Bluffton 26, Anderson 11
Beavers improve to 2-2 in HCAC with 26-11 victory at Anderson
October 21, 2006
ANDERSON, Indiana - The Bluffton University football team took advantage of an injury-riddled Anderson University offense as the Beavers improved to 3-4, and 2-2 in the Heartland Conference with its 26-11 victory over the Ravens on Saturday, October 21, 2006. Anderson, without the services of its top two quarterbacks and All-American running back Denny Kimmel, found moving the ball difficult against the tough Beaver defense as the Ravens fell to 1-6, 0-4 HCAC.
Anderson got on the scoreboard first when Scot Schnebelt booted a 33-yard field goal on the Ravens first possession following a nine-play, 53-yard drive midway through the first quarter.
Bluffton responded with a 4 minute, 23 second drive of its own which was capped by a four-yard touchdown toss from Jared Owens (Van Wert/Crestview) to junior receiver Anthony Bryant (Reynoldsburg/Reynoldsburg). The 11-play, 80-yard drive included a healthy dose of Owens, on the ground and through the air, along with tailback AJ Ramthun (Springfield/Southeastern). During the drive, the Beavers converted on two third downs and scored on a fourth and two from the Anderson four-yard line.
Late in the first quarter, defensive end Kyle Rode (Delphos/Jefferson) blocked Schnebelt's punt attempt and the Beavers recovered on the Anderson 12-yard line. The Raven defense lived up to its billing, leaving Bluffton's Justin Guy (Oregon/Lake) with a 25-yard field goal as Bluffton took a 10-3 lead thanks to excellent field position.
Although the Beavers continued with great field position through the second stanza, both offenses struggled to move the ball until Bluffton took over with 6:24 to play in the first half. Owens found Joel Sienicki (Goshen, Ind/Northridge) for an 11-yard gain before picking up another first down with a 23-yard run. Guy converted on a 33-yard field goal after Anderson was penalized for roughing him when his 38-yard attempt went awry.
On Bluffton's next possession, its final of the opening half, the receiving tandem of Bryant and Michael Brown (N. Wales Pa./Calvary Christian Academy) led the way until Owens finished the drive with four runs for 18 yards and a touchdown, giving the Beavers a 19-3 halftime advantage.
The Ravens put together their only touchdown scoring drive of the afternoon on their first possession of the second half. Hyman Smith picked up Anderson's fumbled kickoff return and raced to the Bluffton 42-yard line, giving the Ravens a short field to work with. Vanderbrush moved the Ravens with his arm and completed the drive with an eight-yard scoring pass to Smith less than four minutes into the quarter.
Following Gordon Hagen's (Toledo/Libbey) second interception of the contest, the Beavers took over on the Bluffton 39-yard line. Consecutive Bluffton penalties gave the Beavers a second and 23 from the visitors' 26-yard line where Owens found a streaking Anthony Bryant for a 74-yard touchdown and 26-11 lead, successfully thwarting any chance of a Raven comeback with five minutes left in the game.
Bluffton forced Anderson to throw the ball, which it did unsuccessfully, on its final possession before the Beavers turned the game over to junior tailback Terence Clayton (Napoleon/Napoleon) who rushed on seven consecutive plays, picking up two first downs and burning the final 3:06 off the game clock
The Beavers picked up 18 first downs to only 11 for the Ravens while outgaining their counterparts from Anderson, 393 yards to 192. Bluffton was balanced offensively, throwing for 200 yards and picking up 193 on the ground. The Beavers converted on 7 of 17 third down opportunities while stopping Anderson on 12 of its 15 chances. Each time Bluffton entered the red zone, the Beavers put points on the board as they held the ball for 33:43.
Owens led the Beavers with 113 yards rushing on 25 attempts. He also completed 13 of 26 passes for 200 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Bryant hauled in five receptions for 119 yards and two scores, including a 74-yarder to ice the game. Aaron Whitlock (Grove City/Central Crossing) picked up three catches while Brown chipped in with two.
Jeremy Anderson (South Rockwood, Mi./Airport High) and Sam McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) led the Bluffton tacklers with eight apiece. Hagen picked off two passes for 43 yards and Rode tallied six tackles with a 16-yard sack.
The Beavers return home to Salzman Stadium on Saturday, October 28, 2006, to face the Hanover College Panthers. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.