TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- Hanover College earned its second consecutive Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference football championship and NCAA Division III Tournament appearance with a 42-13 victory over Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in the conference championship game on Saturday at Cook Stadium.
Hanover improved to 8-1 overall and 6-0 in HCAC play. Rose-Hulman entered the game with a 5-1 league record to create a winner-take-all title game on Senior Day.
Shawn Coane rushed for 201 yards and four total touchdowns to lead the Hanover offense. Noah Wezensky finished 15-of-26 through the air for 192 yards and three touchdowns for the Panthers, with Taylor Bleistein catching two of the scoring throws.
Garrett Wight led the Rose-Hulman ground attack with 88 yards on 21 carries. Andrew Dion completed eight passes, and Eric Morris added four completions with a 23-yard touchdown strike to Da'Jon Bonnee on the final drive for the Engineer passing game.
Defensively, Zach Phillips led the Rose-Hulman performance with 11 tackles with one interception. Jack Heyl contributed 10 tackles and one sack. Jacob Hendrich added five tackles, two tackles-for-loss and one sack on a day that the Engineer defense amassed four sacks.
Hanover took a 7-0 lead on its first possession, when Wezensky connected wiith Bleistein on a six-yard touchdown pass. Rose-Hulman answered to close within 7-6 on a 24-yard run by Wight at the 9:44 mark of the first quarter.
The Panthers relied on a strong defensive effort to build a 28-6 halftime lead and secure the NCAA Playoff bid.
Rose-Hulman stands 6-3 overall and 5-2 in HCAC play entering its season finale at No. 8 St. John's (Minn.) next week.