Beavers to face dangerous Mt. St. Joseph squad Saturday
October 3, 2001
Setting the scene
Two teams looking for their first Heartland Conference win collide in "The Pit" Saturday afternoon as Bluffton College (1-3, 0-1 HCAC) takes on the College of Mount St. Joseph (0-5, 0-1 HCAC). Both teams played well enough to win their league openers last Saturday, but came up short on the scoreboard and are looking to get back into the HCAC title hunt in Cincinnati. Saturday marks MSJ's homecoming celebration.
Bluffton has won the last four games against the Mount to tie the all-time series at five wins for both schools. BC and MSJ have met each season since the Mount founded football in 1991.
Bluffton head coach Carlin Carpenter is 96-116-1 in his 24th season at Bluffton College. His 96 total wins are the most in school history, and his tenure is the longest among Ohio's collegiate head football coaches. Mount St. Joseph is led by second year head coach Rod Huber who is 2-13 overall with MSJ.
In Bluffton's first-ever televised football game, the Beavers shutout the Lions last season on homecoming in Salzman Stadium by a 33-0 final score. The Beaver defense held Mount St. Joseph to 163 yards in total offense as three Lion quarterbacks combined to complete just six of 24 passes. MSJ was just 2 of 17 on third down conversions. Senior tailback Tyson Goings rushed for 179 yards and three touchdowns and quarterback Brad Moore completed 10 of 15 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown and also scored on a 37-yard keeper in the second quarter.
Bluffton won the battle of the statistics but came up short on the scoreboard last week as the Beavers were dealt a 27-9 loss at Anderson University. BC owned the football for 38 minutes during the game, gained 21 first downs and outgained Anderson 324 to 303, but it was the big-play Raven offense that put up the points as the BC offense scored on just two of their ten possessions. Sophomore fullback T.J. Phlipot scored on a one-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter and sophomore tailback Jovan Johnson rushed for career-high 195 yards on 41 carries. BC quarterback Brad Moore completed eight of 18 passes for 120 yards, but left the game late in the fourth quarter from a neck injury. Sophomore middle linebacker Chris Sommers led the defense with eight tackles, while senior outside linebacker Jon Richardson collected six stops.
Mount St. Joseph trailed league-leader Defiance last week by just three points early in the fourth quarter, but Defiance quickly turned a 16-13 lead into a 36-13 final score in the final period. MSJ got on the scoreboard with their first drive of the game, when Nick Jackson ran in from a yard out, while Defiance came back to tie the score at 13-13 by halftime. The Yellow Jackets added three TDs in the fourth quarter, one on an 80-yard run by Mike Moran and one on an 82-yard punt return by Dustin Winkler, as they rolled to a 26-point win. Mount St. Joseph fell victim to four interceptions in their second half drives.
Inside the numbers
The BC pass defense has allowed just 118 yards per game through the air so far this season, by far the best in the Heartland Conference. The Beavers hope to continue that trend against MSJ, who is led by sophomore quarterback Mike Dane, who was Bluffton's backup quarterback last season. Dane has averaged 121 yards passing per game this season but left the Defiance game due to an inured wrist. His status is unknown for this Saturday, but Bluffton is in the same situation as starter Brad Moore left the Anderson game early with a neck injury.
Bluffton ranks second in the HCAC with 175.2 yards rushing per game, but the BC offensive line will be tested on Saturday by the Lions, who have good size and lead the league with 15 quarterback sacks. Bluffton has committed the fewest penalties in the league and rank second in both total defense and third down conversion percentage.
Last time in "The Pit"
Bluffton pulled out a narrow 27-26 victory over the Mount in 1999, BC's last trip to Elder High School Stadium, which is commonly referred to as "The Pit." The first 30 minutes of play saw BC give up three touchdowns and 280 yards in offense, but the Beavers still managed to take a 21-20 lead at halftime. The BC defense rose to the occasion in the second half, however, forcing four Lion turnovers as Tyson Goings scored the game-winning touchdown on a 30-yard run with 4:11 left in the game.