Oct. 15 – DELAWARE, Ohio – Despite posting a season-high 334 passing yards, the Hiram College football team dropped a 28-21 decision to Ohio Wesleyan University on Saturday afternoon.
For the second-consecutive week, the Terriers moved the ball well and produced points in the first half, following their 19-point performance against Denison last week, with a pair of touchdowns in the opening half this afternoon.
The Battling Bishops earned the game's first score, using a 20-play drive to take a 7-0 lead. The one-yard touchdown run was scored by TraVon Wilkes, and the hosts took the early advantage.
Hiram would respond on their third drive of the game, using six plays to go 71 yards. The big play of the drive found the end zone, as Domenic Paolo found Miguel Hernandez on a 60-yard strike to tie the game at 7-7.
The Terrier defense did their part on the Bishops' following drive, holding OWU to just six yards on a three-and-out to set up Hiram's next scoring drive.
Getting the ball at their own 20-yard line following a touchback, the Terriers used 11 plays to march 80 yards. Facing a fourth-and-two on Ohio Wesleyan's side of the field, Paolo found Joshua Philander for a 14-yard gain and a first down to keep the drive alive. Philander led all receivers in the game, totaling 166 yards on nine catches.
Hiram ended the drive with six as Paolo threw his second TD of the half, connecting with David Perkins from 15-yards out, giving the Terriers the 14-7 lead.
OWU would answer before the end of the half, needing just 1:17 to drive 64 yards and tied the game at 14 all. The half would end with the teams tied at the same score.
Paolo threw the ball well in the opening 30 minutes, posting 193 of his season-high 334 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the half.
The third quarter proved to be the difference in the game, as the host Battling Bishops notched touchdown drives on two of their four possessions to outscore the Terriers 14-0 and take a 28-14 advantage into the fourth quarter.
After scoring their first possession of the second half, the Bishops took advantage of a Paolo interception to set up their second score. Ultimately, what proved to be the game-winning score, came on a five-play, 71-yard drive that took just 56 seconds to complete.
Offenses went dry in the fourth quarter as the Hiram defense held the Ohio Wesleyan offense to just 41 total yards in the final frame. Unfortunately, the Terrier offense was also unable to find the endzone.
The lone score for the Terriers came in the late stages as the special teams came through for Hiram.
On the final punt of the afternoon, senior Akili Tate got to the kicker, picking up his first-career blocked kick. David Perkins picked the ball up at the 18-yard line, running the ball in for six points, and the special-teams score.
Needing to convert on an on-side kick, the Terriers were unable to convert as the ball found its way out of bounds. From there, Ohio Wesleyan was able to run out the clock, holding on for the seven-point victory.
Offensively for the Terriers, Paolo tallied a season-best 334 passing yards and a pair of scores, while Philander was his top target with 166 yards receiving.
Isaiah Jones led the rushing attack for the Terriers, finishing the game with 60 yards on 12 carries.
Hernandez led the defensive efforts for Hiram, finishing the game with 13 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss.
Hiram will be back in action on Saturday, October 22, when they travel to Wittenberg University. The matchup with the Tigers is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.