Staurday afternoon, the Hillsdale College football team scored the most points in an away game in more than seven years in a 56-21 drubbing of Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia.
The win clinched a third straight winning season for the Chargers and makes the team 6-3 overall and 4-1 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference.
Both the passing game and the running game were clicking on all cylinders for the Chargers, who generated 483 yards of total offense in the win. The team got ideal balance in that total, with 244 yards coming through the air and 239 on the ground.
Supplying much of that air attack firepower? Junior wide receiver Konnor Maloney.
Maloney caught three passes, all of them for touchdowns, covering 123 yards to lead the offensive explosion for Hillsdale. His passes covered 34 yards (1st quarter), 59 yards (1st quarter) and 30 yards (3rd quarter). He was able to use his speed to get behind the defense and gallop into the end zone on every one of his catches.
But he wasn't the only one generating big plays on offense for Hillsdale. Senior tailback David Graham worse down the defense as the game moved along and finished with 132 rushing yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns. He averaged 8.8 yards per carry and scored on runs of one and 49 yards.
Graham's first score was set up by a 38-yard interception return by senior cornerback Jason McDonough, one of three turnovers forced by the Hillsdale defense. His interception set Hillsdale up at the Alderson Broaddus 1-yard-line, from which Graham scored easily on the second play of the second quarter.
A turnover earlier in the game helped set up Maloney's first touchdown catch. Linebacker Jonathan Burton recovered a fumble on a punt that put Hillsdale within striking distance of the first score of the game.
The Chargers led 28-7 at halftime and added 21 more points to that total in the third quarter. Graham's 49-yard touchdown run got the scoring started in that quarter, and Maloney hauled in his third scoring pass less than five minutes later.
By that time it was 42-7 and coach Keith Otterbein started substituting in players on offense and defense. Junior quarterback Ty Cox did a nice job in his role, completing 6-of-8 passes for 52 yards and 2 touchdowns. His first scoring pass went to freshman tight end Brecken Stewart from 9 yards out to make it 49-7. It was Stewart's first career touchdown reception.
Alexander Giampietro caught a 17-yard pass from Cox 45 seconds into the fourth quarter to wrap up the scoring for Hillsdale.
Freshman quarterback Luke Keller completed 9-of-19 passes for 192 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. He also ran for 26 yards on four carries. Cox had a career-long 33-yard run in the win, and finished with 38 yards on the ground.
Junior tight end Martin Petersen caught 2 passes for 45 yards, while Giampietro had 3 catches for 28 yards.
A total of 23 different players recorded tackles in the game for Hillsdale, with Zach Herzog and Nate Canterbury leading the way with 7 each. Herzog had an interception in the first quarter to help end an early Battler scoring threat.
Defensive end Kyle Parran flashed the form he showed towards the end of last season when he was a force on the line. He recorded three sacks, totaling 21 lost yards for Alderson Broaddus. Hillsdale had six tackles-for-loss as a team in a strong performance on defense.
The 56 points scored by the Chargers are the most they've scored in a road game since a 63-14 win at Notre Dame College on Sept. 22, 2012.
PHOTO: Jaycie Burger