HIRAM, Ohio - October 26, 2019 – The Hiram Terriers football team fell to the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops, 45-18, on Homecoming/Hollinger Hall of Fame Weekend on Saturday at Charles A. Henry Field.
The Battling Bishops got off to a quick start, scoring 17 points in the first quarter. After Lucas Cooper returned the opening kickoff 71 yards to the Hiram 17, Zane Ries found Kenny Streb for a score, giving OWU a 7-0 lead.
And after the Terriers were forced to punt, Curtis Duren capped off a three-play, 45-yard drive with a 40-yard touchdown run to give the Battling Bishops a 14-0 lead.
Following a Hiram three-and-out, the Battling Bishops extended their lead to 17-0 with a 31-yard field goal by Anthony Sanfillipo that finished off a five-play, 43-yard drive.
The Terriers would get on the scoreboard just before the end of the quarter. After Horace Johnson intercepted Ries' pass just outside the red zone, David Cummings punched it in from three-yards out to cut Ohio Wesleyan's lead to 17-6.
The two sides traded punts over the next few drives before the Batting Bishops extended their lead. Gabriel Miller returned Floyd Shackleford's punt 40-yards to the Hiram 30, putting OWU in prime position to score.
On the first play of the drive, Duren broke through the Terriers' defense, rushing 30 yards for the score to give OWU a 24-6 lead.
Hiram answered with a drive of their own, driving 54 yards over seven plays to just outside the OWU red zone, but an interception ended the Terriers' chances of a score.
However, on the very next play, Delanoe Harris recovered Trey Dixon's fumble, giving Hiram another chance to score.
The Terriers would take advantage just two plays later, as Bryce Butler raced into the end zone from 15-yards out to cut OWU's lead to 24-12. The Terriers couldn't convert the two-point try though, and trailed by 12 heading into the final seven minutes of the first half.
The two sides again traded punts, before OWU added to their lead on Marty Sesma's touchdown run from first-and-goal at the Hiram 3, taking a 31-12 lead.
And after the Terriers went three-and-out with under a minute remaining in the half, a blocked punt returned for a touchdown by Ian Riddle gave OWU another touchdown before the half, extending the Battling Bishops lead to 38-12.
After a Terrier three-and-out, OWU scored quickly to extend their lead to 45-12, as Duren found the end zone for the third time, this time from 23-yards out.
However, Hiram's defense would keep Ohio Wesleyan off the scoreboard the rest of the way, forcing a pair of turnovers in the second half.
Hiram though, couldn't get much going offensively, in the second half, and wasn't able to take advantage.
The Terriers drove inside OWU territory near the end of the third quarter, but their drive stalled just outside the red zone, and Hiram turned the ball over on downs.
The Battling Bishops punted to open the fourth quarter, giving Hiram the ball at their own 32. With help from a pair of pass interference penalties, the Terriers drove 68 yards in five plays, scoring on Malcolm Rogers 15-yard touchdown run to cut OWU's lead to 45-18.
But again, the two-point conversion try fell incomplete, keeping Ohio Wesleyan's lead at 27.
Six plays later, Tyler Swearingen forced a fumble in the red zone, preventing OWU for adding to their lead. The Terriers responded with a 12-play, 30-yard drive, but stalled just outside midfield.
The two sides again traded punts on their final two drives, before OWU took a knee to seal the 45-18 victory.
With the loss, Hiram drops to 0-7 (0-6 NCAC), while Ohio Wesleyan moves to 6-1 (5-1 NCAC) with the win.
Hiram outgained the Battling Bishops, 328 yards to 244, but Ohio Wesleyan notched over 200 yards on kickoff and punt returns.
Rogers led the Terriers on the ground, with 10 carries for 76 yards and a score, while Butler added 17 rushes for 48 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Tyler Swearingen led Hiram with 10 tackles, three tackles for a loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery, while Johnson added five tackles and an INT.
The Terriers will be back in action on Saturday, Nov. 2 when they travel to Meadville, Pa. to take on the Allegheny College Gators at Frank B. Fuhrer Field at 1:00 p.m.