Yeomen Send Terriers to the Pound in Blowout Homecoming Victory


Mangan, an Oberlin all-time great, wasn’t afraid to let it fly in his heyday.

Dylan Holmes

With multiple generations of alumni roaming the grounds at Savage Stadium, Oberlin football put on a show, dominating the visiting Hiram College Terriers in a 27–7 victory in Saturday’s Homecoming game. The victory marks the second straight year — and only the second time since 1989 — that the Yeomen have begun their season with a 2–1 record.

Oberlin entered the game with the second-ranked passing offense in the conference, but with junior starting quarterback Josh Mandel sidelined with an injury, it was unclear how the group would perform. Those concerns were extinguished early on by junior wide receiver and part-time quarterback Robin Witjes, whose overall performance kept the Terrier defense on its toes all afternoon. Stepping under center for the first time all season, he threw for 27 yards and a touchdown, ran seven times for 64 yards and also caught three passes for 69 yards and a score. Fellow junior quarterback Joe Cook also took snaps for the Oberlin offense and added another 51 yards through the air.

The Yeomen struck quickly on their first possession, needing less than two minutes to grab a 7–0 lead. Witjes opened the drive with a 38-yard scramble, then found senior running back Drew Mixter two plays later in the end zone for a 10-yard scoring strike. After the Terriers failed to respond, Oberlin marched down the field yet again. Sophomore running back Moses Richardson ran for 40 of his career-high 94 yards on the drive, punctuating the effort with a 4-yard score.

The offense simply could not be stopped in the first quarter. Senior wide receiver Cory Kidd capitalized on a quick three-and-out by Hiram, taking a reverse from Witjes and then lofting a pass back to the quarterback for a 56-yard score that broke the opposing defense’s back. It was the longest pass of the year for the Yeomen and gave them a 20–0 lead after one quarter.

The Yeomen wrapped up their scoring midway through the second period. First-year running back Justin Williams weaved his way into the end zone from 11 yards out, giving the home team a 27–point advantage heading into the break.

Oberlin’s defense continued to frustrate the Terriers during the early drives of the third quarter. Sophomore nose guard Kirby Livingston attributed the success to their game plan for the dual-threat playmaker at quarterback for Hiram. “[He] is probably their best player and is a real threat on the ground, so our D-line focused on keeping him in the pocket. We almost always had someone spying him, whether it was me, [junior defensive end] Clay Eaton, or the Jakes [senior defensive end Jake Hochendoner and sophomore linebacker Jake Danko].”

Hiram finally broke through the Oberlin defense in the fourth quarter, scoring on a 24-yard run with eight minutes left in the game. Head Coach Jeff Ramsey was visibly upset with his defense afterwards, but the Yeomen regrouped and diffused any threat of a comeback on the next Terrier possession. Sophomore defensive back Zachary Kisley sealed the game when he intercepted an ill-advised pass with 3:15 on the clock to secure the victory.

Oberlin was spearheaded by strong performances on both sides of the ball. In addition to Witjes’ versatile play, the offense delivered their best performance of the season on the ground, gaining 258 yards on 43 attempts, both season highs. The Yeomen defense had a more difficult outing. Although they gave up 353 total yards, they shut down the Terrier offense both times it reached the red zone and also forced a season high two interceptions. Kisley delivered a noteworthy individual performance for the Yeomen, adding nine tackles — seven unassisted — to his interception.

“The quarterback threw the ball where he expected his receiver to be,” he said of the interception. “I was the only one there so it was a pretty easy play to make.”

The Yeomen will need to remain humble in their first road test of the season this Saturday, Oct. 1, against the nationally ranked Wittenberg University Tigers, who enter the match-up with a perfect record.