Bluffton vs. Defiance preview
Bluffton University vs. Defiance College
When: Saturday, November 15, 2008 at 1:30 p.m.
Where: Bluffton, Ohio - Salzman Stadium
On the Radio: Listen live to Bluffton University football on WDOH 107.1 FM.
The Bluffton University football team wraps up its first season under Head Coach Tyson Veidt when the Beavers welcome Defiance College to Salzman Stadium for its final contest of the 2008 season on Saturday, November 15. Defiance is currently 3-6 and 3-3 in the conference, while the Beavers stand 1-8 with a 0-6 mark in the HCAC.
Head Coach Tyson Veidt made his debut on the Bluffton sidelines in the Beavers' 2008 opener at Alma College. Despite taking over the reins less than one year ago, Veidt and his staff at Bluffton currently have 50 first-year players on the squad. Veidt comes to Bluffton after assistant coaching stints at West Virginia and Indiana. Most recently he was the defensive coordinator for Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. New additions to the Bluffton coaching staff are Chris Krieg, Bo White, Jason Diller and Brian Hefner. Returning to the Beavers are Denny Phillips, Lou Stokes, Bryan Lloyd and Bill Fisher.
The 2008 campaign is the sixth of Head Coach Robert Taylor's tenure at the helm of the Yellow Jacket football program and his 11th overall with the Purple and Gold. Prior to taking over the reins of the program, Taylor spent five seasons as the team's defensive coordinator. Under Taylor, Defiance has turned into one of the premier teams in the HCAC. The Jackets have finished among the top three in the HCAC in each of the past three seasons and have only one losing season in league play during the Taylor era. DC notched its third-straight season with at least five victories in 2007. The Jackets have racked up 18 victories during that time frame.
Bluffton-Defiance Series History
Bluffton and Defiance will lock horns for the 84th time in the long-standing rivalry between the two schools on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets hold a slim 42-39-2 advantage in the series which dates back to the first meeting in 1914. The Beavers avoided going winless when they surprised Defiance at Coressel Stadium 22-21 a year ago.
Last week's contests
The Bluffton University football team fell to Heartland Conference rival Hanover College, 42-19, on Saturday, November 8, 2008. Six Bluffton turnovers proved too much to overcome as the Panthers improved to 2-6 overall and 2-4 in the HCAC while the Beavers dropped to 1-8, with a 0-6 mark in the conference.
Bluffton was the first to light up the scoreboard as Jonathan Thompson drilled a 32-yard field goal with 3:25 to play in the opening quarter. With just less than two minutes left in the first quarter, Tyler Thiems went in from two yards out and the ensuing extra point conversion made it 7-3 after Hanover picked up a Bluffton fumble at the home 21-yard line.
Thompson opened the second quarter with his second field goal of the afternoon, a 25-yarder following a Panther fumble that was forced by junior Brandon Herr deep in Hanover territory. Curtis Griffin blocked Corry Stewart's punt after a Hanover three-and-out, but another Bluffton fumble gave the ball back to the visitors. Nick Sharp led the Panthers on a 12-play, 70-yard scoring drive that took just 3:59 off the clock and was capped by a five-yard Sharp run to paydirt.
After Andrew Lovelace collected 20 yards on the ensuing kickoff return, freshman Antwane Miller tore through the Panther defense for a 77-yard touchdown on a reverse, making the score 28-13 with 4:50 to play in the third quarter.
With a little over a minute left in the third, Nick Sharp failed to connect with his teammates as Kyle Coleman came up with the pick six and converted for a 45-yard sprint to the end zone, pulling the Beavers within nine points of the Panthers at 28-19.
Hanover put up 428 yards of total offense, compared to only 244 for Bluffton. The Beavers held possession of the ball for 28:07, compared to 31:53 by the Panthers. Both teams threw costly interceptions during the game, four for Bluffton and three by Hanover.
Ben Ilnicki completed 12-of-26 passes for a total of 111 yards. Dan Chipka added five receptions for a team-high 37 yards. Leading the Beavers on the ground was Antwane Miller who gained 80 yards on three carries. Ross Shoup caught three balls for 34 yards.
Mitch Agner paced the Beavers' defense with 14 tackles and teammate Kyle Rode had the lone Bluffton sack for the day. Steven Sealscott, Kyle Rode, and Justin Croiser chipped in with nine stops each. Mitch Dunlap and Kyle Coleman had interception returns of 54 and 45 yards, respectively.
Defiance 21, Mt. St. Joseph 14
Defiance College picked up its third-straight win by pulling out a 21-14 victory over Mount St. Joseph on Saturday inside of Coressel Stadium. The win was DC's first over the Lions on the gridiron since 2001.
The Yellow Jackets honored their nine-man senior class prior to kickoff and then pounced on the Lions for an early 14-0 lead. Defiance capitalized on a pair of turnovers by the Mount in the opening quarter to take the two-score advantage.
The first MSJ miscue came on the third offensive play of the day for the Lions. Facing a third down and three, Ben Hunterman threw a pass through the hands of his intended target and into the waiting arms of Keith Snyder. DC's senior free safety returned the interception 12 yards to the MSJ 15-yard line and set up the first score of the afternoon for Defiance.
Defiance played outstanding on defense and held the Lions to only 192 total yards of offense and 2.96 yards per play. Longsdorf led the way with 13 hits and the game-ending pick, while Snyder set up DC's first score of the afternoon with an interception and added eight hits.
Joemese Scott and Josh Wade each registered a sack, as the Yellow Jackets cranked up the pressure on the Lions all afternoon long. DC ended with two team sacks, five hits for lost yardage, five pass breakups and five quarterback hurries.
Defiance also struggled to move the ball offensively, as the two sides combined for 22 punts in the defensive battle. The Yellow Jackets did capitalize on every opportunity however, and turned in a balanced effort with 88 rushing yards and 105 yards through the air.
Leading the Beavers
Freshman Jason Johnson leads Bluffton with 215 yards rushing on 78 carries. On the outside, Drew Lovelace leads the Beavers with 212 yards receiving on 15 receptions. Senior tight end Joel Sienicki also has 12 catches for 156 yards. Dan Chipka, Antwane Miller and Ben Hatfield all have touchdown receptions for the Beavers this season. Junior quarterback Brock Miller is 64-of-138 for 634 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman signal-caller Derek Dunlap has completed 35-of-75 passes for 364 yards.
Freshman Steven Sealscott has a team-high 69 stops with three breakups, two TFL's and two forced fumbles. Senior Kyle Rode has eight TFL's, including four sacks, while junior Jordan Achterman has chipped in with 5 TFL's for a loss of 22 yards and two breakups. Sophomore Mitch Dunlap has four picks and five breakups on the season. Brandon Herr and Sealscott lead the Beavers with 36 and 33 solo tackles, respectively. Senior linebacker Mitch Agner has tallied 50 stops, including 8.5 TFL's, despite missing the early part of the season due to an injury.
Next up for the Beavers and Yellow Jackets
This marks the final 2008 football contest for both Defiance College and Bluffton University.