Adrian 34, Bluffton 7
Bluffton falls 34-7 at Adrian
Sept. 20, 2008
ADRIAN, Mich. - The Bluffton University football team took a 7-3 lead over the Adrian College Bulldogs midway through the second quarter, but the home team responded with 27 unanswered points during a 15-minute span to keep the Beavers winless on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008. Following the setback, Bluffton stands at 0-2 while Adrian improved to 2-1 on the season.
Following a Bluffton three and out to open the contest, Adrian went 49 yards on eight plays before the Beavers' defense stopped the Bulldogs on third down and forced the home team to settle for a 21-yard field goal. Bluffton's Brock Miller completed three passes on the ensuing series, but consecutive incompletions led to a Beavers' punt.
Freshman Steve Sealscott (Van Wert/Van Wert) forced a Troy Niblock fumble on Adrian's second play of the Bulldogs' next drive. A fourth down rush by Greg Mason (Cleveland/Collinwood) that was stopped at the line of scrimmage gave Adrian the ball at the home 26-yard line with just under two minutes to play in the opening quarter. Another Adrian fumble was picked up by senior Kyle Coleman (Etna/Watkins Memorial), his second recovery of the day.
Miller found junior Curtis Griffin (Lima/Senior) and senior Joel Sienicki (Goshen, Ind./Northridge) for 15 and 16-yard completions following the turnover before a fourth-down incompletion gave the Bulldogs another crack at the ball.
The Beavers put their first points of the year on the scoreboard when Dylan Moore (Greenwood, Ind./Greenwood Community) picked off Mike McGee at the Adrian 27-yard line and took it to the house for a 7-3 Bluffton lead at the 9:40 mark of the second quarter.
A 35-yard return by Joseph Beeler gave Adrian great field position to start their next drive. The Bulldogs kept it on the ground and moved it to the two-yard line, but another Adrian fumble gave Bluffton the ball back. A three-play drive that netted no yards forced a Jonathan Thompson put from deep in the end zone.
Adrian again took possession in Bluffton territory and needed only one play, a 43-yard Jomar Jackson touchdown run, to reclaim the lead from the Beavers. A 26-yard strike from Miller to junior wideout Dan Chipka (Waterville/Anthony Wayne) moved the chains following the Adrian score, but Brad Smagala interception three plays later set the Bulldogs up for their second score in the final 3:15 of the half, an eight-yard Jackson scamper into the end zone.
The home team added 17 points late in the third quarter thanks to a 3-yard Myke Johnson rush, a 32-yard Justin Warner field goal and the clincher, a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown by Jared Evans with 2:16 to play in the third quarter. The Beavers threatened on their last drive of the contest as sophomore Ben Ilnicki (Indianapolis, Ind./Brebauf Prep.) hit Stuart Thorp (Montpelier/Montpelier) and Tad Geus (West Milton/Milton Union) on back-to-back passes before the game ended on a fourth down incompletion with the Bulldogs on top, 34-7.
Bluffton gained 127 yards passing on 15-of-33 passing, but a loss of 16 yards on 30 rushes kept the Beavers' offense from moving the ball efficiently. Adrian totaled 365 yards, with 249 coming on the Bulldogs 44 rushing attempts. The home team picked up 20 first downs compared to seven for Bluffton. The Beavers were 5-of-19 on third downs after going 0-of-12 in the season opener at Alma. Adrian converted on 4-of-6 chances in the red zone.
Miller completed 12-of-29 passing for 101 yards with one interception. Thorp, Griffin and freshman Shane Swisher (Findlay/McComb) all caught three balls while Chipka's 26-yard reception was Bluffton's longest play from scrimmage. Ilnicki went 3-of-4 for 26 yards through the air.
Sealscott paced the Bluffton defense with nine tackles, a forced fumble and one breakup. Aaron Jenkins (St. Paris/Graham) finished with seven tackles. Dylan Moore and Oscar Vazquez-Dyer (Findlay/Carey) both had pickoffs for the visitors. Moore returned his for a touchdown while Vazquez-Dyer took one back 45 yards late in the game. Junior Jordan Achterman (Bucyrus/Bucyrus) had both of Bluffton's sacks against the Bulldogs.
Bluffton will finish the non-conference portion of its 2008 schedule when it welcomes Kalamazoo College for the Beavers' 2008 home opener on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008. The contest is slated to kick off at 1:30 p.m. in Salzman Stadium.