Defiance 29, Bluffton 6
Bluffton falls to Defiance 29-6 as slow start and injuries too much to overcomeBy Tim Stried, SID
November 16, 2002
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Bluffton College was held scoreless in the first half and three first quarter touchdown passes by Defiance College quarterback Corey Minnfield were too much to overcome as Defiance took a 29-6 win over the Beavers Saturday afternoon in Salzman Stadium.
The loss was Bluffton's first against Defiance since 1996, ending a three-game winning streak over the Yellow Jackets as BC ends the season 3-7 overall and 1-5 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. Defiance snaps a six-game losing streak with the win to end the season with the same record, 3-7 overall and 1-5 in the HCAC.
Bluffton quarterback Brad Moore suffered a shoulder injury early in the first quarter and did not return to the game. Bluffton was held to just 10 yards passing, 154 yards in total offense and 10 first downs. All three of those numbers are Bluffton's lowest output ever in an HCAC game. BC was 1-for-14 on third down conversions, which is the team's second-lowest performance in an HCAC game.
Bluffton took the opening kickoff and marched from their own 27-yard line to the Defiance 27-yard line but turned the ball over on downs. That drive ended up being the Beavers' only scoring opportunity of the first half as Moore left the game after Bluffton's third possession.
Defiance, meanwhile, scored touchdowns on their first three possessions of the game as the Yellow Jackets used big plays in the passing game to keep drives alive and eventually score. Minnfield's three first quarter TD passes came at lengths of five, nine and 58 yards as Defiance built a 22-0 lead, which would remain the score through halftime.
Defiance fumbled the ball away on their first possession of the third quarter and the Beavers took advantage, going 41 yards on eight plays with junior running back Jovan Johnson plowing into the endzone from one yard out for Bluffton's first and only score of the day. The extra-point kick didn't get off the ground but Bluffton was back in the game at 22-6.
The Bluffton defense held the Yellow Jackets in check for most of the second half, but the offense was unable to score on two more trips into the red zone as the Beavers fumbled on fourth down to end one possession at the Defiance 5-yard line and lost 12 yards on another possession that began on the Defiance 19-yard line.
Johnson led the Bluffton ground game with 47 yards, while freshman quarterback Jared Owens took over for Moore and rushed for 46 yards on 14 attempts.
For Bluffton, 14 seniors ended their careers with a four-year record of 22-18 overall and a co-championship of the HCAC as sophomores in 2000.
Moore's quest to move up in many career records was cut short by the injury Saturday. He ends his career with 5,997 yards in total offense (5,085 yards passing, 912 yards rushing) and 37 touchdown passes, which both rank third all-time at Bluffton. His career completion percentage of .549 (375-for-683) ranks second all-time and with just 18 interceptions in those 683 attempts he sets a new BC record for lowest interception percentage at 2.6%.