Defiance 35, Bluffton 0
Defiance wraps up 2009 campaign with 35-0 win over Beavers
November 14, 2009
DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team fought all the way to end, but the Beavers came up short in their 35-0 loss at Defiance College on Saturday, November 14, 2009. The Yellow Jackets wrapped up their season 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the Heartland Conference, while Bluffton slipped to 0-10 and 0-7 in the HCAC.
The Beavers moved the chains twice on their initial possession, including a six-yard run by freshman Tevin Hale (Latty/Wayne Trace) and a four-yard push by fullback Tanner Pray (Clio, Mich./Elisabeth Ann Johnson), before the 5:01 drive stalled. Three minutes later another Bluffton possession that used 3:47 off the game clock ended with a 41-yard punt by senior Jonathan Thompson (Carmel, Ind./Carmel).
A six-play, 70-yard Defiance scoring drive on the Yellow Jackets ensuing possession was highlighted by a 40-yard Rick Powell strike that found the hands of Nic Wiedenhoft at the Bluffton one. Powell capped it with a one-yard plunge for the 7-0 Defiance lead. The Yellow Jackets caught Bluffton with an on-side kick following the score, but the Beavers defense was up to the task, forcing a three-and-out to get the ball back early in the second quarter.
An 11-yard loss followed by a 34-yard punt gave Defiance great field position at the Bluffton 23 thanks to a 16-yard Yellow Jacket return. Defiance needed just three plays and 1:12 to make it 14-0 when Powell connected with Ray Martinez for a 12-yard touchdown toss. The Beavers responded with their best drive of the game, eating up 6:46 off the game clock on their 13-play, 62-yard possession, but a Jason G. Johnson (Cleveland/Collinwood) fumble at the Defiance goal line gave the ball back to the Jackets.
Neither team was able to move the sticks during the final 5:12 of the first half as Defiance carried a 14-0 lead into the break. The home team opened period three with a 12-play, 65-yard scoring drive that consisted of just one completed pass and 19-yard field goal that came off the board when Bluffton was whistled for roughing the kicker. Powell took advantage with a three-yard scoring run that gave Defiance a commanding 21-0 lead with 8:01 to play in the quarter.
Bluffton picked up two first downs on its final two possessions of the third, including a 14-yard John Hazen (Cardington/Cardington-Lincoln) hookup with senior wideout Dan Chipka (Waterville/Anthony Wayne). Both drives ended when the Beavers were unable to convert on fourth down.
Hazen completed passes to Jason A. Johnson (Lansing, Mich./Lansing Eastern) and Jason G. Johnson on consecutive tosses early in the fourth quarter before a blocked punt set up Drew Kuesel for a nine-yard TD run with just under eight minutes to play. A Bluffton fumble after a 31-yard gain on fourth down on the Beavers next touch gave the home team the ball at the Defiance 33-yard line. Kuesel took advantage of a worn out Bluffton defense to the tune of 11 rushes for 67 yards, taking the handoff on each play of the drive which made the final score 35-0.
Defiance moved the chains 20 times for a total of 319 yards, compared to 188 yards and nine first downs for the visitors. With Kuesel carrying the ball for 163 yards, Defiance gained 224 yards on the ground, 101 more than the Beavers. Bluffton was 4-of-15 on third down and 2-for-6 on fourth down conversions, while the Jackets finished 3-of-10 and 0-for-2. The time of possession was very close (30:38-29:22) in favor of Defiance.
Jason G. Johnson led the Beavers rushing attack with 53 yards on 20 carries. Tevin Hale chipped in 23 yards on the ground. John Hazen completed 4-of-9 passing attempts for 57 yards. Hale was 1-of-1 through the air. Playing in his last game as a Beaver, Dan Chipka caught two passes for 44 yards, including a 30-yarder.
Senior Curtis Martin (Detroit, Mich./Central) and sophomore Shane Hubbard (Johnstown/Big Walnut), a pair of Bluffton linebackers, paced the defense with nine stops each. Senior Brandon Herr (Bluffton) finished his career with seven tackles, including one for a loss. Sophomore safety Steve Sealscott (Van Wert) and freshman Stephen Miller (Logan) chipped in with six tackles apiece. Senior Jordan Achtermann (Bucyrus) tallied three stops, while fellow seniors Aaron Jenkins (St. Paris/Graham) and Curtis Griffin (Lima/Senior) both came up with one tackle in their final contest.
The game at Defiance brings the 2009 season to a close. The next time the Beavers suit up for a clash on the gridiron, the Heartland Conference will consist of recently accepted Earlham College from Richmond, Indiana, bringing the number of HCAC schools with football to nine.