RICHMOND, Ind. – Earlham College football battled hard against one of the leading offensive juggernauts in Division III football on Saturday, eventually falling 59-2 to Mount St. Joseph University in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference battle at Darrell Beane Stadium.
The Quakers broke the Lions' scoring hex with 9:11 remaining in the fourth quarter, after pinning Mount St. Joseph deep in its own territory on a 62-yard Jordan Christian punt. Earlham's defensive unit kept Mount St. Joseph from getting any sort of drive going, holding the Lions to no gain on two of the next three plays.
Eventually forced to punt on 4th-and-7 at their own five-yard line, the snap sailed over the head of MSJ punter Jerry Porter and through the end zone for the safety.
The two points allowed Earlham to avoid a second straight shutout, and gave the Quakers a highlight in an otherwise challenging afternoon against one of the most prolific offenses in Division III. Mount St. Joseph entered Saturday's game with the 19th-best offense in Division III and ranked 21st nationally in scoring.
The Lions got on the scoreboard at the end of the Quakers' first possession of the day, with Troy Speakman's 67-yard punt return for a touchdown. MSJ added another big play touchdown later in the first quarter, taking a 14-0 lead on a Chase Pankey 81-yard touchdown pass reception from quarterback Chaiten Tomlin. Tomlin connected with Grayson Roberts on a three-yard TD pass in the waning seconds of the opening quarter, giving the Lions a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Mount St. Joseph added another 17 points in the second quarter to take a 38-0 lead into the locker room at the half, and put up 21 points in the third quarter before Earlham got on the board with the safety in the fourth.
Earlham finished the day with 96 yards of offense to Mount St. Joseph's 617 yards. First year quarterback Collin Hauschild was 22-of-38 for 80 yards through the air, with Zachary Baker hauling down five of those passes for 37 yards. Melvin Davis led the ground game with 20 yards on 13 carries.
Among the promising signs for the young Earlham offensive unit was that it did not commit any turnovers during the game.
Defensively, Hogan Modirzadeh, Austin Baker, and Kobe Walker each finished with 10 total tackles, with Baker and Walker each registering four solo stops. Walker also received credit for a pair of pass break-ups, and a six-yard tackle-for-loss.
For Mount St. Joseph, Tomlin completed 24 of his 32 pass attempts for 343 yards and five touchdowns, while reserve QB was 5-9-0 for 88 yards with two touchdowns. Pankey grabbed two of those TD passes among his six receptions for 138 yards, while A.J. Glines also snared six passes for 83 yards with one touchdown. Cooper Earls also had two TD catches as part of his 3-50 day receiving.
Griffin Appleman was the Lions' leading rusher on the day with eight carries for 61 yards.
Earlham will make its first road trip of the season next Saturday, when it travels to Manchester University for another HCAC matchup. Kick-off is slated for 1:30 p.m.
For more information about Earlham football, visit the online home of Earlham College athletics at www.GoEarlham.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Earlham athletics news by following Earlham Quakers on Facebook (Earlham Quakers Athletics), Twitter (@EarlhamQuakers), and Instagram (EarlhamQuakers).