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Fioroni shreds Hiram again; Denison prevails 42-14

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Sam Fioroni rushed for a career-high 213 yards off 26 carries and Max Paulus threw three touchdown passes to lead Denison to a 42-14 victory over Hiram on Saturday night from Deeds Field-Piper Stadium in Granville, Ohio.  

The Hiram coaching staff was astutely aware of Fioroni's abilities after he rushed for 200 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown in overtime last season at Henry Field.  This time, his big-play capabilities, combined with the efficiency of Paulus, helped the Denison offense rack up over 40 points for the second consecutive week.

Behind the gaudy numbers posted by the DU offense was the stingy performance put on by the Big Red defense.  Hiram quarterback Brandon Hanna is one of the top dual threats in the North Coast Athletic Conference and the Big Red defense had their hands full all night trying to contain the fleet-of-foot, Hanna.  The sophomore threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for another 89 yards.  Despite the big numbers on the stat sheet, they only led to 14 points for the Terrier offense.

The Big Red jumped out to a 28-0 lead midway through the second quarter after Paulus tossed two touchdown passes to fullback Steven Lilley and a third to Fioroni.  The fourth TD of the opening half came on a 1-yard plunge from Lilley.  The touchdowns were the first of Lilley's career.

Late in the second quarter, Hiram would mount a comeback after Hanna hit Richard Simpson on a seam route for 54-yards, capping off a quick 3-play, 57-yard drive.  They would get the ball back with just over one minute to play in the first half and this time Hanna would find Shaun Zalewski on a two-yard touchdown pass, slicing the DU lead in half as the two teams entered the third quarter.

Neither squad would reach the end zone in the third after both teams had four stalled drives in the period.  In the fourth quarter the Big Red would effectively slam the door on any potential Hiram rally when Fioroni broke free for a 28-yard touchdown run with 12:21 remaining in the contest.

Denison's final score would come with 5:49 left and it was one of a handful of circus plays on the night.  Faced with a third and two from the Hiram 17-yard line, Fioroni took the handoff and burst up the middle for a 12-yard gain where he was met by Hiram's James Romanowski, brother of Denison starting left tackle, Joe Romanowski.  The hit jarred the ball loose at the five yard line but Denison wide receiver Lucas Graham was there to scoop up the football and scamper into the end zone, untouched, setting the final score at 42-14.

Paulus was 13-of-16 for 104 yards and three TD's.  He did not take a sack and he also posted a career-high 96 yards rushing off 7 carries.  His 44-yard run in the first quarter led to Denison's second touchdown of the game.  Senior wide receiver Braden Layer led DU with four receptions for 73 yards.

Fioroni's big night pushed his season rushing total to 443 yards in three games.  He is averaging 147.7 yards rushing per game and is leading the NCAC.  In his last two games against the Terriers he has piled up 413 yards off 48 carries.  That's an average of 8.6 yards per carry.

Hanna was 30-of-51 in the passing department for 241 yards and two scores.  He accounted for 330 yards of total offense.  His favorite target was Simpson who caught nine passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.

Denison was led defensively by senior cornerback Drew Clanin and junior safety Alex Sycher.  Clanin posted 11 tackles, nine of which were solo to go along with three pass break-ups.  He also totaled 40 punt return yards off four attempts. Sycher led all players with 12 tackles and two passes defended.   

The Big Red improves to 2-1 and 1-0 in the NCAC while Hiram falls to 1-2 and 1-1 in conference play.  DU will be back in action next Saturday (Sept. 24) when they host Case Western Reserve at 1 p.m.

Note: At halftime of Saturday night's game, members of Denison's 1986 NCAC Championship team were honored by the university.
Nov. 18: All times Eastern
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Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
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Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
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Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
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Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
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at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
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at Wesley 45, RPI 27
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at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
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at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
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Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
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at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
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Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
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Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
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at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Nov. 25: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Wesley at Brockport
12:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
12:00 PM
Frostburg State at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Husson at Delaware Valley
Live stats
1:00 PM
Berry at St. Thomas
Audio
1:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at UW-Oshkosh
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Linfield at Mary Hardin-Baylor
1:00 PM
Trine at Wartburg
Nov. 17: All times Eastern
Final
Merchant Marine 35, at Buffalo State 20
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Photos
Nov. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Muhlenberg 32, at Carnegie Mellon 6
@ Newark, Del.
Box Score Video
Final
at Franklin and Marshall 21, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Susquehanna 28, at Albright 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 34, Huntingdon 20
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 66, Plymouth State 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 21, Washington and Lee 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Trine 63, Monmouth 24
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 45, RPI 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 31, Johns Hopkins 28
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 35, at Wittenberg 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 35, Western New England 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Husson 23, at Springfield 21
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Framingham State 48, Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
Cortland 35, at Union 28
Box Score Recap
Final
Case Western Reserve 28, at Illinois Wesleyan 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Wartburg 35, Franklin 34
Video Preview Box Score Live stats Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Chapman 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 63, Lakeland 0
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 17, St. John's 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 47, Eureka 8
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Final
at Linfield 27, Hardin-Simmons 13
Box Score Photos
Final
at Ithaca 27, Salisbury 17
@ Newark, Del.
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at WPI 17, SUNY-Maritime 3
Box Score Recap
Nov. 19: All times Eastern
Final
at Alfred 29, Stevenson 16
@ University of Delaware
Video Box Score Recap