Turnovers slow Beavers in 28-23 loss at Anderson
October 16, 2010
By: Josh Bruner, sports information assistant
ANDERSON, Indiana - The Bluffton University football traveled to Anderson University
to face the Ravens in an HCAC matchup on Saturday, October 16, 2010. Bluffton once
again started with a strong first quarter, as they took an early lead of 14-7 after
15 minutes of play. The win bumped the Ravens up to 2-4 overall with a 2-2 record
in the HCAC. The loss dropped the Beavers below the .500 mark as they fell to 3-4
overall with a 2-3 record in the HCAC.
The Beaver defense started the game with a bang. They forced an Anderson fumble and
recovered it on the Ravens second play from scrimmage. The fumble recovery gave the
Beavers great field position as they took over on the Ravens' own 14-yard line. The
Beavers put together the first touchdown of the game when Christopher Byrd (Detroit, MI/Detroit University Prep) went in from a yard out. The score gave the
Beavers an early 7-0 lead with 11:54 left in the first quarter.
The Bluffton defense continued to eat up the Ravens, forcing another turnover in Anderson
territory. Sophomore Dominique Chester (Mansfield/Madison Comprehensive) picked off the first play of the Anderson drive.
The interception gave the Beavers the ball on the Anderson 12-yard line. The Beavers
could not finish the drive successfully as Byrd threw an interception on the 10-yard
line, giving the ball back to the Ravens.
Bluffton defense proved strong on the next drive as well. It forced a punt from the
Ravens after just 14 yards of offense. The Beavers' drive was once again halted by
an interception that was returned 64 yards for a score by Jared Millikin. The touchdown tied the game up at 7-7 with less than five minutes remaining in the
quarter. A 40-yard Todd Trotter (Cincinnati/Aiken University) kickoff return set the Beavers up for business after
the interception. A four-play, 44-yard drive was capped with a Tyler Wright (Troy) 28-yard rush for a touchdown. This pushed the Beavers back ahead of the Ravens
The Ravens started the second quarter with a Mitch Grider 11-yard connection to Joe Davidson for a touchdown. After a three-and-out, the Bluffton defense proved up to the task
once again as it forced another turnover from the Raven offense. This time it was
a fumble forced by Colin Stoffel (Findlay/Van Buren).
The Beavers took over on the Anderson 30-yard line. The offense was held to seven
total yards after a five-yard penalty. Freshman Austin Sweeney (Adrian, MI/Whitmer) hit the 40-yard attempt to give the Beavers a 17-14 lead which
the visitors made stand up until halftime.
On the first drive of the second half, Wright's pass was intercepted by Tyler Rouse who returned it 80 yards for a touchdown, giving the Ravens their first lead of the
night, 21-17, with 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
A 59-yard Grider completion to Nic Jackson early in the final period put the Ravens up 28-17 with 11 minutes remaining in the
game. The Beaver offense responded with a nice drive of its own following a 26-yard
kick return from Alexander Carter (Troy). The offense continued down the field before a five-yard Wright scoring strike
to senior Jason A. Johnson (Lansing, MI/Lansing Eastern) made it 28-23 at the seven-minute mark. The Beavers
attempted to pull within a field goal, but they could not complete the 2-point conversion.
The Bluffton defense gave the Beavers a shot at the lead when it came up with another
interception. Oscar Vazquez-Dyer (Findlay/Carey) hauled in the pick on the Anderson 40-yard line, giving the Beavers
a shot at the end zone with just over six minutes remaining. The Beavers slowly pounded
the ball down the field. They drove to the Anderson 12 yard line, where they picked
up their fourth first down of the series. Following a holding call, the Beavers moved
it to the five-yard line and were faced with a fourth and three attempt with 24 seconds
left in the game. Both teams called a timeout with the outcome riding on one play.
The Beavers attempted a pass, but failed to complete it as Anderson gained possession
with 17 seconds remaining in the game. The Ravens downed the ball to the end the game,
squeaking past the Beavers 28-23.
The Bluffton offense outgained the Ravens 392 to 234 yards. The Beaver rushing game
proved to be the difference, as they pounded the ball for 233 yards, while the Ravens
were held to only 74 yards on the ground. The passing stats were even as both teams
put up around 160 yards. The interceptions proved to be the deciding factor as Bluffton
threw four picks for 158 yards and two touchdowns. The Ravens threw two interceptions.
The Beavers moved the chains on 11-of-20 third-down attempts, while they held the
Ravens to 1-of-7. The Beavers maintained possession of the ball for the majority of
the game with over 43 minutes on offense and 100 plays to just 47 for the Ravens.
The Beaver offense was led by Wright who ran the ball for 129 yards and a touchdown
on 32 carries. He threw for 123 yards and a score, going 18-of-26 with one interception.
Following Wright in the running game was Airic Steagall (Hillsboro) with 61 yards on 16 carries. Todd Trotter (Cincinnati/Aiken University) also added 17 yards for the Beavers. Leading the Bluffton
receivers was Carter with 6 catches for 42 yards, following closely was Johnson with
5 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Shane Swisher (Findlay/McComb) and Trotter added 32 and 30 receiving yards, respectively.
The Bluffton defense was paced by Justin Hahn (Rocky River) who stopped the Ravens seven times. Shane Hubbard (Johnstown/Big Walnut) added six stops, while Stoffel chipped in five tackles and
a forced fumble. Justin Crosier (Columbus/Hamilton Township), Stephen Miller (Logan) and Chester each added four tackles for the Beavers.
The Beavers will be on the road again next Saturday, October 23. They will travel
to Terre Haute, Indiana, to continue HCAC action at Rose-Hulman. The contest is scheduled
to start at 1:30 p.m.