Tiffin University (2-1, 1-1 GLIAC) used a strong second half performance to build a solid lead, making some big defensive plays along the way on Homecoming Day in a 37-20 win over Hillsdale.
The game started off looking like the Chargers were going to take control, as they drove 75 yards on 8 plays on their opening possession and scored on an 8 yard run to take a quick 7-0 lead.
But Tiffin answered immediately, driving 63 yards before Jared Friszman booted a 43 yard field goal to make it 7-3.
TU wasn't finished in the first quarter, scoring at the 3:28 mark when Kyle Brunson busted in from 1 yard out after TU's Morgan Loyd forced a fumble to give the Dragons great field position at the Chargers' 30 yard line. As the quarter ended, TU held a 10-7 lead.
Hillsdale reclaimed the lead with 3:32 to play in the half on a 15 yard TD pass, but the Dragons finished the half strong, driving 71 yards on 13 plays and scoring with 12 seconds left on a Antonio Pipkin pass to JaQuan Hardy from 2 yards out to give TU a 17-14 halftime lead.
The game's momentum swung dramatically to Tiffin in the third quarter. TU held the ball for a whopping 11:59 in the quarter, scoring 13 points on a 2 yard Kyle Brunson run and a 2 yard Hardy run to take a commanding 30-14 lead. At one point late in the quarter, TU had outgained Hillsdale in the quarter 150-1 in total offense.
Hillsdale was not done, however. The Chargers answered early in the 4th quarter, using big pass plays to score on a 35 yard pass and cut TU's lead to 30-20.
Hillsdale continued to keep the pressure on, driving down the field but committing a huge turnover after fumbling a completion at the TU 35 yard line while TU's Delan Wynn picked up and scampered 65 yards the other way to scorea TD with 5:49 to play and put the game away.
TU used a balanced offensive attack to keep Hillsdale off balance, totaling 458 yards including 268 on the ground. The defense registered 3 sacks and forced 2 fumbles including one for a score. The Dragons offense converted 10 of 15 third downs and controlled the clock by registering 15 rushing first downs to Hillsdale's 4.
Pipkin had a great all around game, rushing for 107 yards on 13 carries while also passing for 190 yards on 22 of 34 attempts with no interceptions and no sacks. Kyle Brunson had 65 yards on the ground, while Hardy had 51 yards and Jerry Brown added 45 yards. TU averaged 6.5 yards per carry.
Jordan Nobles led the receivers with 54 yards, while Charles Holland had 47 yards while TU connected with 8 difference receivers in all.
Defensive standouts were numerous, with Jacob Mertus leading with 9 tackles. Loyd had 8 tackles with a fumble forced and recovered, while Willie Mays had 6 tackles withi a sack and 2 tackles for loss. Jawan Nelson also had 6 tackles. Charles Cole had a sack, while Austin Jasper and Victor Cave also had a half sack apiece.