Bluffton vs. Hanover football preview
When: Saturday, October 28, 2006 at 1:30 p.m.
Where: Bluffton, Ohio - Dwight Salzman Stadium
On the Radio: Listen live to Bluffton University football on WDOH 107.1 FM and 99.3 WBWH.
Bluffton University welcomes Heartland Conference rival Hanover College to Salzman Stadium as the Beavers attempt to win their second consecutive contest against the Panthers. With the victory at Anderson a week ago, the Beavers improved to 3-4 overall and 2-2 in the HCAC. Hanover struggled to put points on the board against the Defiance College Yellow Jackets last week in the Panthers 20-10 loss at home. Hanover enters the game with a 2-5 record, including a 2-2 mark in the conference.
The Head Coaches
Greg Brooks is in his fourth year at the helm of the Bluffton University football team. The Beavers have accumulated a 13-24 mark during Brooks' tenure as the head coach. Brooks previously served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Bluffton, leading the Beavers to their best offensive seasons in school history. Prior to taking over the reins of the football program, Brooks was the head baseball coach at Bluffton.
In his 25th year as head coach at Hanover, Wayne Perry is the winningest college football coach in Indiana history. His career record stands at 170-80-2. Under Perry's direction, the Panthers have won eight conference titles while qualifying for the national playoffs on nine occasions. Perry graduated from DePauw University where he played on both the offensive and defensive lines while earning his bachelor's and master's degrees. He has been named Coach of the Year in his conference five times during his tenure at Hanover.
Bluffton-Hanover Series History
Bluffton and Hanover will meet for the 30th time this year. The Panthers hold a commanding 24-5 edge over the Beavers, however, Bluffton knocked off Hanover a year ago on the road, 33-19, for the first victory over the Panthers since 1990.
Last Season's Contest
Bluffton University traveled to Hanover College looking to end a ten-game Panther
victory streak over the Beavers and they did just that. Hanover turned the ball over
in the red-zone on two of its first four possessions as the Beaver defense tightened
each time the Panthers moved into Bluffton territory. Hanover put up 456 yards in
the loss, but it was a one-dimensional attack as it picked up only 78 of those on
the ground. The Beavers put on an offensive display, amassing 477 total yards, including
323 rushing yards while not turning the ball over and maintaining possession for nearly
35 minutes. Bluffton scored each time it entered the red-zone and it converted on
six-of-11 third-down opportunities to improve to 2-1 in Heartland Collegiate Athletic
The Beavers took a 6-0 lead with four minutes to play in the first quarter when quarterback Jared Owens (Van Wert/Crestview) went in from the one-yard line following a 75-yard run by senior tailback Ben Dodds (West Liberty/Bellefontaine). Owens found sophomore wide receiver Anthony Bryant (Reynoldsburg/Reynoldsburg) open in the middle of the field and Bryant did the rest as he scampered 67 yards for a touchdown to put Bluffton up 13-3 with less than three minutes to play in the first half. A hurried Panther field goal cut the Beavers' advantage to seven points at the break.
Hanover tied the game at 13 early in the third quarter before the Beavers took over and scored touchdowns on three consecutive possessions to open up a 33-13 lead with less than four minutes to play. Owens capped a clock draining 13-play, 74-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown giving the Beavers a lead they would not relinquish. Dodds found the end-zone early in the fourth quarter putting Bluffton up 27-13 following the third Hanover turnover of the day. Junior fullback Ben McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton), who finished with 101 yards on only 16 carries, found a hole and crossed the goal-line late in the fourth quarter to give the Beavers a 33-13 advantage before Hanover threw for a touchdown to end the day's scoring with two minutes to play.
Owens completed ten-of-16 passes for 154 yards and one touchdown. He also gained 86 yards on the ground and ran for two touchdowns. Dodds rushed for 138 yards and also scored a touchdown. Junior Jeremy Anderson (South Rockwood, Mi./Airport High) sparked the Beaver defense as he picked off two Panther passes deep in Bluffton territory and recorded two tackles-for-losses. Freshman Kyle Rode (Delphos/Delphos Jefferson) forced a fumble on Hanover's initial possession that senior linebacker Robert Bailey (Bellefontaine/Bellefontaine) recovered.
Leading the Beavers
Freshman running back Andrew Ramthun (Springfield/Southeastern) leads the Beavers with 363 yards (92 carries) on the ground with one touchdown. Senior Jared Owens has completed 94-of-168 passes for 920 yards and seven touchdowns while also picking up 333 yards and three touchdowns rushing. Junior wide receiver Anthony Bryant (Reynoldsburg/Reynoldsburg) has 24 receptions for 300 yards, including five grabs for 119 yards and two touchdowns at Anderson last week. Fellow junior Aaron Whitlock (Grove City/Central Crossing) has 26 catches for 191 yards and a touchdown, including a 10-reception performance against Manchester College on Homecoming.
Junior linebacker Sam McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) leads Bluffton with 80 tackles (24 solo). He had a pass breakup in the Kalamazoo contest and a sack at Franklin on Sept. 30. Erick Buddin (Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti) has 38 tackles (23 solo) and two interceptions for 58 yards from his cornerback position while junior safety Taylor Iceman (Lucas/Lucas) is second on the Beavers' defense with 58 tackles and three timely interceptions. Sophomore defensive end Kyle Rode has six stops in the backfield for a total loss of 50 yards to go along with his two breakups and blocked punt at Anderson.
Next up for the Beavers and Panthers
The Beavers will travel to Cincinnati to face the College of Mount St. Joseph on Saturday, Nov. 4. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Hanover also returns to action on November 4 when it host Anderson University.