bc vs. thiel
Bluffton looking for answers against Thiel
September 12, 2001
Setting the scene
Two teams looking for their first win of the season collide this afternoon in Salzman Stadium as Bluffton College hosts Thiel College. Today is the final non-league tune up for the Beavers before beginning the defense of their 2000 Heartland Conference title on Sept. 29 at Anderson University. Both these teams are idle next week. BC will return to Salzman Stadium again in 28 days to face Hanover College on Oct. 13 for homecoming.
Since their first ever meeting in 1994, these two teams have met five times, with Bluffton leading the all-time series 4-1. In those four victories, BC has scored an average of 34.5 points against the Tomcats, however in 1997 Thiel posted a 33-27 win over the Beavers in Salzman Stadium. Last season the Beavers walked away with a 40-19 win in Greenville, Penn.
Bluffton Head Coach Carlin Carpenter is 95-115-1 in his 24th season at Bluffton College. His 95 total wins are the most in school history, and his tenure is the longest among Ohio's collegiate head football coaches. Thiel is led by first year head coach Jack Leipheimer, who is now 0-2 with the Tomcats.
Bluffton overcame a pre-game down pour and a determined Tomcat squad to earn a 40-19 victory in Penn. on Sept. 16 of last season to improve to 2-1 on the season. After trailing 7-0 early in the first quarter, BC came back to take a 14-13 at halftime and scored 26 straight points in the second half to take control of the game. Bluffton finished the game with 489 yards in total offense compared to just 245 for the hosts.
Bluffton's Brad Moore completed 16 of 30 passes for 315 yards and two touchdowns, while two Thiel quarterbacks completed just four of 17 passes for 73 yards, marking the second straight week that the BC defense has held their opponent to under 100 yards passing. Bluffton gave the Tomcats great field position several times in the game, leading to two Tomcat touchdowns. Thiel took the opening kickoff down to the BC 38-yard line to set up their first score, then BC fumbled on its own six yard line to set up another TC score.
Bluffton suffered a 30-17 loss at Hiram College last Saturday, while Thiel was defeated 3-0 by Kean University in the Tomcats' brand new Alumni Stadium.
Bluffton produced 303 yards in total offense against Hiram and took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but were just 1-10 on third down conversions in the game and held possession of the football for just 23:41 compared to 36:19 for Hiram. Moore ended the day 17-29 passing for 166 yards, and for the second straight week he also led BC in rushing, totaling 60 yards on eight carriers. Sophomore middle linebacker Chris Sommers led the defense with 15 tackles.
Thiel, meanwhile, saw Kean kick a 35-yard field goal with 9:59 left in the game to provide the only scoring in the contest. Senior quarterback T.J. Wiley, who didn't play against Bluffton last season, was 9-14 passing for 80 yards and gained 55 yards on 11 carries, while freshman linebacker Robert Drake led the defense with seven tackles, two forced fumbles, and an interception.