Mount St. Joseph 38, Bluffton 18
MSJ pulls away in second half for 38-18 win over Beavers
October 3, 2009
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team forced Mount St. Joseph into five turnovers, but the Lions defense proved up to the task and MSJ finally found its rhythm offensively in the second half for a 38-18 victory over the Beavers on Saturday, October 3, 2009. Bluffton slipped to 0-4 and 0-1 in the HCAC while the home team improved to 4-0 (2-0 in the Heartland Conference).
Bluffton's Jesse Herr (Bluffton) forced a Mount fumble and recovered it on the opening kickoff, giving the Beavers the ball at the home 35-yard line. A four-play drive that netted three yards gave MSJ the ball on their own 32-yard line. Back-to-back Craig Mustard completions of 21 and 18 yards set up a 19-yard Jake Davis run that moved the chains to the five-yard line. Davis pounded it into the end zone two plays later for the only touchdown scored in the first half.
A forced fumble by sophomore Justin Crosier (Columbus/Hamilton Township) on the Lions' next possession gave Bluffton the ball at the home 34, but a three-and out gave MSJ the ball back. The Beavers' James Martin (Rocky River) recovered the Lions third fumble in the first period, but five possessions with no first downs kept Bluffton off the scoreboard.
Quarterbacks Brock Miller (Cincinnati/Oak Hills) and John Hazen (Cardington/Cardington-Lincoln) threw interceptions on Bluffton's first two touches in the second quarter, leading to a Brian Weimer field goal that made the score 10-3.
Bluffton's Jason G. Johnson (Cleveland Collinwood) went for 21 yards on six rushes and that coupled with a John Hazen 26-yard strike to Dan Chipka (Anthony Wayne/Waterville) moved the Beavers into field goal range for Jon Thompson (Carmel, Ind.) who converted the 20-yard chip shot to cut the deficit to seven points, 10-3.
The home team wasted no time putting points on the board in period three as Jake Davis took advantage of the short field after Mustard completed passes of 15 and 17 yards. Davis bulled his way in from 10-yards out to make the scor 17-3.
A safety against MSJ made the score 17-5 midway through the third quarter before Davis and company went back to work and capped a seven-play 69 yard drive that used up only 2:20 off the clock. The nine-yard scoring by Davis pushed the Lions' lead to 24-5.
To open the fourth quarter, Bluffton fashioned its best possession of the day. It featured five completions, including Brock Miller's 16-yard scoring toss to Tevin Hale (Latty/Wayne Trace) with 11:32 to play in the game.
The Mount responded with two more touchdowns in a span of just over three minutes to effectively put the game on ice with a 38-12 lead and 7:53 on the clock. With 3:22 to play, Miller kept it himself and went in from two yards out to make the final score 38-18 when the two-point conversion came up empty.
Jason A. Johnson (Lansing, Mich./Eastern) and Ross Shoup (Apple Creek/Waynedale) paced the Bluffton receivers with five catches each, for 66 and 56 yards, respectively. Brock Miller completed 14 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown while John Hazen was 5-of-13 for 68 yards.
James Martin led the Beaver defense with eight stops and senior middle linebacker Curtis Martin (Detroit, Mich./Clio) finished with seven. Shane Hubbard (Johnstown/Big Walnut) tallied six tackles in the loss.
MSJ picked up 23 first downs, compared to 13 for Bluffton. The home team doubled Bluffton's offensive output, 469 yards to just 234 for the Beavers.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, October 10, when it welcomes Franklin College as part of the 2009 Homecoming festivities. The kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. in Salzman Stadium.