Allegheny Grounded by Hiram

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MEADVILLE, Pa. - Hiram College used a strong running attack and a stingy defense to defeat the Gators 20-0 in North Coast Athletic Conference action at a soggy Frank B. Fuhrer Field.

The Terriers (2-1, 1-1 NCAC) gained 252 yards on the ground, thanks to a 196-yard effort from Caleb Jones, while they limited Allegheny to just 181 yards of total offense, as the Gators fell to 0-3 overall, and 0-2 in conference play.

Hiram set the tone early, getting on the board quickly in the opening quarter.  On just the second play of scrimmage, Jones burst through the line, bounced out to the sideline, and scampered 63 yards untouched into the end zone to put the visitors on top 7-0 just 52 seconds into the first quarter.

Neither team was able to muster much offense throughout the rest of the quarter, with the teams trading three punts apiece over the opening stanza as a steady, heavy downpour hindered both sides' ability to move the ball.

The second quarter began in much of the same fashion, with the teams trading punts over the first three minutes before Hiram again went to the ground for a lengthy drive.  Jones ran four times for 52 yards, including a 39-yard scamper, to set up first-and-goal inside the Allegheny 10-yard line.  The Gator defense held strong on three straight Hiram runs, as Hiram was forced to settle for a field goal to up its lead to 10-0 with just under nine minutes left until halftime.

In the closing minutes of the second quarter with the Gators driving, Hiram forced an Allegheny fumble inside the Terrier 40.  Again, the visitors went back to the ground, with the big play a 42-yard end around reverse from wide receiver Richard Simpson  setting up first down inside the Allegheny 20.  The Gator defense again held its ground, with Giovanni Taw pinning Jones for a loss of four on third down, and Hiram settled for another field goal by Greg Klisuric to go up 13-0 to close out the half.

The Gators looked to finally get on the board on its second possession of the second half, taking a page from Hiram's book and finding success on the ground.  Nick Deichler gained 41 yards on six carries, whileTyler Smith gained 10 yards on three tries, setting up first-and-10 for Allegheny just outside of the Hiram 11.  However, the drive would end when the Gators committed their second turnover of the day, as a Jon Nigropass was picked off in the end zone by Andrew Torres.

It was the closest Allegheny would come to the end zone, while Hiram closed out the day's scoring with 8:33 left in the fourth quarter on Jones' second touchdown of the day, a one-yard plunge that put the visitors in front 20-0.

Of the Gators' 181 yards of offense, 131 came on the ground, as Deichler led the way with 73 yards on 11 carries.  Nigro was 8-for-22 through the air for 50 yards, with Isaac Gittens the lone Gator to record more than one catch, hauling in two receptions for 24 yards.  

Defensively, Cody Stolar and Jake Szoszorek each made 10 tackles, with Stolar excelling on special teams, making a trio of big hits on punt coverage.  Taw posted six stops, including a game-high 3.5 behind the line of scrimmage.   

Hiram quarterback George Blake completed seven of 13 passes for 73 yards, with Brendon James making a game-high three catches for 36 yards.  Defensively, Garrett Primer made eight tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss, while John Davis made seven tackles and Vinny Polverine six stops.

Allegheny will return to action next Saturday, September 28th, hosting Wabash College on Homecoming Day at Frank B. Fuhrer Field beginning at 1:00 p.m.