Rose-Hulman 50, Bluffton 14
First quarter propels Rose-Hulman to 50-14 win over Bluffton
October 24, 2009
By: Josh Bruner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team hosted Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in a Heartland Conference matchup on Saturday, October 24, 2009. The Engineers first quarter was too much for the Beavers, as Rose built a 23-0 lead at the end of period. Bluffton then picked up the pace, matching the visitors point for point in the second and third, but the Engineers managed to put another 13 on the scoreboard in the fourth to make the final 50-14 in favor of Rose-Hulman. Bluffton fell to 0-7 overall and 0-4 in the Heartland Conference, while RHIT moved to 4-4 and 2-3 in the HCAC.
Rose-Hulman drove down the field quickly on its first possession, but the Beaver defense held strong forcing a field goal in the red-zone for the first score of the quarter just under five minutes into the game. The Engineers added a touchdown three minutes later, off a pick by Nick Murphy who returned it 52 yards for a 10-0 lead. A Bluffton three and out and punt gave Rose the ball back and the Engineers took advantage of the good field position, needing just two quick passes for a total of 46 yards to put them up 16-0 after a missed extra point. The Engineers added one more before the end of the first with a rush to make the score 23-0 at the end of the first 15 minutes of play.
The Beavers fashioned a solid scoring drive to open the second quarter as a J.G. Johnson (Cleveland/Collinwood) rushing touchdown was set up by a 35-yard Tanner Pray (Clio, Mich./Elisabeth Ann Johnson) run in which he carried a pack of Engineers for over 15 of them. The defenses stepped up as both teams went scoreless until three minutes were left in the half, when the Engineers powered through for 20 yards of rushing after they recovered a fumbled punt return on the Beavers 20-yard line. That ended the scoring for the half as the Beavers trailed, 30-7.
Rose-Hulman came out of the half strong as they had a six-minute drive that ended in a rushing touchdown to start the third. The Beavers responded, taking advantage of great field position after an Engineer penalty put the Beavers on the Engineers' own 39 yard line. The Beavers again hit paydirt on a Jeff Gehring (Parma/Trinity) one-yard rush , ending the scoring for the quarter with the Engineers leading, 37-14.
To start the fourth quarter, Rose-Hulman's offense wasted no time adding to its lead, as Derek Eitel connected with Sutton Coleman for a 61-yard scoring bomb less than one minute into the fourth. The Beavers then marched down the field, but were unable to convert on fourth down from the Engineers' 39-yard line. The visitors then went to work on the clock, completing another touchdown pass after burning over seven minutes of the quarter.
Rose-Hulman out-gained the Beavers 350 yards to 111 yards of total offense. Bluffton threw for 38 yards, completing 4-of-21 attempts while Rose-Hulman was stellar, completing 18-of-26 passes for 241 yards. The teams combined for 12 penalties, as the Beavers had four infractions for 29 yards, and the Engineers had eight infractions for 60 yards. Both squads struggled on third down. Bluffton moved the chains six times and Rose-Hulman converted five times. Bluffton converted 1-of-2 on fourth down tries. The Engineers, however, were a perfect 4-of-4 on fourth down conversions.
John Hazen (Cardington/Cardington-Lincoln) went 2-of-11 for 20 yards while Miller finished the afternoon 2-of-9 for 18 yards. Tevin Hale (Latty/Wayne Trace) led the Beaver rushers with seven carries for 44 yards. Pray added 36 yards and a touchdown in just three carries, and J.G. Johnson chipped in 20 yards and a score on nine carries.
Shane Hubbard (Johnstown/Big Walnut) led the Bluffton defense with nine tackles, five of which were solos. Mitch Dunlap and Jesse Herr (Bluffton/Bluffton) each added six stops for the Beavers. Oscar Vazquez-Dyer (Findlay/Carey), Geoff Yost (North Canton/Jackson), and Stephen Miller (Logan/Logan) each wrapped up the Engineers four times.
The Beavers will be back in Salzman Stadium next Saturday, Oct. 31, when they host Anderson University for another Heartland Conference battle. The Beavers' final home contest of 2009 is slated to start at 1:30 p.m.