Football team gears up to battle No. 3 Shepherd

By Logan Arneson, Contributing Writer
 
After a tough loss to Notre Dame College (Ohio), the Hilltoppers football team is looking to bounce back and beat Shepherd University this Saturday afternoon. 

Losing 19-24 last week against Notre Dame College set the Hilltoppers’ record to two wins and three losses. Quickly getting ahead on the scoreboard, the Hilltoppers scored a touchdown within the first five minutes of the first quarter. 
 
The first points came after a 16-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brenton Colabella to running back Jeremiah Ortiz. Not stunned by this score, Notre Dame came right back and scored a touchdown with a 3-yard run by quarterback Malik Grove, tying up the game. 
 
Going into the second quarter, running back Brian Walker ran an impressive 25-yard touchdown, giving Notre Dame the 14-7 lead. Not content with their current lead, Notre Dame scored yet another rushing touchdown, putting them ahead 21-7. This touchdown was then followed by a field goal by opposing kicker Tanner Harding, ending the first half with the Hilltoppers down 24-7. 
 
The second half was eventful from a scoring aspect for the Hilltoppers, but was not enough to give them the victory. With a field goal from Christian Morris, a safety against Notre Dame, and a touchdown pass from Colabella to Isaiah Robinson, the game finished 24-19 in favor of Notre Dame College. 
 
Using this loss to help fix mistakes made on the field, the Hilltoppers are looking to come out on top against Shepherd University on the road. 
 
In the 2016 football season, the three and five Hilltoppers were hoping to upset ranked number three, eight and zero Shepherd University. Although the game did not end in their favor, the Hilltoppers gave it their all and only lost 27-38, putting up good numbers on the board. Both teams continually battled back to back on the field. 
 
Shepherd started off the game with an early touchdown, but then the Hilltoppers scored a field goal and then gained a 10-7 lead with a touchdown soon after. Shepherd quickly came back on top with a running touchdown, but their momentum was halted when the Hilltoppers scored another touchdown, even though they missed the extra point. 
The first half ended with a field goal by Shepherd, sending them ahead 17-16. 
 
The second half was where the Hilltoppers started to fall apart. With Shepherd scoring two touchdowns in a row, the Hilltoppers saw their chances start to slip away. With a few more touchdowns from both teams and a field goal by the Hilltoppers, the undefeated Shepherd Rams won 38-27. 
 
Coming off a loss at home and using last year’s memory as a need for revenge, the Hilltoppers are coming out with everything they got to ensure they are victorious. Make sure to follow the game online at hilltoppersports.com.
 
Photo credit: Megan Sayre