Manchester College at Bluffton University
By Molly Burnell, Sports Information Assistant
September 28, 2004
Where: Bluffton, Ohio - Dwight Salzman stadium
On the Radio: Listen live to BlufftonUniversity football on 107.1 FM.
On the Web: Listen live to BlufftonUniversity football at www.wdoh.com
BlufftonUniversity (2-2) finished out their non-conference schedule with a loss to AdrianCollege last Saturday 30-3. Last weeks contest saw Manchester College fall to Olivet 49-13.
Head coach Greg Brooks enters his second year at the helm of the BlufftonUniversity
football team. Brooks now posts four wins as the head coach of the Beavers. Before
his tenure as head coach, Brooks was the offensive coordinator for 22 years.
First year head coach Shannon Griffith commands the Spartans this season with 14 years of coaching experience. Griffith brings 13 years of Division I and Division II coaching knowledge to Manchester. He has been a part of two Mid-American Conference championship teams at BallStateUniversity, one as a player and one as an assistant coach.
Bluffton - Manchester Series History
The Beavers lead the series with a 27-22 advantage over the Spartans. Manchester has taken the last two contests from Bluffton including the 33-25 triple overtime win last season. Bluffton won the previous four games over the Spartans from the 1998 season to the 2001 campaign.
Last Time for the Beavers and Spartans
Last week the Beavers dropped a 30-3 decision to Adrian. Bluffton's lone score came from kicker Seth Burkholder when he booted in a 29-yard field goal. Quarterback Tim Koontz connected on three completions for 18 yards in the air. Junior tailback Ben Dodds had 12 carries for 31 yards to lead the rushing attack. Freshman Sam McCullough led the defensive effort with 18 tackles (11 solo, 7 assisted), one tackle for loss and one forced fumble.
ManchesterCollege fell to Olivet last week 49-13. Sophomore quarterback Joe DeCraene passed for 193 yards and two touchdowns for the Spartans. Brandon Tugmon had seven catches for 93 yards and two scores. Defensively, Kris Hueber and Ryan Sons had nine tackles each.
Leading the Beavers
Junior Ben Dodds continues to lead the ground attack for Bluffton with 65 carries for 272 yards and four touchdowns. Sophomore Ben McCullough has 17 attempts for 123 yards rushing. Freshman Leon Payne leads the receivers with nine catches for 212 yards and two touchdowns. Senior Mark Gable has five receptions for 69 yards and two touchdowns for the season. Juniors Aaron Krieger and Tim Koontz have split time at the quarterback position. Krieger has 10 completions for 119 yards and one touchdown. Koontz currently shows three completions for 36 yards in the air.
Leading the Spartans
Leading the rushers for the Spartans is Freshman Andrew Shrock with 129 yards on 51 carries. Freshman Bruce Orr has 58 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown. On the Receiving attack Junior Brandon Tugmon has 33 catches for 426 yards and four touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Shaun Tilghman has grabbed 12 catches for 217 yards. Sophomore quarterback Joe DeCraene leads the passing game with 73 completions for 930 yards and six touchdowns.
Last Year's Contest
Last season the Spartans downed the Beavers 33-25 in a thrilling triple overtime win. Bluffton posted 354 yards of total offense, 276 rushing and 78 passing. The Beavers quarterback Jared Owens threw 9 completions for 78 yards. Ben Dodds led the rushing effort with two touchdowns and 139 yards. Defensively Scott Steiner led the Beavers with 16 tackles and Chris Sommers posted 11 tackles on the day.
The Spartans gained 389 yards of total offense, 69 yards rushing and 320 passing yards. Manchester was able to ground out 19 first downs in the contest. Quarterback Michael Blosse threw a nine yard pass to Cory Garver for a touchdown in the third overtime to end the game and give the Spartans the win.
Next up for the Beavers and Spartans
Bluffton will have a bye week next week and will continue action as they travel to Heartland Conference opponent AndersonUniversity on October 16. Kickoff is scheduled for Manchester will host Hanover next Saturday in an HCAC contest starting at