The Hillsdale College defense put together a great performance in the football team's 30-0 win over Walsh University Saturday afternoon at Frank "Muddy" Waters Stadium.
The win, the Chargers' second in a row, makes the team 2-2 overall and 2-0 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
This marked the third year in a row, and first time since last October, that Hillsdale recorded a shutout victory. The defense excelled in every aspect of the game, getting consistent quarterback pressure, forcing turnovers and stopping the run. It's exactly what any defensive coordinator likes to draw up and the players executed at a high level from start to finish.
Hillsdale allowed Walsh just 90 yards of total offense, five first downs, and limited the Cavs to a 2-for-15 third-down conversion rate. Senior linebacker Nate Jones intercepted a pass, and Drake Temple had a pick-six, called back because of a penalty.
The Cavs averaged just 1.8 yards per play and as a team, gained just 34 yards rushing on 21 attempts. Credit for that should go to the Hillsdale defensive line, which got a great push throughout the game, and pusued to the edges with quickness and aggression.
it wasn't the kind of game that saw players stack up gaudy tackles numbers, but it didn't need to be. Zach Hezog led Hillsdale with 6 total stops, but 13 different players had two or more tackles and six different players were in on tackles-for-loss in the victory.
Placekicker Bryce Sealock had his best day as a Charger, going 3-for-3 on field goal attempts, connecting from 25, 34 and 31 yards out.
On the offensive side of the ball, Hillsdale generated 356 yards of total offense, with Luke Keller connecting on more big plays. He threw 56-yard touchdown to Konnor Maloney early in the fourth quarter that was picture-perfect. Keller finished the game with 191 yards through the air and ran for 14 yards on the ground.
Senior tailback David Graham got the scoring started with a two-yard scoring run early in the second quarter. His 65 rushing yards were enough to move him into sixth place on Hillsdale's all-time rushing yardage list.
Alexander Giampietro provided a nice highlight by taking a reverse play into the end zone from 16 yards out late in the third quarter to make it a 20-0 Hillsdale lead.
Maloney led the team with 5 receptions for 96 yards while Graham caught 3 passes for 42 yards, all of them on well-executed screen plays.
Hillsdale hosts Concord University at 1:00 Saturday, October 5.
PHOTO: Kamryn Matthews