bc at anderson
Bluffton's HCAC title defense begins Saturday
September 26, 2001
Setting the scene
With the Beavers set to defend their Heartland Conference championship of 2000, high hopes ride into the HCAC opener Saturday against Anderson University. Both teams are looking to make a statement within the conference early in the season as BC looks to return as champions and Anderson looks for their first league title since 1993.
Both these teams are riding winning streaks into this game, as Bluffton knocked off
Thiel 23-20 in their last game to improve to 1-2 on the season and Anderson is 2-1
after victories in their last two games over Taylor (34-27) and Olivet (33-20). In
their only loss of the season, Thomas More College (9-1 in 2000) came from behind
to defeat the Ravens 24-21.
Since their first ever meeting in 1967, these two teams have met 26 times, with Bluffton leading the all-time series 16-10. Since joining the HCAC in 1998, Bluffton has out scored the Ravens by an average score of 41-8 per game. Bluffton has dominated the series recently taking the last ten games from the Ravens. In their last meeting in Anderson's Macholtz Stadium, Bluffton walked away with a 41-7 win in 1998.
Bluffton head coach Carlin Carpenter is 96-115-1 in his 24th season at Bluffton College. His 96 total wins are the most in school history, and his tenure is the longest among Ohio's collegiate head football coaches. Anderson is led by Steve Barrows, who is in his 3rd season with the Ravens. His career record at Anderson is 6-15. Both Barrows and Bluffton assistant coach Greg Brooks are Ohio University graduates.
Sept. 30, 2000: Bluffton forced five Anderson turnovers and held the Ravens to 236 yards in total offense in picking up their first shutout since 1997. Quarterback Brad Moore passed for 295 yards and four touchdowns, while running back Tyson Goings churned out 129 yards to lead the ground game. Greg Ditz, Shawn Goetz and Ben Schwab all intercepted Anderson passes and Ditz recorded a team-high ten tackles.
Bluffton led 13-0 at halftime on TD passes from Moore to Jamie Stevens and Luke Habegger. Moore then tossed TD passes to Habegger and Jovan Johnson in the third quarter before Johnson rounded out the scoring with a one-yard TD run in the final quarter.
Bluffton is coming off their bye week and took the weekend off. In their last game, a 42-yard field goal by Adam Burgess as the clock expired lifted the Beavers to a 23-20 win over Thiel College on Sept. 15 in Salzman Stadium. According to available records, it was the first ever final play game-winning score of any kind in the history of BC football.
Thiel scored two fourth quarter touchdowns to tie the game 20-20 with 2:18 left to play before Bluffton moved the football down to the 25-yard line to set up the game winning field goal with no time outs and the clock running. BC snapped the football for the field goal attempt with one second left in the game.
Johnson rushed for 165 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries and Moore hit Stevens on a 55-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to put BC up 20-6 before Thiel's comeback. BC defensive backs Jeff Company and Josh Slaughter picked off Thiel passes in the second half to end Tomcat drives, while Pat Craun had a team-high 14 tackles.
Last week Anderson scored on four of its first six drives of the game and then held
off a late Olivet College rally to defeat the Comets 33-20 in Olivet, Michigan. The
Ravens sprinted out to a 26-0 lead after just 20 minutes, holding the ball for 17
of the first 20 minutes of the game. However, the third quarter was all Olivet as
the Comets scored two touchdowns and held the Ravens to 1 total yard and no first
Strength vs. strength
Bluffton and Anderson present some interesting matchups, most noticeably the BC pass defense against the Anderson aerial attack. The Beavers are ranked first in the league against the pass, allowing just 113.7 yards per game through the air, while the Ravens lead the conference in passing yardage, averaging 328.7 yards per game.
Bluffton also leads the HCAC in rushing offense (165.7 ypg) and kickoff return average
(23.0 ypr). These two teams are nearly equal in scoring defense, as Bluffton allows
24.7 points per game and AU gives up 23.7 points per contest.
Players of the week
The last two Heartland Conference Offensive Players of the Week will be in action in this game, as Bluffton running back Jovan Johnson and Anderson wide receiver Todd McKinney have already won that honor once this season.
Johnson rushed for 168 yards and a touchdown on Sept. 15 against Thiel, while McKinney caught 10 passes for 120 yards and a 16-yard touchdown reception last Saturday against Olivet.