HCAC, national rankings on the line Saturday in Salzman Stadium
By Tim Stried, SID
September 26, 1999
Two ranked teams collide in Salzman Stadium Saturday as the Hanover College Panthers (3-0) and Bluffton College Beavers (3-0) kickoff the league portion of their 1999 schedules. Preceded by a 30-22 win over Grove City College on September 18, BC used an off-week last Saturday to begin preparations for Hanover, which is coming off a 30-13 victory over #9 Washington & Jefferson last Saturday.
Both Hanover and Bluffton enter Saturday's game ranked in the latest AFCA Division III Coaches' Poll, marking today's game the first time in the seven seasons of Salzman Stadium that Bluffton and their opponent are both ranked. However, with Hanover in the top 20 and Bluffton in the top 35, BC head coach Carlin Carpenter is telling his troops that the most important ranking is the one that comes out of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. The winner of the HCAC gets an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III national playoffs in November, and today's showdown between the Panthers and Beavers will go a long way to deciding who will get that bid.
Both Hanover and Bluffton hope their defense will slow the opposing offense down. For Bluffton, stopping the Hanover aerial attack will be the assignment, as the Panthers are averaging 325 yards per game through the air. Hanover will look to contain the balanced BC offense that has averaged 533 yards per game so far this season.
If neither defense controls the game, fans can expect a Bluffton-Hanover contest reminiscent of the late 1980s and early 1990s, when scores looked like 56-41 (BC, 1985), 40-37 (HC, 1987), 28-56 (HC, 1991) and 49-56 (HC, 1992). Last season the two schools met after a four-year layoff, with Hanover holding a 20-12 halftime lead en route to a 40-12 Panther victory.
Tyson Goings moved into 10th place on the BC all-time rushing list against Grove City and now has 2,130 yards in his career. Next up for Tyson is Roger Gilanyi who rushed for 2,534 yards from 1985 to 1988. Tyson is currently ranked 14th in the country in rushing yards per game with 146.7. Quarterback Joel Parrett is ranked 11th in the country in passing efficiency at 169.9 and 21st in total offense at 252.7 yards per game.
Bluffton will face another strong HCAC foe on October 9 at Wabash College, the defending conference champions. BC will then return to Salzman Stadium for two consecutive weeks. Homecoming is set for October 16 against Anderson University followed by Community Day on October 23 against Manchester College. The Manchester game will be the cap to the BC Community Week, during which a clip-out coupon in area newspapers will admit individuals and families to all BC home athletic events from October 18 through the 23rd free of charge.
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