Thiel 35, Bluffton 7
By Ben Risinger, SID
September 20, 2003
BLUFFTON, OHIO - Bluffton College (1-1) dropped their home opener 35-7 to Thiel College (1-1) on Saturday. The Beaver offense couldn't capitalize on the opportunities that were given as critical errors seem to plague the Beavers. Former football coach, Carlin Carpenter and his wife, Sharon were honored at the game for their support over the past 24 years.
Coach Carpenter's players raised $10,000 to start the Carlin and Sharon Carpenter endowed scholarship fund. Former Bluffton quarterback Cliff Hemmert presented the check to coach Carpenter and his wife before the game.
In the game, a critical blow was given to the Beaver offense when senior Jim Dwenger (Minster/Minster) went down in the first quarter with an injury that will keep him out of action for the season. Dwenger finished the game with 814 yards on his career, which is good enough for 12th on the all-time receiving list.
Leading the Beavers on the day was quarterback Jared Owens (VanWert/Crestview). Owens went 9 for 18 in the air for 100 yards on the day. He also led the attack on the ground as he rushed 17 times for 74 yards. Ben Dodds (West Liberty/Bellefontaine) had 19 rushes for 44 yards. Mark Gable (Alvordton/Hilltop) led Bluffton's receivers with three catches for 54 yards.
Chris Sommers (Delphos/Jefferson) led the Beaver defense with 11 tackles on the contest. Scott Steiner (Berne, Ind./South Adams) had nine tackles and two TFL's for five yards. Tim Berta (Ida, Mich./Ida) punted the ball six times for 177 yards.
"The kids played the whole game," coach Greg Brooks said. "We made too many mistakes offensively to win and gave up some big plays which didn't help either."
Starting of the first quarter both schools seemed to be at a stalemate with neither one being able to find the end zone. The Thiel offense seemed to come alive in the second quarter scoring three times in the first seven minutes. Bluffton's lone score came late in the half when freshman Josh Parrish (Newark/Lakewood) intercepted a pass to run back 11 yards for the score. Matt Cooper's kick put the score at 28-7 in favor of Thiel going into halftime. The Tomcats would score once more in the fourth quarter to give the final score of 35-7.
Bluffton will be at home next week when they take on Husson College out of Bangor, Maine. Bluffton will once again host, Take a Kid to the Game Day. All children age 12 and under will be admitted free with the purchase of an adult ticket. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m.