Ohio Wesleyan 40, Bluffton 20
September 6, 2014
By: Griffin Kuras, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Beavers opened up the 2014 football season at home against the Ohio Wesleyan Battling Bishops. The visitors outscored the home team 13-0 in the third quarter en route to a 40-20 victory to start their season 1-0 as the Beavers stand 0-1.
Bluffton was the first team to hit paydirt as senior Eric Fox (Brunswick) went around the end from 45 yards out to make it 7-3 with 6:21 left to go in the first quarter. It did not take long for the Bishops to strike back as they drove down the field before senior running back Kevin Herman punched in a tough one-yard carry for six followed up by senior kicker Miles MacKenzie with the extra point which made it 10-7 and closed out the first quarter scoring.
The second quarter turned into an offensive showcase for both teams. Fox continued his dominance on the ground as he ran in for another nine-yard touchdown early in the second quarter. The Batlling Bishops fought back with a strong ground game of their own, running the read option well all afternoon as sophomore quarterback Dominic Orsini kept the ball and ran untouched for a 19-yard touchdown, leaving just over seven minutes left in the first half.
The Beavers took to the air for their next score as senior captain Nick Sheehan (Monroeville, Ind./Heritage) connected with one of his favorite targets from last year, senior wideout Donovan Brown (Cincinnati/Purcell Marion) who hauled in the 20-yard toss.
The Beavers would fall short as another Orsini scoring strike and pick six by junior free safety Zane Kieffer in the third quarter ultimately closed the door for any kind of comeback.
Sheehan ended the day 17-of-42 passing for 262 yards and a touchdown. Micah Roberson (Ada) led all receivers with six catches for 106 yards. Fox was outstanding with 221 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries. It marked the first time since 2000 (Tyson Goings) that a Beaver has gone over 200 yards on the ground.
On the defensive side of the ball, Brad Swavel (Marion/Ridgedale), Travaun Reeves (Berkely, Mich./Berkley) and Tyrone White (Orrville) all had 10 tackles on the day, respectively. Junior end Ryan Aelker (New Bavaria/Holgate) had a career day, racking up six tackles, two forced fumbles, two pass deflections, three quarterback hurries and 1.5 sacks to finish off his busy afternoon. Sophomore Link LaRoche (Dola/Hardin Northern) also got into the OWU backfield often, finishing with 3.5 TFL's for a total loss of 28 yards.
The Beavers will be in action next Saturday, Sept. 13 on the road against Baldwin-Wallace. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.