yards each in the win.
Linebacker Nate Jones intercepted a pass at a key time in the fourth quarter, and had 7 total tackles. Drake Temple led the defense with 10 total stops, while Wyatt Batdorff had 8. Defensive end Schulyer Snell had 2.5 sacks, continuing his rapid improvement. Kyle Parran also had a sack and Zach VanValkenburg had a half-sack in the game.
PHOTO: Todd Lancaster