Bluffton vs. Manchester preview
Bluffton University vs. Manchester College
When: Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 1:30 p.m.
Where: Bluffton, Ohio - Salzman Stadium
On the Radio: Listen live to Bluffton University football on WDOH 107.1 FM.
The Bluffton University football team welcomes Manchester College for a meeting with the Spartans on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008. Manchester is currently 3-2 and 1-1 in the conference, while the Beavers stand 1-4 with a 0-2 mark in the HCAC.
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.
Shannon Griffith enters his fifth season as the head football coach for Manchester College. An effective and aggressive recruiter, Coach Griffith has brought four of the largest recruiting classes to the football program and enters the 2008 season with over 100 players on the roster. Griffith was previously an assistant at both Northwood and Ball State University before accepting the head coaching position at Manchester.
Bluffton-Manchester Series History
Bluffton and Manchester will collide for the 54th time in the history of the two schools this Saturday. The Beavers hold a 30-23 edge in the series that dates back to 1932. The Spartans pulled out a 20-13 victory at Manchester a year ago, but Bluffton was victorious in the three previous encounters, including 59-7 in 2005.
Last week's contests
The Bluffton University football team was dismantled by Franklin College on the Grizzlies' Homecoming by a score of 63-3 on Saturday, October 11, 2008. The Grizzlies improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Heartland Conference while Bluffton fell to 1-4 and 0-2 in the conference.
Franklin sandwiched a pair of touchdown drives around a Bluffton three-and-out on the Grizzlies' first two possessions of the game. The home team used a number of outstanding runners in the backfield and All-American candidate Chad Rupp behind center to put together 63 and 56 yard scoring drives in the first eight minutes of the game.
The home team forced its second straight three-and-out on Bluffton's second possession before a blocked punt that found its way into the end zone allowed Franklin to open up a 21-0 cushion with 5:30 to play in the quarter.
Another scoring drive led by Rupp and Mitch Downs on the ground was capped when Matt Zmich caught a 23-yard scoring strike with 4:56 to play in the half.
Miller found Joel Sienicki for a 20-yard gain on Bluffton's next drive before the Beavers got bogged down again and had to punt. A Franklin fumble recovered by Alex Paul with 51 seconds to play in the half set up Jonathan Thompson's 37-yard field goal as time expired, cutting the deficit to 35-3 at the break.
With Franklin substituting liberally in the fourth quarter, the Grizzlies tacked on two more scores, including a second blocked punt which was recovered in the end zone. Bluffton put together its best drive of the day on the Beavers' final possession, going 67 yards on 15 plays, before stalling at the Franklin 13 as time ran out.
The Grizzlies put up 488 yards of total offense, including 246 on the ground, while Bluffton gained a paltry 111 by comparison. The Beavers held the ball for 34:29, nearly 10 minutes more than Franklin, but it was not reflected in the score. Both teams converted on four third downs and the Beavers were 2-of-3 on fourth down tries.
Brock Miller completed 10-of-22 passes for 59 yards before Derek Dunlap came on in the final stanza and went 2-of-7 for 27 yards. Freshman Shane Swisher hauled in four receptions for a team-high 34 yards. Marshaun Harris led the Beavers with 23 yards rushing on nine fourth quarter carries.
Freshmen Brandon Herr and Jacob Luthy racked up seven stops each to pace the Bluffton defense. Mitch Dunlap added five tackles, including four solos.
Manchester 20, Defiance 7
Brandon Wells rushed for a one-yard TD while quarterback Caleb Grimes found Jordan
Cork on a 29-yard TD pass and Jared Yoder on a 14-yard score in the first half to
give Manchester a 20-7 win over Defiance in HCAC action.
Wells rushed for 158 of Manchester's 209 yards on the afternoon. Wells had 34 carries and a touchdown for the Spartans and added 35 yards on five receptions. Grimes finished the afternoon 19-31 passing with two interceptions and 152 yards passing with two touchdowns. Jordan Cork had 48 yards receiving while Jared Yoder added 45 yards on four catches each.
Mike DePoy led the way defensively with eight tackles and a forced fumble. Jemiah Jones added six tackles while Beau Bradtmiller, Ben Rogowski and Beau Fulk each recovered fumbles for MC.
Leading the Beavers
Jason Johnson has 128 yards on the ground to pace the Bluffton rushing attack. Zac Lauck ranks number two for the Beavers with 80 yards of rushing. On the outside, Drew Lovelace leads the Beavers with 118 yards receiving on eight receptions. Senior tight end Joel Sienicki also has eight catches for 107 yards. Dan Chipka and Antwane Miller both have touchdown receptions for the Beavers this season. Junior quarterback Brock Miller is 51-of-114 for 416 yards and two touchdowns.
Freshman Steven Sealscott has a team-high 33 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 Spartans
Bluffton will travel to Rose-Hulman for the first of back-to-back HCAC road contests on Saturday, Oct. 25. The contest is slated to start at 1:30 p.m. Manchester hosts Hanover in the Spartans' next contest on Saturday, Oct. 25.