Bluffton 32, Mount St. Joseph 31
September 16, 2017
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team hit the road to face Mount St. Joseph in their first conference game of the 2017 season on Saturday, Sept. 16. The Beavers would come out victorious in the end after a field goal by JORDAN WATKINS (Reynoldsburg) put Bluffton up 32-31 in the final thirty seconds! Bluffton moves to 1-2 (1-0 HCAC) after picking up its first win of the year while the Lions dropped to 1-2 (0-1 HCAC).
A 27-yard FG by Watkins put the Beavers on the board first for an early 3-0 advantage. The lead would be short lived as Mount St. Joseph went ahead following a 1-yard touchdown run with 8:15 left in the first quarter. Another Jordan Watkins field goal and a rushing touchdown by COLBY SPEICE (Paulding/Wayne Trace) put Bluffton up 13-7 with 1:24 to play in the opening stanza.
A pair of passing touchdowns by the Lions over a span of less than two minutes allowed the home team to take a 21-13 advantage early in the second quarter. TIM BOOTH (Toledo/Bowhser) cut it to 21-20 when he hit paydirt from 2-yards out. The Beavers would then recover a fumble and take it 55-yards for the score to take a 26-21 lead after a failed two-point conversion. Bluffton and MSJ exchanged field goals as Bluffton held a slim a 29-24 lead at the break.
After a scoreless third quarter, Mount St. Joseph would jump ahead 31-29 at the start of the fourth thanks to a 68-yard touchdown on the ground by NYKWUANE PRESSWOOD. With less than two minutes left in regulation, the Beavers would take over at their own 41-yard line. After a 7-yard rush by Speice, the senior QB connected with KEYON CAMDEN (Wayne/Elmwood) twice to move the ball just inside the home 20-yard line. With 29 ticks left on the clock, Jordan Watkins would come in clutch and nail a 37-yard field goal for Bluffton's first victory of the season.
Leading the charge under center for Bluffton, Colby Speice hit on 23-of-43 for 431 yards and an interception. His 431 yards passing is 2nd all-time (Conner Sheehan - 463) for a single game! Speice also led the Beavers with 20 rushes for 96 yards and a score. Senior receiver MICAH ROBERSON (Ada) hauled in nine receptions for 186 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, DONIVEN CLARK (Toldeo/Bowsher) would create all sorts of havoc as the junior tallied three tackles, three pass breakups and also forced a fumble. KYLE RECKER (Perrysburg) added four tackles and BRIAN COLEMAN JR. (Toledo/St. Francis DeSales), sealed the victory with a pickoff following the field goal.
The Beavers put up 564 yards of total offense, compared to 430 for the Lions. Bluffton controlled the ball for nearly 35 minutes and converted 7-of-18 third down opportunities.
Next up for Bluffton is a home contest against Franklin College with kickoff set for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23. Come out and support your Beavers!