HIRAM, Ohio— Alex Minton rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries as Denison pulled away for a 48-20 win over Hiram on Saturday at Henry Field. Denison's win, combined with Wittenberg's 28-21 overtime loss to Wabash moves the Big Red into a three-way tie for first place atop the North Coast Athletic Conference standings at 6-1.
Minton, who rushed for 226 yards in last week's win over Ohio Wesleyan, became the first player in Denison history to post consecutive 200-yard rushing games. He also surpassed 1,000-yards rushing for the second-straight season.
Hiram took a 6-0 lead in the first quarter after the Big Red fumbled the opening kickoff, giving the Terriers ideal field position. Denison responded with three scoring drives in the first quarter capped off by rushing touchdowns of 13 and four yards by Minton and a 49-yard touchdown pass from Canaan Gebele to Hunter Biddle.
Minton added another rushing touchdown in the second quarter, but an eight-play 51-yard drive capped off by a 1-yard TD run by Hiram quarterback Randy Tucker had the Terriers trailing by only a touchdown at halftime.
In the second half, the Denison defense pitched a shutout, while allowing only 119 yards to the Terriers. Four different Denison players combined for five sacks. Andrew Smith had eight tackles and one sack. Nate Keirn finished with six tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 2.5 tackles-for-loss. Ben Cross added 1.5 sacks while Will Brady contributed one sack and one fumble recovery.
The Denison offense kept things on the ground to the tune of 45 carries for 377 yards. The 377 yards is the seventh-best rushing day in program history. It is also the most yards rushing in a game since Oct. 27, 2007, when the Big Red rolled up 418 yards against Kenyon.
Minton's 219-yard game gives him 1,033 yards on the season. He is averaging 6.5 yards per carry and has nine rushing touchdowns.
Gebele also had a big day on the ground, rushing for 110 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. The Big Red attempted only eight passing attempts on the day and Gebele was 5-for-5 for 126 yards and two touchdowns.
Minton led the receivers with three catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. Biddle had one grab that went for a 49-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Hiram was led by Isaiah Jones who rushed for 106 yards and 23 carries. Tucker was 14-of-33 for 189 yards and one touchdown pass.
Denison (6-2, 6-1 NCAC) will host the College of Wooster next Saturday (Nov. 3) at 5 p.m.