HIRAM, Ohio – Hiram withstood an early Allegheny charge and turned what looked like it would be a blowout into a 13-point loss to the Gators in non-conference action Saturday.
The Gators (1-1) scored 17 first-quarter points, but were held scoreless in the second half for a 20-7 triumph over the winless Terriers (0-3), who saw their losing streak stretch to 18 games.
Allegheny running backs Devin Raynor and Rodney Still each rushed for 81 yards and T.J. Salopek passed for 113 yards and an interception.
Allegheny scored 17 points in the first quarter.
Gator Jim Lieb returned the opening kickoff 60 yards to the Hiram 23-yard line. Raynor carried twice setting up his 1-yard touchdown run. It was Raynor’s first collegiate touchdown.
The Gators punted on their next possession, but forced a fumble on the return, recovered by the Gators Hayes Gatie at the Hiram 38.
Still rushed four times for 26 yards to set up Josh Whiteside, who converted on a 30-yard field goal for a 10-0 Gator lead with 4:30 left in the quarter.
A 32-yard punt return by Nick Jones set up yet another short field for Allegheny, as the team needed just three plays to cover the remaining 34 yards, with Matt Cellini scoring from a yard out, pushing the Allegheny advantage to 17-0 with 2:07 left in the first quarter.
Whiteside also hit a 25-yarder to push the lead to 20-0 with 22 seconds remaining in the first half.
Allegheny had six possessions in the second half. Three ended with punts, one with a missed 32-yard field goal and two in turnovers (one interception and one fumble). The Gators had four second-half first downs.
Curt Anderson ended Hiram’s first scoring threat when the senior co-captain picked off Hiram quarterback Trevor Henderson’s pass in the end zone with 8:10 remaining in the game.
A little over two minutes later, Hiram forced Allegheny to punt, and Hiram’s Steven Hammond returned the kick 66 yards, setting up his own 9-yard touchdown run on the next play, ending the Gators’ shutout bid.
Allegheny’s Mateo Villa had a team-high 14 tackles, while Jon Buggey and Ross Simcoe had nine and eight tackles.