bc 6, manchester 18
Bluffton falls at Manchester 18-6By Tim Stried, SID
November 9, 2002
It was a frustrating day for the Bluffton College football team Saturday as the Beavers dropped an 18-6 decision at Manchester College.
The Bluffton offense never did get on track as the Beavers were held without a touchdown for the first time in the last 45 games, a streak dating back to the third game 1998 season. Manchester, meanwhile, came up with enough big plays to win their second straight Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference game to improve to 3-6 on the season and 2-3 in the league.
Bluffton, which falls to 0-5 on the road this season, sees their record slip to 3-6 overall and 1-4 in the HCAC. The Beavers will host Defiance College next Saturday at 1:30 in Salzman Stadium, where BC is 3-1 this season.
The loss snaps Bluffton's four-game winning streak over Manchester, whose last win over the Beavers came at the same Carl W. Burt Memorial Stadium in 1997.
Bluffton dominated in time of possession as the Beavers held the ball for 37:41 compared to just 22:19 for Manchester, but six BC possessions inside Spartan territory netted just two David Samsal field goals. The first of Samsal's field goals gave Bluffton a 3-0 lead with 8:56 left in the first quarter and his second tied the score at 6-6 with 14 seconds left in the third quarter.
Two Manchester touchdowns in the fourth quarter were too much to overcome, however, as the Bluffton offense was kept in check by the Spartan defense, which entered Saturday's game ranked second in the HCAC in total defense. That defense held Bluffton to an 8-for-20 performance on third down conversions and picked off two Bluffton passes.
Injuries to Bluffton quarterback Brad Moore (sprained knee) in the second quarter and wide receiver Jimmy Dwenger (sprained ankle) in the third quarter didn't help matters any, either. Moore remained in the game but was less than 100%, while Dwenger did not return to the game after his injury. Both are listed as day-to-day for the final week of the season.
Moore established two new career highs as he completed 25 of 42 passes on the afternoon. He ended the day with 259 yards passing to move into third place on the all-time passing list with 5,075 yards, surpassing Cliff Hemmert, who passed for 4,951 yards from 1985-1988.
Freshman running back Ben Dodds led Bluffton with 61 yards rushing on 17 carries, while junior Jovan Johnson netted 44 yards on the ground on 17 carries and caught eight passes for a game-high 117 yards.
Junior middle linebacker Chris Sommers led the defense with 12 tackles, while sophomore outside linebacker Scott Steiner added eight stops and forced a fumble. Senior defensive back Cam Staley intercepted in fourth pass of the season and finished the day with seven tackles.