Panthers second in tight HCAC gridiron field

HCAC Football Poll

Franklin, 79 (7)

Hanover, 67 (2)

Manchester, 54

Mount St. Joseph, 45

Rose-Hulman, 44

Bluffton, 43

Defiance, 40

Earlham, 19

Anderson, 14

The Hanover College football team has been selected to finish second in the chase for the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's 2013 championship.

Hanover, which has finished second in the HCAC standings for three consecutive seasons, received 67 points in the preseason polling of the league's nine head coaches. The Panthers received two first-place votes.

Second-year head coach Steve Baudendistel led his program to a 6-4 overall record one year ago. The squad posted a 6-2 mark in conference games, including a string of six straight wins in the middle of the season.

Franklin College earned the top slot in the coaches' poll with 79 points, including seven of the nine available first-place votes. Manchester University was third with 54 points.

The College of Mount St. Joseph (Ohio) led a four-team cluster in the middle of the pack with 45 points. The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology posted 44 points, while Bluffton University (Ohio) had 43 and Defiance College (Ohio) tallied 40.

Earlham College landed eighth overall with 19 points and Anderson University rounded out the poll with 14.

Hanover will open its 2013 campaign Saturday, Sept. 7, at home against Illinois College. The contest will start at 1:30 p.m. at L.S. Ayres Field.

The Panthers' first Heartland Conference tilt will be Sept. 21 on the road against Mount St. Joseph in Delhi, Ohio.

Hanover will face Bluffton Oct. 19 in the College's 86th-annual Homecoming game. The squad's Hall of Fame Game is slated for Nov. 9 against Manchester.