Behind a stifling defensive effort, and a potent ground game, the Hiram football team overcame rainy conditions to blow out Earlham College, 47-13, on Saturday afternoon.
The Terrier defense was the bright spot throughout the afternoon, putting Earlham in their own end zone more times than they were in Hiram's. The Hiram "D" collected three safeties in the game, marking a new school record.
Additionally, the Terriers surrendered just 70 total yards of offense on 52 plays. Hiram's front seven allowed the Quakers just 1.3 yards per play throughout the entirety of the afternoon, adding 14 tackles for loss on the day.
The second half was by far the best for the Terrier defense this season. In nine Quaker possessions, four ended in either a safety or a turnover, while Hiram held Earlham to -11 total yards in the final two quarters.
The Terrier offense played well in the first half, scoring on four of their six possessions through the opening frames.
Senior quarterback Randy Tucker had a hand in each score in the half, rushing for two and passing for two more.
Tucker's first score came at the end of a seven-play, 43-yard drive that resulted in his first rushing touchdown of the season.
The senior captain followed that with a pair of touchdown passes to sophomore receivers. The first came on a 29-yard strike to Moe Yarbrough (his second TD catch of the season), to give Hiram a 14-0 advantage with 2:22 to play in the quarter.
After Earlham scored on their most productive drive of the afternoon, Hiram once again responded, with running back Isaiah Jones shouldering most of the load before Tucker found DJ Franklin for a 26-yard strike.
Tucker's final score of the afternoon came with 8:49 to play in the half, as he found pay dirt with a one-yard run to give the Terriers a 27-7 lead. That would prove to be the score heading into the half.
Although the second half was controlled by the Hiram defense, who collected six points of their own, freshman Marquithias Johnson burst on the scene for the Terriers.
The freshman scored twice in the final two quarters, racking up his first-career 100-yard game on 19 carries. Johnson took a majority of his carries in the second half, leading all backs in carries while averaging 5.3 yards per tote.
The offensive line paved the way for a potent rushing attack throughout the day, as the Terriers outgained Earlham 347-31 on the ground.
Along with Johnson, Isaiah Jones posted his second 100-yard game of the season. The senior captain played primarily in the first half, carrying the ball 14 times for a team-high 110 yards and 7.9 yards per carry.
Defensively, senior Chris Chester produced the best game of his career, living in the Earlham backfield throughout the day. Chester tallied six tackles, with a career-high five coming from behind the line of scrimmage.
Hiram will travel back to Indiana next Saturday afternoon as the Terriers will get back to North Coast Athletic Conference play against DePauw. The matchup in Greencastle is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.