A wild third-quarter sequence doomed the Hillsdale College football team in its GLIAC opener Saturday afternoon.
Ohio Dominican University scored a safety, then followed that up with a 39-yard touchdown run three plays later to provide the decisive sequence in a 37-20 win over the Chargers at Panther Field in Columbus, Ohio. The Chargers fall to 0-2 overall and 0-1 in the GLIAC with the loss. Hillsdale returns to Ohio next weekend, taking on Malone University at 2 p.m. Saturday in Canton.
The back-to-back scores by Ohio Dominican was just part of a 29-point third quarter that turned what started out as a defensive struggle into a wild shootout. ODU broke open a 14-14 game with 16 points in less than two minutes to pull away from the Chargers.
Hillsdale tied the game 14-14 early in the third quarter when senior quarterback Sam Landry connected with senior wide receiver Evan Sassack for their second scoring pass of the game. But the final 3:42 of the third quarter proved to be fatal for Hillsdale.
After the 39-yard run by ODU's Brandon Schoen, the Panthers forced a fumble at the Hillsdale 2-yard-line and pounced on the loose ball for another score.
Just 44 seconds later, the Chargers pulled back within 10 when Landry hit Evan Bach on a 58-yard touchdown pass to make the score 30-20. But the Panthers answered early in the fourth with a big play of their own, a 65-yard touchdown pass, to wrap up the scoring.
Ohio Dominican generated 571 yards of total offense in a well-balanced attack. They had 288 yards rushing and 289 yards passing against the Charger defense. The two teams were whistled for a combined 15 penalties, but the Panthers averaged 6.1 yards per rush in the win.
Landry completed 16 of 30 passes for 250 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Sassack's two catches were both for touchdowns and covered 47 yards. Bach led the team with 71 reception yards, and tight end Mike Carter hauled in three passes for 38 yards.
On the ground, running back Alex Koski had 48 yards on 16 carries, while Landry picked up 38 yards.