BC 2-0, set for home opener vs. GCC

By Tim Stried, SID


The Bluffton College football team remained perfect on the season last Saturday with a 47-26 win at Hiram College and will host their first game of the season in Salzman Stadium this Saturday against Grove City College. The win over the Terriers puts BC at 2-0 as the Beavers look forward to their 1:30 p.m. showdown with the Wolverines.

In the finest single-game offensive performance since 1989, BC totaled 609 yards in total offense against Hiram and averaged 8.7 yards per play. "It was exciting, that's for sure," said senior quarterback Joel Parrett (Oakwood/Paulding), who passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns. "I think what really led to the number of yards was that both the run and the pass were working well, which kept them on their heels."

The defense made several key half-time adjustments and completely dominated the game in the second half. The Beavers held HC scoreless in the final two periods and limited the talented Terrier offense to less than 100 total yards in the second half. "We stepped it up," said senior defensive back Jarret Smotrila (Leetonia/Crestview), who blocked a punt and ended another Hiram drive with his second interception of the season. "We knew what we had to do after the first half. We just got our job done."

After a Hiram field goal freshman Steve Henry (Versailles) got the scoring started for Bluffton with an eight yard run in the first quarter. The second quarter belonged to junior Tyson Goings (Defiance/Wayne Trace), however, as the junior running back recorded touchdown runs of five, 76 and 8 yards. Senior wide receiver Eric Metz (Norwalk/St. Paul) capped the first half scoring with a 26 yard scoring reception from Parrett as the offensive line provided excellent protection.

The second quarter Saturday resembled more of a tennis match than a football game, as the two teams combined for 49 points in the fifteen minute session alone. Fast-break football at its finest, Bluffton racked up 26 points in the frame while Hiram added 23 of their own to set the halftime score at 33-26 in favor of the Beavers.

And while the defense was getting their job done in the second half, the offense continued to put points on the board with two fourth quarter touchdowns that sealed the game for Bluffton. Junior Luke Habegger (Berne, IN/South Adams) made a nifty 46 yard catch and run of a Parrett pass followed just two minutes later by a Steve Henry 61 yard TD run. In the game four different Beaver ball carriers rushed for 386 yards while the receiving corps used their share-the-wealth card as seven different receivers caught Parrett passes.

Henry racked up 297 all-purpose yards, including a team-high 159 yards rushing and 100 yards on three kickoff returns. Goings added another 100-yard rushing performance to his resume with 128 yards and three touchdowns despite being hampered throughout the game with a back injury he suffered in the first play of the game. He has now moved into 11th place on the Bluffton all-time rushing list with 1,966 yards. Senior fullback Paul Risner (Bellefontaine/Versailles) was nearly Bluffton's third 100 yard rusher on the day, as he churned out 93 yards on 12 carries.

Metz led the receivers with four catches for 53 yards and a touchdown and is closing in on several BC career receiving records. Henry caught four passes for 38 yards, senior Evan Ward (Carey) caught two for 39 yards and Habbeger hauled in his 46 yard TD pass. Sophomore Jon Spradling (Sidney) also rang up a 22 yard grab for the Beavers.

Smotrila recorded a team-high seven solo tackles and a blocked punt for the defense to go with his interception and a pass break-up. Junior inside linebacker Greg Ditz backed up his HCAC Player of the Week award following the Bethany game with another interception, four solo tackles and six assists. Junior outside linebacker Cliff Willoughby (Tipp City/Tippecanoe) marked up five solo tackles and eight assists on the day and had one quarterback sack, while junior defensive back Jeff Company (Bloomington, IL/LeRoy) added five solo tackles and three assists for the BC defense.