November 10, 2012 – No regrets. That was the mantra the Hillsdale College football team entered the 2012 season and season finale with, and the Chargers put together an effort to be proud of Saturday afternoon.
Playing staunch defense from start to finish, the Chargers defeated Northwood University 14-3 on a gray Saturday afternoon in Midland to finish 7-4 on the season.
The win gives Hillsdale one part of a four-way share for the 2012 GLIAC North Division title. By virtue of Saginaw Valley State's 55-52 win over Grand Valley State, the Chargers finish the season 7-3 in the conference, even with GVSU, SVSU and Michigan Tech.
Several seniors played their final collegiate games Saturday, and RB Joe Glendening turned in a closing performance for the ages.
Already Hillsdale's all-time leader in carries, rushing yards and touchdowns, Glendening ran the ball 39 times for a season-high 211 yards and two touchdowns. He scored on the first and last possessions of the game, capping his brilliant career with a touchdown burst through the middle late in the fourth quarter to conclude the scoring. He displayed the will and tenacity emblematic of a great player playing the final game in an amazing career.
Glendening's final career numbers stack up like this: 975 carries, 4,772 rushing yards and 62 total touchdowns. All school records.
After surrendering 84 points in its past two games, the Hillsdale defense answered the bell with one of its finest performances of the season. Matt Payne and Brett Pasche each had interceptions, Zach Cherocci and Skyler Davis teamed up on a blocked field goal, and the Chargers held Northwood – a team that had scored 38 points on Ferris State last week – to a season-low three points in this game. Tyler Jenks also recovered a second-half fumble by the Timberwolves.
Junior LB Devin Moynihan led the team with 15 total tackles, while Pasche had 14 and sophomore Daniel Pittman added 11, to go along with airtight pass defense. Sophomore Alex Chludzinski, playing for the injured Nick Galvan, registered a career-high seven tackles and was part of an outstanding collective effort by the Chargers.
The defense stopped Northwood on 12 out of 15 third-down conversion attempts in the game, and held the Timberwolves, traditionally one of the GLIAC's best rushing teams, to just 92 yards on the ground.
The Chargers have now won five straight regular season finales.
Hillsdale has now won at least seven games six straight years, the first time that's happened since the beginning of the Frank "Muddy" Waters coaching era in 1955-60.
The four-way tie for the division championship is reminiscent of the 1992 season, when Hillsdale was part of a four-way tie for first place overall in the GLIAC. That season, the Chargers shared first place with Butler, Grand Valley State and Ferris State.
Photo by Sheridan Markatos