The 22 seniors on the Charger football team can look back on their careers and feel nothing but pride for everything they accomplished during their careers.
In time, the sad feelings from Saturday's 17-7 loss to Ohio Dominican will be displaced by the comraderie they felt with their teammates and the great times they enjoyed on the football field over the past four and five years.
Hillsdale's 2019 season finishes up with a 6-5 overall record and 4-3 in the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. ODU finishes at 7-2 on the season.
The Chargers typically play with a great combination of emotion and execution on Senior Day, and particularly in the first half, that was the case. Hillsdale played a superb first half on defense, shutting the Panthers down while carrying a 7-3 lead into intermission.
Senior David Graham, truly one of the great running backs in school history, caught a screen pass, used his blocking perfectly, and dove over the pylon for a 40-yard scoring pass from quarterback Luke Keller to give the Chargers the lead in the second quarter.
The defense was able to control the Panthers in the first half, limiting the length of their drives and doing a good job of getting off the field on third down.
But in the second half, the Panther defense stiffened up on defense and got their running game going, led by tailback EJ Colson. He was a workhorse for the Panthers, rushing the ball 32 times for 150 yards and a score. His elusiveness was tough for Hillsdale's defense to contain as the second half wore on.
The Panthers scored touchdowns in the third and fourth quarter, covered Hillsdale's receivers effectively and generated a strong pass rush, recording 7 sacks in the ballgame, preventing the Chargers from answering.
Keller wrapped up his freshman campaign by throwing for 188 yards and a score. Graham, who crossed the 1,000-yard barrier for the season and the 3,000-yard barrier for his career, carried the ball 16 times for 56 yards.
Junior Konnor Maloney caught 5 passes for a team-high 78 yards and Graham hauled in 5 passes for 58 yards and a score in his final performance.
Drake Temple, also playing his final game, recorded his seventh interception of the season and had 8 total tackles in the contest. Junior Alex Anschutz led the Chargers with 11 total tackles. Seven different players recorded tackles-for-loss. Kyle Parran, Kendall Tobin and Nate Canterbury all were in on sacks for Hillsdale.
PHOTO: Haley Strack