MIDLAND, Mich. - A look at the stat sheet leaves one expecting a different result than the one that occurred Saturday between Tiffin University and Northwood.
The Dragons had more rushing yards, more total yards, 10 more first downs, more forced turnovers and a more than 20-minute advantage in time of possession.
And yet, Northwood won the game 26-11.
So what happened?
"They won the game up front," Tiffin coach Gary Goff said.
In his first start at quarterback, TU freshman Antonio Pipkin was sacked nine times. It was the biggest reason the Dragons had drives - they were in the red zone four times - but didn't find the end zone.
Tiffin started the scoring in the first quarter with a 12-play, 50-yard drive. The Dragons had a first-and-goal at the 1, but Pipkin was dropped for losses on two plays sandwiched around an incompletion, and TU had to settle for a Tomislav Derezic field goal.
Derezic added a second field goal in the second quarter to put TU up 6-0.
The Timberwolves countered with a field goal, then took the lead just before the half when, facing a fourth-and-1 from the 35, Mitch Robinson connected with Cory Goble for a touchdown.
Northwood increased its advantage on the first possession of the third quarter, taking a 16-6 lead when Jordan Jonker ran in from 2 yards out.
The Dragons' offense continued to move the ball, but managed only another Derezic field goal and a safety in the final seconds of regulation.
Goff said it was the same problem most of the day.
"We got down there to the red zone and gave up a sack and we couldn't make a play," he said.
Again, Goff said it came back to what was going on up front.
"The offensive line did not play very well," he said.
Pipkin finished with 222 yards passing. He did throw a key second-half interception that thwarted a promising Dragon drive.
"He made two throws I'm sure he wishes he had back," Goff said. "He managed the game. I think the kid's gonna be a really good player."
TU fell to 0-4, 0-3 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Timberwolves improved to 2-2, 1-1.
Quakers and Scots bow to Student Princes
Heidelberg played host to the Wilmington Quakers and the Scots of Alma College for a tri-match, earning victories over both teams.
First the Student Princes defeated the Wilmington Quakers 25-21, 25-14, 25-10. Janessa Scott had a match-high 12 kills, while Amber Welfle added eight kills. Alexa Frank and Karlie DiRuzza each had nine assists, and Frank added six digs.
The 'Berg then beat the Scots 25-6, 16-25, 25-9, 25-19. Sarah Parker led everyone with 14 kills, followed closely by Welfle's 13 kills. Jamie Kluding added nine kills. Stephanie Romie and Frank had a combined 39 assists. Welfle had match-high 11 digs, while Frank recorded eight digs.
Hillsdale takes charge
Hillsdale College came to town and took charge, beating Tiffin 25-22, 25-22, 25-21. Danielle McQuade had eight kills and 11 digs and Sabine Stadler added eight kills and three digs for TU.
Chelsea Stockmeyer and Olivia Cobb each recorded seven kills for the Dragons, while Jordan Jenkins lead the team in digs with 24.
Lindsay Kostrzewa led the Chargers in the win with 13 kills, and Emily Wolfert recorded 10 kills. Caitlin Kopmeyer, and Sydney Lenhart each had a team-high 12 digs.
Grizzlies maul HU
FRANKLIN, Ind. - Bethany Mattern's lone goal just wasn't enough as Heidelberg fell to Franklin College 2-1.
Goalkeeper Molly Schriber recorded four saves the Student Princes (1-7-1).
Brandy Ramaj and Taylor Travis each scored a goal for the Grizzlies. Goalkeeper Christa Hendrickson had two saves for Franklin (6-3).