Oct. 8 – HIRAM, Ohio - The Hiram College football team jumped out to an early 13-0 lead over visiting Denison University, but ultimately found themselves unable to hold off the undefeated Big Red, falling to Denison 33-19 on Saturday evening at Henry Field.
Through the first 15 minutes of action, the Terrier defense held Denison (5-0, 4-0 NCAC), the North Coast Athletic Conference's third-most prolific scoring offense, scoreless, jumping out to a 13-0 advantage after the opening frame.
Blanking the Big Red through an entire quarter is no small feat, as the Terriers (1-4, 1-3 NCAC) managed to hold Denison scoreless for a 15-minute stretch for just the third time through the midway point of the season.
Offensively, Hiram jumped on the board early, using a key turnover to set themselves up with solid field position. Timothy Hinton-McCoy gave the Terriers life by forcing a fumble that was recovered by D.D. Fleetion. The turnover set Hiram up with a first down on the Denison 41-yard line for their first possession of the game.
The Terriers needed six plays to find pay dirt, which included a 21-yard pass completion from Dominic Paolo to Luther Fortson III. Two plays later, Isaiah Jones scored his first of two touchdowns from two-yards out to give Hiram a 7-0 advantage.
The host Terriers would extend their advantage on their next possession, using a 13-play, 96-yard drive to pad their lead.
Danny Robinson shouldered the work load on the drive, carrying the ball six times for 47 yards. It was Jones, however, who would find the end zone, scoring from 25-yards out on a run between the tackles to extend the lead to 13 points.
Denison would respond in the second quarter, tallying 17 of their 33 points in the frame. The Big Red used a pair of touchdown passes to wide receiver David Weimar and a 39-yard field goal from Conor Dunn as the half expired to account for their points.
Hiram kept the lead in the half thanks to their offensive response. After Denison's first TD of the frame, the Terriers needed just three plays to strike. Paolo tossed his only touchdown pass of the game on the third play of that drive, a 67-yard streak pattern to David Perkins. The score marked the third of the season for the senior wideout.
In the second half, both teams struggled to find a rhythm in the third quarter, as the two defenses combined to hold both teams scoreless.
The Terrier defense was once again staunch in the third frame, holding the Big Red to just 69 total yards on 19 plays. Thanks to their efforts, Hiram held on to the 19-17 advantage heading into the final frame.
In the fourth quarter of play, however, the momentum swung in the favor of the undefeated Big Red, as Denison was able to break through and take the lead on Weimar's third TD reception of the evening.
From there, Denison would tack on 10 more points, handing the Terriers the 33-19 defeat.
Offensively, Hiram totaled 364 yards of offense, the most given up by Denison through five weeks of the regular season. The Terriers' 19 points are also the second most allowed by the Big Red.
Robinson finished the game with 66 yards on 12 carries, while Jones produced the first multi-touchdown game of his Hiram career, adding 55 yards on nine carries and a pair of scores.
Paolo completed the game with 255 yards passing and a touchdown, while Perkins finished with 83 yards receiving and a score. Joshua Philander led the Terriers in receptions (six) while Akili Tate added 61 yards in the passing game.
Defensively, senior Kyle Burchett posted a season-high 18 tackles (12 solo/six assisted) while adding a pair of sacks on the day. He also forced a fumble and added a pass deflection.
As a team, the Terriers totaled 5.0 sacks and added 6.0 tackles for loss, including 2.0 from both Burchett and Zayd Mabin.
Hiram will be back in action on Saturday, Oct. 15 as they travel to Delaware, Ohio to take on the Battling Bishops of Ohio Wesleyan University. Kickoff is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.