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Seniors Shine in Hiram Football's Season-Ending Victory Over Oberlin

Seniors Shine in Hiram Football's Season-Ending Victory Over Oberlin

Nov. 12 – HIRAM, Ohio – Led by a record-breaking performance from senior wideout Joshua Philander in the final game of his career, the Hiram College football team upended Oberlin College, 36-14, on Saturday afternoon at Henry Field.

Philander continued his hot streak to end the season, as he followed his 203-yard, three touchdown performance against Wooster last week, with another career high. The senior pass catcher totaled four touchdown receptions, setting the school's new single-game mark.

The Yeomen got on the board first in the opening quarter, using a 15-play drive that resulted in a one-yard touchdown run from quarterback Zach Taylor. Oberlin would hold the Terriers scoreless in the opening 15 minutes and the hosts found themselves down seven after one quarter.

In Hiram's first drive of the second quarter, the Terriers used an efficient 13-play drive to find the endzone. The final two plays both went to Philander, as the receiver totaled 30 yards on the two receptions. The second of the two resulted in six points on a 13-yard catch from Randy Tucker.

Philander's first score started a 29-0 run for Hiram which spanned the second and third quarters.

The Terrier defense set up Hiram for their second score as three plays following the first touchdown, senior Zayd Mabin forced an Oberlin fumble. The fumble was collected by Chris Chester on the Hiram 49-yard line, setting up the Terriers with great field position.

On the ensuing offensive possession, Tucker once again led a touchdown drive of 10+ plays. He hit Philander twice in the drive; once for 19 yards and the other, a 12-yard catch which found the endzone. His second score of the game gave Hiram their first lead, 13-7.

Special teams set Hiram up for their third score before the end of the half. After forcing an Oberlin three-and-out, the Terriers partially blocked a punt, which went just 22 yards before resting at the Oberlin 38.

Hiram used an efficient attack in the final minute of the half, needing just four plays to find six points. Junior Danny Robinson rattled off 25 yards on the ground on two carries, before Tucker hit Tate, twice. The second reception for Tate came from 10 yards out, extending the Hiram lead to 19-7.

Hiram dominated the second quarter of the game, outgaining Oberlin by a total of 158-12. The Terriers amassed 109 passing yards in the frame, while adding 49 yards on the ground.

The hosts would tack on ten more points in the third quarter, which included Philander's third TD of the game. The Terriers opened the second half with a 12-play, 69-yard drive which ended in the six-yard strike from Tucker to Philander, extending the lead to 26-7.

The defense once again held strong, forcing another Oberlin three-and-out, before a botched snap on the ensuing punt gave the Terriers great field position at the Yeomen 15. Three plays later, junior Sam Conway tacked on three points with a 26-yard field goal.

Oberlin began a comeback in the fourth quarter, scoring their second touchdown of the game just five seconds into the final frame, cutting the Hiram advantage to 29-14.

The Terriers would respond, however, pushing their lead back to 22. The big play of the drive came on a fourth-and-five, when senior punter Zach D'Urso rattled off a 29-yard rush on a fake punt to extend the drive.

Three plays later, Philander would find the endzone for the fourth time in the game, using a five-yard touchdown to round out the scoring at 36-14.

The last touchdown by Philander broke multiple records, including the school's single-game touchdown receptions mark, which he had tied last week at Wooster. Additionally, the four scores gave him ten for the year, breaking the school's previous record of nine most recently held by Bryan Moore in 1998.

The touchdown pass also marked the fifth of the game for Tucker, tying the college's single-game mark. The record is currently held by senior Nic Paolo who threw five TDs in a win over Kenyon earlier this year.

Offensively, the Terriers totaled 460 yards of offense, giving them 3,767 yards for the year, breaking the team's previous record of 3,741 which they set in 2014. Additionally, they finished with 2,568 passing yards, setting the new standard for Hiram football.

Individually, Philander led all receivers in the game with 12 catches for 136 yards and the four scores. Tucker completed 26-of-44 passes for 294 yards and five TDs, while Isaiah Jones led the running game with 63 yards on 12 totes.

Defensively, the Terriers stifled the Yeomen, totaling 11.0 tackles for loss and 6.0 sacks. Senior Dan Hernandez led the way with 15 tackles, registering 3.0 for loss.