Hanover 24, Bluffton 21
Hanover scores with 19 seconds to play for 24-21 victory over Beavers
October 27, 2007
HANOVER, Ind. - The Hanover College football marched 80 yards on six plays in 31 seconds without the benefit of a timeout and found the end zone with only 19 seconds on the clock to deprive Bluffton University of its first victory of the season with a come-from-behind 24-21 win over the Beavers on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007. Bluffton fell to 0-8 overall and 0-5 in the Heartland Conference while the Panthers improved to 2-6, with a 2-3 mark in the HCAC.
After starting at their own one-yard line following the opening kickoff, the Beavers moved the ball to the Bluffton 24-yard line, but a 31-yard punt and eight-yard return by Tyler Thiems gave Hanover the ball just past midfield with 11:32 to play in the first half. Hanover moved the chains three times before Matt Herron split the uprights with a 33-yard field goal for a 3-0 Panther lead.
Anthony Bryant's (Reynoldsburg/Reynoldsburg) 21-yard return on the ensuing kickoff gave Bluffton excellent field position at the 41-yard line. Two Cameron Campeau (Pfafftown, N.C.) first downs and a 32-yard strike from Kyle Coleman (Etna/Watkins Memorial) to Drew Lovelace (Trumansburg, NY/Charles U. Dickerson) on third-and-nine set up Campeau's 1-yard scoring plunge.
Midway through the second quarter, Hanover took over on the home 45 and picked up one first down before Josh Elbert connected with Noel Somarriba for a 34-yard touchdown on third down, making the score 10-7 in favor of the Panthers.
Hanover appeared ready to tack on another score when Eric Cook broke through the line and blocked Jonathan Thompson's (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) punt at the Bluffton 12-yard line with 25 seconds to play in the first half. On the first play from scrimmage following the change of possession, defensive end Kyle Rode (Delphos/Jefferson) picked off Elbert 's short pass to the flats and went 86 yards to the house, giving Bluffton a 14-10 lead at the break.
On Bluffton's second drive of the second half, a bad snap on the attempted punt put Hanover at the Beavers' seven-yard line with nine minutes to play in the third quarter. A holding penalty against Bluffton moved the ball to the four and Corey Fogle took it into the end zone on the Panthers' first play to give Hanover a 17-14 lead.
Thompson's 37-yard field goal attempt late in the third quarter missed wide left as Hanover took its 3-point advantage to the final period.
Still trailing by a 17-14 count with 12:19 to play in the game, the Beavers took over at their own three-yard line following an illegal block on a punt return. Freshman Greg Mason (Cleveland/Collinwood) moved the sticks twice and Coleman found Lovelace for a 21-yard pick-up to the Hanover 44-yard line. Three straight Campeau rushes moved the chains before Coleman hooked up with senior Mike Brown (North Wales, Penn./Calvary Christian Academy) for an 18-yard gain. Brown's 10-yard reception set up Ed Jackson's (Dayton/Northridge) second touchdown of the year, a one-yard rush to paydirt which put Bluffton on top 21-17 with just over five minutes to play.
Hanover moved the ball to the Bluffton 20 on its ensuing drive, but Taylor Iceman (Lucas/Lucas) picked Elbert off in the end zone with only 2:27 left on the clock. Mason picked up a first down on third-and-seven, but Hanover limited him to six yards on his next three carries, forcing a Bluffton punt with just 50 seconds remaining.
Elbert misfired on his first two passing attempts before a 17-yard completion to Tyler Rump stopped the clock. On their next play from scrimmage, Elbert hit Thiems for a 58-yard gain to the Bluffton 5-yard line. Two plays later Hanover sealed the come-from-behind victory with a 5-yard Wes Barnes reception in the end zone.
Bluffton had one final chance with seven seconds to play, but Hanover sacked Coleman and his last-ditch passing attempt was batted down as time expired in the Panthers' 24-21 victory over the Beavers.
Mason picked up 77 yards on 23 carries to lead Bluffton on the ground. Lovelace hauled in four catches for 71 yards while Brown picked up 39 yards on three receptions. Coleman completed 11 passes for 138 yards. Standout linebacker Sam McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) finished with a game-high 19 tackles, including two sacks. Iceman chipped in 14 stops and his fourth interception of the year.
Hanover put up 374 yards for the game, including 288 through the air. The Beavers gained 232 yards in the loss. Bluffton converted on 9-of-20 third down opportunities while Hanover made good on 10-of-19 attempts. For the game, the Beavers had a marked time-of-possession advantage, controlling the ball for nearly 40 minutes.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, Nov. 3, when it hosts Mt. St. Joseph at Salzman Stadium. The contest with the Lions is slated to start at 1 p.m.