Rose-Hulman 31, Bluffton 28
October 28, 2017
By: Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University football squad was back on its home turf after two weeks on the road as the Beavers faced one of the top teams in the conference, the Rose-Hulman Fightin' Engineers. On a cloudy, chilly fall afternoon, the Beavers fought hard in the contest, keeping the score close for all 60 minutes. However, RHIT held on for the 31-28 victory as the home team dropped to 2-6 on the season and 2-4 in conference play. Rose upped its mark to 7-2 and 6-1 in the HCAC.
Rose Hulman would get on the board first after completing a wide-open touchdown pass in the middle of the field for a 29-yard score to jump ahead 7-0. Bluffton freshman DARIAN GREELEY (Mt. Clemens, Mich./Chippewa Valley) punched in an 11-yard rush for a score to tie the game, 7-7, with 6:47 to play in the first period. Rose-Hulman wasn’t shaken as they went down the field in just over a minute to retake the lead following a 1-yard rushing touchdown.
Down 14-7, the Beavers forced a Fighting Engineer fumble that was returned inside the red zone. One play later, Bluffton would score off a 16-yard pass from BRANDON KOCH (West Harrison, Ind./East Central) to senior MICAH ROBERSON (Ada) to tie the game at 14. At the 8:12 mark of the second quarter, the visitors went up 21-14 thanks to a 1-yard plunge.
Midway through the third quarter with Rose-Hulman pressing into Beaver territory, DYLAN BURKHOLDER (Lima/Bath) picked off a Rose-Hulman pass and return it for an 80-yard touchdown as the Beavers tied the game, 21-21! The Fighting Engineers showed why they were one of the elite teams in the conference as they scored 10 unanswered for a 31-21 lead. A 1-yard touchdown on the ground by Darian Greeley pulled Bluffton within three points with 9:45 left in regulation. TERRACE BROWN (Detroit, Mich./Madison Heights) hauled in an interception to give the Beavers the ball at their own six-yard line with just over four minutes to play and a chance to tie or go ahead. Bluffton was unable to get into enemy territory before turning it over on downs as Rose held on for the victory.
Leading the way under center was Brandon Koch who went 17-of-44 for 197 yards and a touchdown. Darian Greeley had a heyday on the ground, pounding out 28 carries for 121 yards with two runs to paydirt. Hauling in four receptions for 63 yards and a touchdown was Micah Roberson with KEYON CAMDEN (Wayne/Elmwood) also collecting four catches for 34 yards. The Bluffton offense went for 326 yards while going a perfect 3-for-3 in the red zone. Both teams struggled on third down, but Bluffton finished with a 33 minute to 27 minute margin in time of possession.
The defense for the Beavers was ferocious as they forced three turnovers which kept Bluffton in the game despite two blocked punts which handed the Engineers 10 points. Junior ISAAC ZICKAFOOSE (Middlebury, Ind./Northridge) had a team-high eight tackles in the contest with freshman DANA SHOULDERS II (Mansfield/Lexington) picking up seven. OLLIE MOORER (Warrensville Heights) was a wrecking ball as he collected 2.5 tackles for loss along with a forced fumble. DERRICK MILTON (Detroit, Mich./Delta Prep) had two pass breakups along with four tackles in the game.
Next up for the Beavers is their final home game of the season as they will honor their seniors next Saturday, Nov. 4 in a matchup against the Earlham College Quakers. Come out and show support to these players who have worked hard in their four years at Bluffton! Kick-off at Alumni Field is set for 1:30.