Hanover 42, Bluffton 7
Panthers snap Bluffton's four-game win streak 42-7 at Hanover
October 29, 2011
HANOVER, Ind. - The Bluffton University football team saw its four-game winning streak snapped at Hanover College on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. The Beavers were limited to just 211 total yards and eight first downs as Hanover scored four second half touchdowns en route to a 42-7 win. Bluffton fell to 4-5 overall and 4-3 in the Heartland Conference, while Hanover improved to 5-3 and 5-1 in the HCAC.
Bluffton took over at the visitor 20-yard line following a Hanover fumble into the end zone on the Panthers' first possession of the game. The Beavers went three-and-out and the home team took advantage with a 14-play, 72-yard drive that used up 6:15 off the play clock and was capped by a D. Bailey seven-yard scoring run.
Both teams struggled to keep drives alive throughout the rest of the first half until late in the second quarter when the Panthers went 70 yards in seven plays, needing just 1:58 to make the score 14-0 following a 35-yard Dexter Britt completion to D. Eubanks with 44 ticks remaining.
Early in period three, Chris Byrd (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Univ. Prep) found Jason A. Johnson (Lansing, Mich./Lansing Eastern) for a 47-yard pickup to the Hanover 28-yard line. Byrd then hit fullback Jeff Gehring (Parma/Trinity) for 11 yards before hooking up with Johnson again on a 10-yard scoring toss.
The home team went up 21-7 with 39 seconds left in the third period before a Hanover interception 17 ticks later set up another Panther score as the quarter ended. Bluffton lost four yards on its next possession and Hanover followed with a nine-play, 68-yard scoring drive that made the score 35-7 when D. Bailey took it in from 16 yards out. The Beavers moved the chains twice on their ensuing drive, but an Andy Dalton 85-yard interception return to paydirt capped the scoring at 42-7 in favor of the Panthers.
Byrd completed 10-of-20 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown. His favorite target, Jason A. Johnson, hauled in four receptions for 74 yards. Todd Trotter (Cincinnati/Aiken University) and Shawn Frost (Edison/Mt. Gilead) both chipped in with three catches. Sophomore Birchel Ralph (Cape Coral, Fla./Island Coast) paced the defense with seven solo tackles. Justin Hahn (Rocky River) and Spenser Smith (Wilmington) added five stops apiece.
Hanover totaled 462 yards of offense, compared to 211 for the Beavers. Bluffton picked up just 63 yards on the ground, while Hanover rushed for 169. The home team also put up 293 yards through the air (148 for Bluffton). Both teams struggled to take care of the ball as they combined to lose five fumbles. Hanover took advantage of both Bluffton interceptions, turning them into 14 points. Bluffton struggled to move the ball on third down (6-of-17), while the Panthers were 11-of-17.
The Beavers are off this week before traveling to rival Defiance College for the season-finale on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. The contest is slated for 1:30 p.m.