The Hiram College football team battled the elements and one of the league's stoutest rushing attacks, as the Terriers dropped a 48-20 decision to Denison University on Saturday afternoon.
The Terriers took advantage of the weather on the first play of the game, as Hiram pooched the opening kickoff which was fumbled by the Big Red. Hiram recovered the ball, setting themselves up for the game's first score.
Following a first down, the Terriers faced a third-and-goal from the Denison eight. Tucker then found his favorite target, sophomore Tahj Lorthridge, for an eight-yard score to give Hiram a 6-0 lead.
Denison immediately responded on their next drive, going on an eight-play, 75-yard drive to knot the game. Reining NCAC Offensive Player of the Week, Alex Minton, capped the drive off with a 13-yard run. The Terriers, however, came up big on special teams, blocking the extra point to keep the game at 6-6.
The Big Red would add two more scores in the quarter. The first came following Hiram's first turnover of the game. Following a Terrier fumble, Denison put together a short drive on the ground, capped by a four-yard rush by Minton.
Following a Terrier punt, Denison scored again as a batted ball found the hands of Hunter Biddle for 49 yards to give the Big Red a 20-6 lead.
Hiram would respond on their next possession, putting together a solid drive. The Terriers went 81 yards on 12 plays that encompassed over five minutes of game time. Hiram capped the drive with a five-yard run by Isaiah Jones, his seventh of the season, pulling the Terriers within a score, 20-13.
After Minton scored his third TD of the first half, the Terriers put together one final drive before the halftime break. Hiram went 90 yards on the drive, picking up a few key plays along the way.
Facing a third down, Tucker found Moe Yarbrough on a swing pass to give Hiram a gain of 12 and keep the drive alive. On the next snap, he found Jaris Foreman for a 22 yard gain down to the Denison 21.
Four plays later, including 20 rushing yards from Jones, Tucker plunged in from one-yard out to cut the Big Red lead to 27-20 before the break.
Hiram put together 180 yards of offense in the opening half, getting 93 yards through the air and another 87 on the ground. Jones paced the Terrier attack with 56 first-half yards, while Foreman paced the passing game with 62 receiving yards.
Throughout the second half, Hiram moved the ball well, getting inside the Denison 35 on three-straight drives. However, each Terrier drive would sputter with a pair ending on downs.
Denison, however, continued to pound the ball on the ground with Minton, scoring on each of their first three drives in the half. Quarterback Canaan Gebele found pay dirt twice with his feet, and threw another to Minton, giving the Big Red a 48-20 advantage.
Overall in the second half, Denison ran just 23 plays compared to Hiram's 45, but outgained the Terriers 240-119, averaging 10.4 yards per play.
For Hiram, Jones led the Terriers with 106 yards on 23 carries and one touchdown. Foreman finished with 70 yards receiving, while Tucker completed 14 passes for 189 yards and a score.
For Denison, Minton paced the Big Red ground attack, totaling 219 yards and three touchdowns. Gebele added 110 yards as Denison racked up 377.
Hiram will conclude the home portion of their schedule as they place host to Oberlin College on Saturday, Nov. 3. The senior day festivities will take place prior to the game, with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.