Rose to host Hanover for HCAC football title Saturday

Tribune-Star/Austen LeakeA familiar sight: Noah Thomas (8) is congratulated by his Rose-Hulman teammates after scoring a touchdown during Saturday’s game against Mount St. Joseph at Cook Stadium.

Rose-Hulman and Hanover will meet in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference football championship game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Cook Stadium.

The winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs. Rose (6-2 overall, 5-1 HCAC) has made one playoff trip in 2016, while Hanover (7-1, 5-0) has made seven playoff trips with the most recent being in 2018.

Coach Jeff Sokol’s Engineers will honor their 16 seniors prior to their final home game. The Senior Day program will begin at 1:35 p.m. This year’s senior class includes Bryce Dobbs, Jalen Gutierrez, Caden Hellyer, Jack Heyl, Colby Horne, Kevin Kling, Eric Mitalo, Eric Morris, Alex Perez, Zach Phillips, Matt Robinson, Jake Schroeder, Jonathan Sutterer, Zach Thelen, Corey Vincent and Garrett Wight.

Hanover is receiving votes in the national top 25 this week. The Panthers lost their season opener at Centre and have run off seven straight wins since then. Hanover has allowed just 10 total points in its last four games.

For Rose-Hulman, Saturday will mark the first time in school history that the engineering institute has hosted a winner-take-all game for a Division III playoff bid.

Individually, Wight ranks fourth in Rose history with 32 career touchdown rushes. He also has 2,582 career rushing yards and is just 160 yards shy of moving into the school’s career top five.

Also, junior Noah Thomas ranks fourth in school history in career receptions (171), fourth in touchdown catches (23) and fifth in receiving yards (2,261). He also set a single-season school record for receiving yards with 947 in 2019.

Junior quarterback Andrew Dion ranks second in school history in career touchdown passes (52) and is fifth all-time in passing yards (5,520).

The Rose-Hulman defense set school records last Saturday by allowing just 39 yards of total offense and minus-90 rushing yards in a 53-6 home victory over Defiance.

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