Defiance vs. Bluffton preview
When: Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 1:00 p.m.
Where: Bluffton, Ohio - Salzman Stadium
On the Radio: Listen live to Bluffton University football on WDOH 107.1 FM.
Bluffton University (3-6, 2-3) lost 24-21 to the Franklin Grizzlies (4-5, 2-3) on Saturday, November 5 at "Red" Faught Stadium. Defiance College (5-4, 3-2) fell to Manchester College on November 5 by a final score of 32-29.
The Head Coaches
Head coach Greg Brooks is finishing his third season at the helm of the Bluffton University
football team. Brooks' teams have collected ten wins during his tenure as head coach
of the Beavers. Prior to assuming the head coaching duties at Bluffton, Brooks was
the quarterbacks' coach and offensive coordinator for the Beavers.
Defiance College is led by Robert Taylor who is in his third season as the head coach of the Yellow Jackets. He is a 1996 graduate of Albion College where he earned his bachelor's degree. Taylor was a part of four-straight Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Championships, two NCAA playoff berths and a NCAA Division III National Championship in 1994. He served as the defensive coordinator for five years prior to assuming the head coaching duties at Defiance in 2003. His teams have been known for their defense as they gave up less than 14 points per game in 2001 and 2002.
Bluffton-Defiance Series History
Defiance holds a 40-38-2 advantage in the all-time series with Bluffton. The Beavers
handled the Yellow Jackets by a score of 30-0 at Justin F. Coressel Stadium in 2004.
Last Week for the Beavers and Yellow Jackets
Bluffton jumped out with an early score for the second consecutive week, but it failed to hold onto the momentum as it fell at Franklin by a final of 24-21. Franklin converted on great field position created by the defense as its longest scoring drive of the day was only 27 yards. The Grizzlies also returned a kickoff 91 yards midway through the third quarter to tie the game at 21 following a Jared Owens touchdown that had given the Beavers a 21-14 lead. Franklin kicker Beau Zoeller gave the Grizzlies a 24-21 victory when his 45-yarder with two minutes to play split the uprights. Ben Dodds went over 1000 yards for 2005 as he picked up 93 yards on 18 carries. Jared Owens completed ten passes for 120 yards and one touchdown while also rushing for 86 yards on 17 carries. Sophomore Terence Clayton went for 64 yards on the ground as the Beavers offense put up 392 yards but could not overcome the turnovers. Sam McCullough once again led the Beaver defense with 12 tackles, including 8 solos and 3 TFL's.
Defiance College fell to 3-2 in the HCAC when it lost by a final score of 32-29 to the Manchester College Spartans on November 5 at Defiance. The Spartans led 29-15 before the Yellow Jackets rallied to tie the game at 29 with eight minutes remaining in the game. Defiance picked off a Spartan pass near midfield with five minutes left only to have a pass interference call negate the turnover. Manchester continued to move the ball and the offense set up Ryan McCool's game-winning 30-yard field goal with only two seconds on the clock. Defiance quarterback Hans Vetter completed 14 passes for 135 yards and one touchdown. Vetter also found the end zone twice on the ground. All-purpose back Gary Allen picked up 152 total yards to lead the Yellow Jacket offense. Steve Brancheau led the Defiance defense with 11 stops.
Last Season's Contest
Bluffton capped off its 2004 season with a 30-0 victory over the Yellow Jackets at Defiance. The victory moved Bluffton's record to 5-5 overall and 3-3 in the HCAC. It was the Beavers' first shutout win since September 14, 2002 when they posted a 45-0 victory over the Hiram College Terriers. The Beavers took an early 7-0 lead when Ben Dodds hauled in a 37-yard touchdown toss from quarterback Tim Koontz. That score remained until late in the third quarter when Bluffton rolled off 20 unanswered points in a span of less than two minutes to take a 27-0 lead. During that run Ben Dodds hit paydirt from ten yards out, Aaron Whitlock fell on a fumble in the Defiance end zone and safety Matt Chiles returned an interception 43 yards for a score. Seth Burkholder tacked on a field goal early in the fourth quarter for the final 30-0 margin of victory. Dodds led the offense with 23 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns. The Bluffton defense shut down the Yellow Jackets holding them to a meager 164 total yards for the game. Scott Steiner finished with 12 tackles, nine solo, while Chiles recorded 11 tackles, forced a fumble and returned an interception for a touchdown.
Leading the Beavers
Senior Ben Dodds went over the 1000-yard plateau for the second time as a Beaver last week. He leads the Bluffton rushing attack with 190 carries for 1082 yards and eight touchdowns. Dodds has 19 catches for 209 receiving yards and a 66-yard touchdown. Junior fullback Ben McCullough has gained 347 yards on 72 carries while reaching the end zone five times. Quarterback Jared Owens has completed 77 passes for 998 yards and six touchdowns while also finding the end zone seven times on the ground. Tight end Jeremy Haselman leads the Beaver receiving corps with 19 receptions for 240 yards and two touchdowns. Aaron Whitlock has nine catches for 155 yards and a touchdown. Anthony Bryant has 12 receptions for 182 yards and one touchdown.
Sophomore linebacker Sam McCullough leads the Beaver defense with 101 tackles (40
solos, 61 assists), including 12 TFL's for a total loss of 25 yards. Sam has forced
two fumbles while also recovering one this season. Junior cornerback Jeremy Anderson has recorded 52 tackles while picking off six passes. Sophomore safety Taylor Iceman has three interceptions while senior safety Jon Mershman has two interceptions to go along with his 52 tackles. Senior defensive tackle Bryan Lloyd and freshman defensive end Kyle Rode lead the Beavers with four sacks apiece.
Next up for the Beavers and the Yellow Jackets
Bluffton University and Defiance College will cap off 2005 play on Saturday, November 12, 2005. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. at Salzman Stadium. The Mount St. Joseph Lions qualified for the Division III tournament with their 17-7 victory over the Anderson Ravens last Saturday. They finished HCAC play with a 5-1 record after losing their initial conference contest to Hanover. 2005 marks the second consecutive season that Mount St. Joseph will represent the HCAC in the national tournament.