bc falls at au 41-17
Bluffton falls 41-17 at Anderson in HCAC openerBy Tim Stried
October 12, 2002
Bluffton College opened the Heartland Conference portion of their schedule Saturday at Anderson University, and the host Ravens squad showed why they were picked to repeat as HCAC champions as Anderson defeated the Beavers 41-17.
Bluffton trailed by just three point late in the second quarter as senior Brad Moore hit junior Jimmy Dwenger on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 1:35 left before halftime to bring the score to 20-17, but it would be the Beavers' last score of the game.
The Bluffton defense, which going into the game hadn't allowed a point in the first half the entire season, saw Anderson score touchdowns on four of their first five possessions to take a 27-17 lead at halftime.
The Anderson offense topped many of the single-game highs that the Bluffton defense had ever allowed in an HCAC game since the league formed in 1998. Anderson's 534 yards in total offense, 30 total first downs, 20 first downs rushing, 57 rushing attempts, 298 net yards rushing and 38:21 time of possession are the highest single-game outputs that have ever been placed on a Bluffton team in an HCAC game.
Both Bluffton touchdowns came via the passing game as Moore hit junior Jovan Johnson for a 25-yard score with 31 seconds left in the first quarter. Johnson took the short pass and ran over two Anderson defenders at the five-yard line to tie the score at 7-7.
After an Anderson touchdown, Bluffton drove for an apparent touchdown as Moore connected with junior Scott Flathers for a 14-yard TD pass, but that play was negated by a penalty and the Beavers settled for a 36-yard field goal by sophomore David Samsal to bring the score to 13-10.
Anderson running back Antonio Hickerson, who set a school record with 40 carries in the game and finished with 201 yards rushing, scored on a three-yard run to put the Ravens up 20-10 before Moore's scoring pass to Dwenger cut the lead to three points. On the second play of Anderson's next drive, however, Raven quarterback Joel Steele found Klint Rupley over the middle and 65-yards later Anderson was up 27-17. Anderson added two more rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Johnson led the Bluffton offense with 77 yards rushing on 16 carries and caught six passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. Freshman Ben Dodds rushed for 60 yards on just five carries for a game-high 12.0 yards per attempt average.
Moore was 12-for-23 passing for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Dwenger caught four passes for 57 yards.
Junior linebacker Chris Sommers collected 18 tackles in the game, six of which were solo stops, including two tackles behind the line of scrimmage and one quarterback sack. Junior linebacker Pat Craun added 13 tackles and sophomore linebacker Andy Tabler had 12 tackles. Senior defensive back Darin Riffle posted 11 tackles, including a team-high seven solo tackles.
Bluffton will return to Salzman Stadium next Saturday to face undefeated Hanover College, who entered Saturday's action ranked 13th in the country. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.