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Bluffton looking for sixth straight win against Mount St. JosephBy Allan King, Jr., SID intern
October 23, 2002
Bluffton College will look for their sixth straight victory against Mount St. Joseph this Saturday in Cincinnati.
Mount St. Joseph has opened the season at 4-2 overall and 3-0 in the league including a win last Saturday against conference rival Defiance College 21-8. The Lions' four wins are more wins than they have had in each of the last four seasons including going 0-10 last season. Their three conference wins are the most they have had in one season since the start of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference in 1998, with no wins in the conference since 1999 and only four total conference wins before this season.
Bluffton brings a 2-4 record into this conference game and are coming off a tough 47-21 loss to Hanover last Saturday. The Beavers led for most of the first half but were unable to stop the Hanover offense in the second half and were outscored 26-0 from the mid-way point of the third quarter on.
Bluffton leads the all-time series 6-5 over the Mount and have won five straight against the Lions coming into Saturday's game. The Beavers won last years match-up in Cincinnati 45-7 behind strong efforts from quarterback Brad Moore, who was 10-13 passing for 206 yards and one touchdown and running back Jovan Johnson who had 30 carries for 152 yards and a touchdown.
The Beavers are led on offense by their senior quarterback Moore who ranks fourth in the conference in total offense (195.7 ypg) and pass efficiency (132.4) and fifth in passing average per game (174.5 ypg). Leading the Beavers potent run offense are junior running back Johnson and freshman running back Ben Dodds. Both rank high in rushing yards per game with Dodds averaging 64.2 ypg and Johnson at 62.5 ypg. Johnson is also the league leader in all purpose yards (183.7 ypg), punt return average (11.7) and kick return average (26.7), is tied for third in scoring (6.0 pts/g), is fourth in receptions per game (6.17 rec/g) and is sixth in receiving yards per game (60.5 ypg) and rushing yards per game.
The Beaver defense is lead by junior linebacker Chris Sommers, who is second in the league in tackles per game with an average of 10.3 per game. Also leading the defense is senior Cam Staley with three interceptions and 34 tackles on the season (5.7 avg).
The Lion offense is led by freshman running back Ricky Story, who leads the league in rushing yards per game with an average of 91.8 ypg. Joining him is former Bluffton backup quarterback Mike Dane, who is sixth in the league in passing average (173.8 ypg) and total offense (176.3 ypg).
Keyed by a front four that averages 6'1"and 245 pounds, the Lion defense is the top run defense in the league allowing only 67.3 ypg. They also have one of the biggest players in the league in defensive tackle Eric Johnson who is 6 feet tall and 300 pounds.
Saturday will be the second year in a row Bluffton will be at Mount St. Joseph, where the Beavers are 2-3 all time against the Lions on the road since 1992.
Following the Mount St. Joseph game, Bluffton will host Franklin College, who is currently 1-5 overall and 1-1 in the HCAC, on November 2.