A quiet Saturday afternoon turned into an early evening filled with tension, heroics, and ultimately, heartbreak for the Hillsdale College football team.
Rallying from a 17-7 fourth-quarter deficit, the Chargers fought back to force overtime, but ended up losing a 30-27 thriller to Michigan Tech University Saturday at Frank "Muddy" Waters Stadium. It was the Huskies' first win at Hillsdale since 1999.
The Chargers, 4-6 overall and 4-4 in the GLIAC, while the Huskies are 5-4 both overall and in the conference. Hillsdale finishes up the 2013 season next Saturday at home versus Northwoodf University.
MTU junior quarterback Tyler Scarlett scampered into the end zone from four yards out to score a touchdown in the latter possession of the second overtime, countering a field goal by the Chargers in the first half of the session to win the game. Scarlett played a terrific game for Michigan Tech, passing for 240 yards and one touchdown, while rushing for three scores, including the game-winner.
Scarlett's one-yard score gave the Huskies a 17-7 lead with 12:18 left in the fourth quarter. Up to that point, the Hillsdale offense had been held down by the Huskies, but the resilient Chargers kept fighting.
Senior quarterback Sam Landry lofted a gorgeous 31-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Andrew Mott (pictured) to make it a 17-14 game with 2:38 left in the game. The Hillsdale defense stopped the Huskies on a three-and-out on the next possession, getting the ball back with a chance to tie or win the game.
Placekicker Steven Mette booted a 35-yard field goal with 58 ticks left in the fourth quarter to bring Hillsdale back into a tie for the first time in the game, 17-17.
Both teams scored every time they had the ball in both overtime sessions. MTU opened the first OT with a one-yard touchdown run by Scarlett. Hillsdale answered with senior tailback Isaac Spence's second TD run of the day to knot the game up at 24.
Hillsdale had the first possession of the second overtime, and used a 36-yard field goal by Mette to take its first lead of the game, 27-24. But Scarlett called his own number and clinched the game with his third score of the day.
Landry was brilliant in the fourth quarter, directing the Chargers on two long scoring drives, and finished 22-of-39 for 229 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Junior Evan Bach set new career-highs with six receptions for 90 yards, while Mott caught four passes for 53 yards in the game.
Hillsdale went 4-for-4 on fourth-down conversions and outrushed the Huskies 234-207 in the game.
On the ground, Hillsdale rumbled for 234 yards as a team, led by a career-high 88 from redshirt-freshman Jack Wiseman. Sophomore Wade Wood added 56 yards on the ground in 11 efficient carries, while Spence scored two touchdowns and had 45 yards on the day.
Safety Tim Moinet had a big game on defense for the Chargers with a season-high 12 total tackles and a tackle for loss. Fellow secondary man Daniel Pittman had three pass break-ups and 10 total tackles, a number matched by linebackers Devin Moynihan and Steven Embry.