Bluffton at Manchester preview
Bluffton University at Manchester College
When: Saturday, October 6, 2007, at 1:30 p.m.
Where: North Manchester, Indiana - Carl W. Burt Stadium
On the Radio: Listen live to Bluffton University football on WDOH 107.1 FM.
Bluffton University travels to Manchester College for a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference battle between the Beavers and the Spartans.
The Head Coaches
Greg Brooks is currently in his fifth year as the head coach of the Bluffton University football team. The Beavers have put together a 13-31 mark during Brooks' tenure at the helm. He previously served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Bluffton, leading the Beavers to their best offensive seasons in school history.
Shannon Griffith enters his fourth season as the head football coach for Manchester College. Coach Griffith has brought three of the largest recruiting classes ever to the Spartans' football program. In January 1991, he took a job at Northwood University as the football team's co-offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. Two years later, he returned to Ball State University, his alma mater, and spent eight seasons as an assistant coach. The first four years, he worked with the quarterbacks before moving to wide receivers' coach from 1999-2003. The 1996 Ball State team captured the MAC title.
Bluffton-Manchester Series History
The Beavers and Spartans have met on the gridiron 52 times, dating back to 1932. Bluffton holds a 30-22 edge in the series, including victories in the last three meetings. In last season's Homecoming contest, the Beavers scored a late touchdown for a 14-9 victory over the Spartans at Salzman Stadium.
Last Week's Contests
The Bluffton University football team struggled to match the Franklin playmakers as the Grizzlies dominated the home team from start to finish in the Heartland Conference opener on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007. Franklin piled up 613 total yards, including Chad Rupp's 387 through the air, while plastering Bluffton at Salzman Stadium, 54-7.
Despite a 2 to 1 time of possession disparity in favor of the Beavers in the opening half, Franklin found the end zone on five of its six possessions for a 35-7 lead at the break. Rupp delivered three touchdown passes of over 55 yards, including a 57-yard scoring strike to standout running back R.J. Hartsfield who also found paydirt twice on the ground.
Down 21-0 late in the first quarter, junior quarterback Kyle Coleman (Etna/Watkins Memorial) directed one of Bluffton's best drives of the season, completing five passes while going 75 yards in 13 plays. Coleman capped the possession with a 23-yard strike to Drew Lovelace (Trumansburg, NY/Charles U. Dickerson) who dove across the goal line to cut the deficit to 14 points with 10:31 to play in the first half.
Greg Mason (Cleveland/Collinwood) led the Beavers with three receptions for 19 yards. Chipping in with two receptions were Joel Sienicki (Goshen, Ind. Northridge), Drew Lovelace and Cameron Campeau (Pfafftown, N.C.) who also rumbled for 32 yards on nine carries. Coleman completed nine of 15 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown. Sam McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) once again led the Beavers with 10 stops. Senior safeties Ryan Christy (Snellville, Ga./South Gwinnet) and Taylor Iceman (Lucas/Lucas) added nine and eight tackles, respectively.
Defiance 27, Manchester 8
Despite three turnovers by Defiance in the first half, Manchester trailed 7-3 heading
into the break, and fell victim in a 27-8 win by Defiance to snap Manchester's two-game
win streak and giving the Spartans their first conference loss of the year.
Defiance scored on its first possession of the game on a 63-yard drive to take a quick 7-0 lead, but the Spartan defense stepped up and forced three first half turnovers by Defiance. Jones had an interception and a forced fumble with a recovery that resulted in a 22-yard Brandon Wells field goal on two of DC's possessions and Jeff McDonald had a pickoff for the Spartans late in the second quarter.
Quarterback Joel Hawkins led MC with 93 yards rushing on 25 carries. He was 14-32 passing for 137 yards and an interception. Defensively, it was Jeff McDonald leading the way with 11 tackles and an interception. Jones had six tackles with a pick, forced fumble and recovery. Mike DePoy and Beau Bradtmiller added seven tackles each.
Manchester stands at 2-2, 0-1 in the HCAC heading into its 2007 Homecoming contest against the visitors from Bluffton.
Leading the Beavers
Sophomore tailback Greg Mason leads the Beavers with 89 yards rushing on 43 carries. Adding to the Beavers' ground game is freshman Cameron Campeau who has picked up 88 yards. Sophomore quarterback Brock Miller has completed 19-of-31 passes for 172 yards with a touchdown in the opener against Centre College. Joel Sienicki is pacing the Bluffton receivers with 12 receptions for 107 yards and one of the Beavers' two receiving touchdowns. Mike Brown and Drew Lovelace have seven catches each through the first four contests.
Two-time first team All-HCAC linebacker Sam McCullough has a team-high 54 stops, including 24 solos, three sacks, two interceptions and a blocked punt. Senior safeties Taylor Iceman and Ryan Christy have chipped in with 29 and 27 tackles, respectively. Kyle Rode has anchored the defensive line with 19 tackles, including five sacks for a loss of 39 yards and a fumble recovery.
Next up for the Beavers and Spartans
Bluffton travels to the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology for its second consecutive Heartland Conference road contest on Saturday, Oct. 13. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in Terre Haute, Indiana. Manchester also goes on the road when it heads to Hanover College to do battle with the Panthers on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 1:30 p.m.