September 29, 2012 - The Hillsdale College football team went about winning its fourth game in a row in business-like fashion.
Dominating Northern Michigan University from start to finish, the Chargers improved to 4-1 on the season with a 44-6 dismantling of the Wildcats on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Frank "Muddy" Waters Stadium. Hillsdale is 4-0 in the GLIAC heading into next weekend's showdown with Wayne State University in downtown Detroit. NMU falls to 1-4 on the season with the loss.
This was one of those games where the statistical differences between the teams was accurately reflected in the final score. Hillsdale outgained Northern Michigan 488-227, held a huge time-of-possession edge - particularly in the first half - ran 19 more plays and averaged 2.5 more yards per play than the Wildcats.
Hillsdale set the tone early with a drive that so far, represents a snapshot of its season. The Chargers grinded their way down the field to the tune of 13 plays that took up more than seven minutes on their opening possession, capped by a 3-yard touchdown run by senior QB Anthony Mifsud. He rolled out to the right and had a clear run-pass option, but smartly found a hole in the NMU defense and galloped in for the score.
The Chargers finished the first quarter with a 13-0 lead after the first of three rushing touchdowns by senior RB Joe Glendening. His first score was the longest, as he cut against the grain and scored from 28 yards out.
Junior LB Brett Pasche picked off a pass at midfield later in the second quarter to set up the Chargers' third score. One play after the turnover, Mifsud lofted a gorgeous 38-yard touchdown pass to junior WR Andrew Mott, who timed his leaping catch perfectly to put Hillsdale up 20-0 with 12:51 left in the second quarter.
Pasche enjoyed another big game defensively for Hillsdale, with a sack, interception and six total tackles. Hillsdale intercepted three passes in the game, giving it seven over the past two. Nick Galvan picked off two passes, giving him three over the past two weeks, and Butch Herzog snagged himself a pick in the ballgame.
The Chargers went into halftime with a 34-3 lead, and held the ball for more than 21 of the first half's 30 minutes. NMU moved the ball more effectively in the second half after being held to just 48 yards in the first half, but the Charger defense prevented the Wildcats from finding the end zone at any point in the contest.
WR Evan Bach hauled in a 75-yard touchdown pass from Mifsud to make the score 41-3 early in the third quarter. With Mifsud rolling out, Bach read the defense to perfection, separating from the defensive back, running himself open for Mifsud, who hit him in stride for the big play.
Freshman kicker Paul Wendy scored his first collegiate points with a 23-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to close the scoring for Hillsdale.
Glendening got just one carry in the second half, and finished with 24 attempts for 106 yards and three touchdowns. Glendening's career touchdowns record now stands at 56, extending the record he broke last week.
Nine different receivers caught passes for the Chargers, led by Mott's four receptions for 80 yards. Bach caught three passes for 98 yards, and three players had two catches apiece.
Junior LB Steven Embry led Hillsdale with 11 total tackles on defense, while teammate Devin Moynihan had nine. Ian Sheldon and David Galginaitis teamed up for a sack, and The Chargers had four tackles-for-loss as a team.