Bluffton vs. Franklin preview
Bluffton University at Franklin College
When: Saturday, October 11, 2008 at 1:30 p.m.
Where: Franklin, Indiana - Red Faught Stadium
On the Radio: Listen live to Bluffton University football on WDOH 107.1 FM.
The Bluffton University football team travels to Franklin College for a matchup with the 2007 HCAC-champion Grizzlies on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008. Franklin is currently 3-1 and 1-0 in the conference following a 30-14 win over Defiance a week ago.
Head Coach Tyson Veidt made his debut on the Bluffton sidelines in the Beavers' 2008 opener at Alma College. Despite taking over the reins just nine short months ago, Veidt and his staff at Bluffton currently have 53 first-year players on the squad. Veidt comes to Bluffton after assistant coaching stints at West Virginia and Indiana. Most recently he was the defensive coordinator for Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. New additions to the Bluffton coaching staff are Chris Krieg, Bo White, Jason Diller and Brian Hefner. Returning to the Beavers are Denny Phillips, Lou Stokes, Bryan Lloyd and Bill Fisher.
Mike Leonard became Franklin College's head football coach in 2003. In just five seasons, Leonard and his staff elevated the Grizzlies to a level not seen for many years at FC. They emerged from also-ran status to winning a football championship in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Not only did Franklin claim its first league title outright with a 7-0 conference record, but the "Griz" earned its first automatic berth in the NCAA Division III playoffs, making its first post-season appearance of any kind since 1972.
Bluffton-Franklin Series History
Bluffton and Franklin will meetfor the 12th time when the Beavers travel to face the Grizzlies on Saturday. Franklin holds a 6-5 advantage, including five straight victories over Bluffton, as Grizzlies' head coach Mike Leonard is perfect against the Beavers since taking over in 2003.
Last week's contests
The Bluffton University football team dropped its first HCAC contest of the 2008 season when the Beavers were defeated by Mt. St. Joseph on Saturday, October 4, 2008. Bluffton dropped to 1-3 and 0-1 in the HCAC, while the Lions improved to 3-1 and 1-1 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
The Lions took the lead in the first quarter when Vince Palmer found Tim Meiner in the end zone for a 6-0 lead. Mt. St. Joseph continued to pound the ball on the ground as Jake Davis found the end zone three times before halftime as the Lions built a 30-0 lead after just two quarters of action. With a minute left in the first half, Brian Weimer added a 21-yard field goal.
On Bluffton's second possession in the third quarter, junior signal-caller Brock Miller ignited the Beavers' offense when he connected with Antwane Miller for a 45-yard touchdown at the 11:27 mark. The extra point from Jonathan Thompson made it 30-7 in favor of the visitors. However, the spark fizzled as Mt. St. Joseph hit paydirt two more times in the third to open a 43-7 advantage over the Beavers. A two-yard Jesse Held touchdown run concluded the scoring as MSJ recovered from a 27-21 loss to Rose-Hulman a week ago to even its record in HCAC play with a dominating 50-7 victory.
Bluffton gained 112 yards through the air on nine completed passes. Mt. St. Joseph piled up 489 yards offensively, including 303 yards on the ground. Antwane Miller finished with the longest play from scrimmage, a 45 yard reception. Senior Andrew Lovelace added 105 yards on five kickoff returns. The Lions held the ball for over 37 minutes, converted 10-of-17 third downs and picked up 33 first downs compared to just five for Bluffton.
Freshman Steven Sealscott paced Bluffton with 13 tackles, while Tim Thomason and Jacob Luthy chipped in with nine stops each. Mitchell Dunlap had three breakups and six tackles. Mitch Agner picked up one sack in today's contest and Kyle Rode forced a fumble.
Franklin 30, Defiance 14
Franklin College scored touchdowns on its first two possessions and controlled the
game the rest of the way in its 30-14 football victory at Defiance College today.
The contest was the Heartland Conference schedule opener for both schools.
The Grizzlies (3-1 overall), who had struggled to run the football in its first three games in 2008, averaging 41.0 rushing yards, pounded out 161 net yards against the Yellow Jackets (0-4). Meanwhile, the Franklin defense, which had been allowing almost 141 yards on the ground coming in, held Defiance's ball carries to just 35 rushing yards.
FC more than doubled the Yellow Jackets in total yards of offense, 443 to 218, and committed no turnovers in capturing its 12th straight HCAC victory .
Rupp completed 20 of 26 passes for 283 yards and 1 TD and rushed seven times for a
net 21 yards and a score. Bennett had 79 rushing yards on 10 carries and senior split
end Kevin Lynch made five receptions for 41 yards and Craig had four catches for 75
Franklin's defense was led by senior linebacker Jamison Foley, who had 10 total tackles. Senior defensive end Dan McManus had seven total tackles, including a quarterback sack, and senior linebacker Levi Smythe made six total tackles, including a sack.
Defensively, senior Paul Spreen had seven tackles and one fumble recovery, and junior Kyle Stevens also tallied seven tackles to lead the defensive effort.
Leading the Beavers
Jason Johnson has 115 yards on the ground to lead the Bluffton rushing attack. Zac Lauck ranks number two for the Beavers with 71 yards of rushing. On the outside, Drew Lovelace leads the Beavers with 114 yards receiving on seven receptions. Dan Chipka and Antwane Miller both have touchdown catches for the Beavers this season. Junior quarterback Brock Miller is 41-of-92 for 416 yards and two touchdowns.
Freshman Steven Sealscott has a team-high 30 stops through the first four games with a breakup and a forced fumble. Senior Kyle Rode has 4 TFL's while junior Jordan Achterman has chipped in with 4 TFL's for a loss of 21 yards and two breakups. Sophomore Mitch Dunlap has two picks and three breakups on the season.
Next up for the Beavers and Grizzlies
Bluffton will return to Salzman Stadium for a meeting with Manchester on Saturday, Oct. 18. The contest is slated to start at 1:30 p.m. Franklin travels to Anderson University on Sat., Oct. 18, for a matchup with the Ravens.