Findlay Uses Big Plays to Dominate Hillsdale on the Road
Findlay, Ohio – The University of Findlay football team went on the road to take on long-time foe Hillsdale College on Saturday, October 22. In dominating fashion, the Oilers imposed their will to the tune of a 41-20 victory to improve to 4-4 on the year and 3-2 in Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) play. With the loss, the Chargers fall to 4-4 overall and 3-3 in the league. The win is Findlay's seventh in the last nine games against Hillsdale and is the fourth consecutive time that the Oilers have beaten the Chargers on the road.
As expected entering the contest, Hillsdale's biggest threat was going to be the play of their standout wide receiver, Isaac Teslaa. After a three-and-out by the Oilers' offense to start the game, it did not take long for the Chargers to make good on that threat when, on the fourth play of the drive, Teslaa got behind Findlay's defense for a 46-yard touchdown reception. The extra point was missed to put Hillsdale ahead 6-0 early.
Senior quarterback Alec Bornhorst, who would split time on Saturday with starter Jeremy Hunt, led the Oilers on a ten-play, 71-yard drive on Findlay's next possession. On the drive, 50 of the 71 yards came on the ground, leading to a 20-yard field goal by sophomore Austin Snyder.
The Oilers then turned a takeaway, a forced fumble by sophomore Johnny Harris recovered by senior Kijana Caldwell, into a score, a tough 18-yard rush by sophomore Garret Clark who bounced off of multiple would-be tacklers to put Findlay ahead 10-6.
Hillsdale did take back the lead at the end of the first quarter and again, it was Keller to Teslaa for 26 yards and a touchdown.
Trailing by three, Jeremy Hunt found junior Mike Rigerman up the middle just eight yards down field, but Rigerman turned up field to pick up 51 yards, setting up a two-yard touchdown rush by freshman Jayden Farmer just two plays later.
After a three-and-out was forced by Findlay's defense, the second three-and-out of the game, Bornhorst again led Findlay on a drive of more than 50 yards, capping the possession with a five-yard touchdown rush of his own, diving over the goal line to give the Oilers a 24-13.
Just before the half, sophomore Dominic Bennett recorded a 55-yard punt return to get the Oilers in position to score with less than a minute to play in the half. Bennett's return the longest since a 75-yard punt return by Darren Paige in 2005 and is the longest non-scoring punt return since a 72-yard return by Marquis Hayes in 2004.
Findlay picked up nine yards on the possession, using a pair of timeouts to manage the clock. With one second before the half, Snyder booted a 46-yard field goal as time expired to extend Findlay's lead to 27-13 at the half.
Both teams failed to score for the early part of the second half as each had just one first down recorded with two-and-a-half minutes to play in the third quarter. The clock at 2:33 to play in the third and Hillsdale on their own 25-yard line, the Chargers were forced to punt. Punter Luke Keller, who also serves as the team's quarterback, kicked the ball into the back of his blocker, who was shoved by Keyshawn Bonner, which sent the football bounding back towards the endzone. It was picked up by freshman Izzy Ogunmoyero who dove into the endzone for the touchdown that gave Findlay a 34-13 lead.
After a 75-yard touchdown rush by Hillsdale's Michael Herzog was nullified by a holding penalty, the Chargers were again forced into a three-and-out. Findlay then flipped the script as senior Derek Lynch ran 71 yards in the other direction for a touchdown.
A fourth quarter touchdown by Hillsdale made the score 41-20, but the game was all but over as Findlay went on to victory.
In the contest, Findlay outgained Hillsdale 391-to-318 but did pick up less first downs than the home team at 13-to-15. Of the Oilers' 391 yards, 207 came on the ground where all four touchdowns were scored.
Findlay's defense was again stout and on Saturday, made their presence felt, especially on third down where they allowed a conversion just once in 12 tries.
The Oilers' offensive numbers were as balanced as can be as no single player took over. Quarterback Jeremy Hunt complete 9-of-17 passes for 113 yards while Bornhorst completed 5-of-10 passes for 71 yards.
Rigerman was the leading receiver, making three catches for 62 yards. Lynch had two receptions for 50 yards and junior Tanner Schroeder had two catches for 29 yards.
On the ground, Clark was the leader with 16 carries, 84 yards, and a touchdown while Lynch had the one carry for 71 yards and a score. Bornhorst rushed seven times for 35 yards and a touchdown and Jayden Farmer had nine carries for 17 yards and a score.
Austin Snyder scored 11 points for the Oilers on Saturday as he converted a pair of field goals and was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra points.
Leading the Oilers' defense, which set a new season-high with six tackles-for-loss, was Johnny Harris who made 11 tackles including a half tackle-for-loss and a forced fumble. Freshman linebacker Sam Weihrauch also recorded double-digit stops with ten. Freshman Romaro Warren Jr. had seven stops and a half TFL and junior Grey Brancifort had six stops and a half TFL.
Findlay returns home next weekend on Saturday, Oct. 29 for a noon kickoff with the Lake Erie Storm which today defeated Northwood 21-18. Prior to the kickoff of that contest, the coin flip will be executed by the family of former Oilers offensive lineman Miles Davis who tragically lost his life this past spring.