bc hosts franklin
Bluffton aiming for first HCAC win Saturday vs. Franklin on Parent's Day
By Tim Stried, SID
October 30, 2002
Setting the scene
Bluffton is 2-1 at home this season and is looking to snap a three-game losing skid. Franklin, meanwhile, has won back-to-back games after losing their first five games of the season.
The series (BC leads 4-1)
These two teams first met back in 1956, with Bluffton taking a 27-14 win. It would be 42 years until they met again, however, as the series was renewed as both schools became members of the HCAC in 1998. Since then the series has been very competitive with three of their five meetings settled by 10 points or less, with last year's game being the closest by far as the Beavers pulled out a 26-24 win with a touchdowns with 1:28 left in the game.
Bluffton is led by head coach Carlin Carpenter, who owns a school-record 102 wins. Now in his 24th season at BC, he owns the longest tenure among Ohio's collegiate head football coaches. Franklin is led by head coach Bill Unsworth, who owns a 19-28 record at FC in his fifth season.
These two teams met last season in Bluffton in a game that would not be decided until the final minutes. Bluffton led 20-9 at halftime but Franklin came back to take a 24-20 lead in the fourth quarter. BC quarterback Brad Moore, who passed for 207 yards and three touchdowns in the game, scored the winning touchdown on a one-yard run with just 1:28 left to play to give the Beavers a 26-24 victory.
Both these teams are coming off down-to-the-wire games last Saturday, but with different results. Bluffton held a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter at HCAC co-leader Mt. St. Joseph but gave up 16 unanswered point in the final seven minutes of the game to fall 37-35. Franklin came from behind at home last Saturday to take a 24-23 win over Defiance College.
The offensive strengths of both these teams play perfectly into the opposing defenses' weakness. Bluffton leads the HCAC in rushing with 168.9 yards per game and will be going up against a Franklin defense that is allowing 218.7 yards per game, which ranks last in the HCAC. Franklin, meanwhile, is averaging 278.7 yards per game through the air, which ranks third in the HCAC, and will be facing a BC pass defense that is allowing 211.3 yards per game through the air, which ranks sixth. However, Franklin has thrown a league-high 14 interceptions and the Beavers held the top two passing teams in the HCAC, Hanover and Anderson, well below their passing averages earlier this season.
Franklin is 2-1 in the HCAC and Bluffton is 0-3, but the remaining schedule for both teams is important to note. After today, Bluffton will face Manchester and Defiance, who are a combined 0-7 in the HCAC at this point. Franklin, however, will be going up against Hanover and Anderson, who are a combined 6-1 in the conference.
HCAC team rankings
In addition to the rushing and passing statistical matchups noted earlier (see statistical match-ups on page 33), several other statistical rankings will be interesting to observe today. Bluffton has been penalized the fewest yards in the league at just 39.4 ypg and ranks first in third down conversions at 47.6%. However, BC's opponents are converting 44.6% of their third down conversions, which is the highest percentage allowed. Bluffton leads the HCAC in PAT kick conversions at 92.0% (23-for-25) and the Beavers own HCAC-best averages in kickoff return yardage (24.0 ypr) and punt return yardage (12.8 ypr). Franklin ranks second in the HCAC in punting average at 32.6 ypp and the Grizzlies own the league's second-best pass defense, allowing 191.6 ypg through the air. On the negative side, Bluffton ranks 6th in the HCAC in turnover margin at minus three, but Franklin ranks 7th at minus 12. Franklin has collected the fewest quarterback sacks in the HCAC with just seven, but has been sacked a league-high 24 times.
Bluffton HCAC individual rankings
Bluffton junior running back Jovan Johnson appears all over the HCAC individual rankings. He ranks 5th in rushing (61.6 ypg), 4th in receptions per game (5.9 rpg), 1st in kickoff return yardage (26.7 ypr) and 1st in all-purpose yards (171.3 ypg). Freshman Ben Dodds ranks 6th in rushing (56.6 ypg) and senior Brad Moore ranks 5th in passing yards per game (190.4 ypg). Junior Jimmy Dwenger ranks 8th in receptions per game (4.4 rpg) and 4th in receiving yards per game (75.4 ypg). Sophomore David Samsal ranks 3rd in punting average (36.6 ypp). Junior middle linebacker Chris Sommers leads the HCAC in tackles per game (11.3 tpg).
Moore moving up in BC records
Bluffton senior quarterback Brad Moore continues to move up in the BC career record book. He has passed for 4,743 yards, which ranks 4th all-time, and he needs 208 yards to move past Cliff Hemmert '89 into third place. Moore has also rushed for 773 yards and needs 211 yards on the ground to surpass Darrin Fox '97 for the most rushing yards by a quarterback. In total offense, Moore has collected 5,516 yards, which ranks 4th all-time, and needs 99 yards to move past Hemmert for 3rd place. Moore's .550 career completion percentage is second all-time and his 37 touchdown passes are third all-time. He needs three TD passes to move into second place on that list. Moore has thrown just 16 interceptions in 620 attempts, for a record-low .026 interception percentage. In his career, Moore has been responsible for 326 points (either rushing or passing), which ranks second all-time and is just 20 points away from Joel Parrett '00, who owns the record with 346.