HIRAM, OHIO -- The Hiram College football team was defeated by Ohio Wesleyan University, 51-13, in a North Coast Athletic Conference game at Charles A. Henry Field.
Ohio Wesleyan (4-3, 3-3 NCAC) scored on its first possession of the game on a 33-yard field goal by Miles MacKenzie at the 9:02 minute mark giving the Battling Bishops a 3-0 lead. Later in the first quarter, OWU capitalized on a Hiram (2-5, 1-5 NCAC) fumble that resulted in a three-play scoring drive which ended on a seven-yard pass completion from quaterback Mason Espinosa to Kevin Herman giving the Bishops a 10-0 after the first 15 minutes.
Following a missed OWU 47-yard field goal early in the second quarter, Hiram got on the board on its ensuing possession with a 39-yard field goal by junior Greg Klisuric (Mentor) that ended an 11-play, 48-yard drive narrowing the gap to 10-3 with 6:49 left in the half. But OWU answered the Hiram score with an eight-yard touchdown run by Hermin following the Klisuric field goal to extend the margin to 17-3. Just before the end of the half, Hiram got the ball back with just over a minute to go on an interception by freshman Kyle Burchett (Fairport Harbor/Harding). The turnover led to another field goal by Klisuric, this time from 42 yards out making the score 17-6 at the intermission.
In the third quarter, OWU took control of the game by finding the endzone four times on three TD passes from Mason Espinosa of 65, 19 and 34 yards. The Bishops scored its other touchdown on a six-yard scamper by Kylan Baker as OWU took a commanding 45-6 advantage heading into the final quarter of play.
OWU added one more score in the final 15 minutes on a 14-yard pass play from backup quarterback Dominick Orsini to Adrian Bishop with 5:14 to go in the game. The extra point attempt was no good, but the Bishops still led, 51-13. The Terriers scored their only TD of the game just before the end of the game that was set up by a 33-yard punt return by freshman Alex Kania (Newbury) giving Hiram the ball at the OWU 18 yard line. Hiram freshman quarterback Domenic Paolo (Chardon/Harding) found sophomore Jalen Dinard (Tampa, Fla./Paul R. Wharton) in the endzone on a one-play scoring drive with two seconds left in the contest. But the score came a bit too late as OWU already had the game well in hand and went on post the 51-13 final.
OWU finished the game with 523 yards of total offense (92 rushing and 431 passing) and was led by Espinosa who completed 27-of-41 passes for 417 yards and four TD. Ryan Baker led the Bishop running attack with 30 yards on nine carries and had one TD. Erik Wall and Scott Jenkins both caught a game-high six passes. Wall finished with 97 yards and Jenkins added 90 yards in addition to a TD. Dave Mogilnicki caught four passes for game-highs of 113 yards and a pair of scores. Defensively, Jonathan Valentine had six tackles (four solo and two assists).
Hiram had 160 yards of offense (93 rushing and 67 passing), led by freshman running back David Perkins (Santa Ana, Calif./Sagerstrom) with 45 yards on the ground in nine carries. Sophomore quarterback Brandon Mosora (Masury/Brookfield) started the game and completed seven-of-25 passes for 49 yards. Senior wide receiver Brendon James (Brunswick) led all Hiram receivers with three catches for 28 yards. Defensively, senior John Davis (Newton Falls) had a game-high nine tackles (six solo and three assists).
Hiram will travel to Crawfordsville, Ind. for a NCAC game against No. 14 nationally-ranked Wabash College next Saturday, Nov. 2. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.