Bluffton University at Defiance College
Beavers to battle rival Defiance College in final game of 2004
By Ben Risinger, Sports Information Director
November 9, 2004
When: Saturday, November 13, 2004 - 1 p.m.
Where: Defiance, Ohio - Justin F. Coressel Stadium
On the Radio: Listen live to Bluffton University football on 107.1 FM.
Bluffton University (4-5, 2-3 HCAC) was defeated 24-14 by Franklin College in HCAC action. Defiance College (1-7, 1-4 HCAC) picked up their first win of the season by defeating Manchester 19-14 in conference play.
The Head Coaches
Head coach Greg Brooks is in his second year at the helm of the Bluffton University football team. Brooks now posts six wins as the head coach of the Beavers. Before his tenure as head coach, Brooks was the offensive coordinator for 22 years.
Robert Taylor is in his second season as head coach of the Yellow Jackets. This season marks Taylor's eighth at Defiance, having served as the Jacket defensive coordinator and special teams coach.
Bluffton - Defiance Series History
The all-time series between Bluffton and rival Defiance has gone on since 1914. The Yellow Jackets own a 40-37-2 advantage over Bluffton as they have won the previous two year's contests 29-6 (2002) and 37-19 (2003).
Last Time for the Beavers
Both Franklin and Bluffton entered last week's contest matching very close statistically. The first half of the game saw two football teams who were very even as they marched back and forth on the field without scoring. Franklin would then post the first points on the board as they kicked a field goal with only one minute left in the half to go up 3-0 heading into halftime. The Beavers then came out and scored very early in the third quarter off of a blocked punt by freshman Eric Erford who would run the ball back four yards for the touchdown (Seth Burkholder kick). The score would give Bluffton the lead 7-3.
Franklin then came alive as they scored three unanswered touchdowns over the end of the third and start of the fourth quarters. With 9:19 left in the contest the Grizzlies held a 24-7 lead. Bluffton would not give up as they continued their scoring efforts late in the game. With only 23 seconds left, tight end Mark Gable found the 8-yard pass from quarterback Tim Koontz. The point after kick by Burkholder would give the final of 24-14, Franklin.
Last Time for the Yellow Jackets
The Defiance College football team beat host Manchester College 19-14 on Saturday for their first win of the season. Defiance jumped out to a 13-0 lead on an 11-yard run by Lomason and later a 15-yard scramble by Fitton. The Spartans struck back with two Brandon Tugmon touchdown receptions, the first coming in the second quarter and the final Manchester score at the 5:05 mark of the third period. Fitton closed out the game scoring and gave the Jackets the win with a one-yard plunge with nine-minutes remaining in the game, a drive started by Mike Haydon's first interception deep in Spartan territory.
Freshman Nate Fitton threw for 225 yards on 20-for-27 passing with one interception while also running for two of the Jacket scores. Ten of Fitton's throws went to Jason Brown who ended with 69 receiving yards. Freshman Darin Lomason ran for 91 yards on 20 carries with a touchdown.
Leading the Beavers
Quarterback Tim Koontz has thrown 50 completions for 612 yards and two touchdowns. He shows a completion percentage of 41 percent and averages 68 yards a game. Tailback Ben Dodds has carried the ball 197 times for 840 yards and eight touchdowns. Dodds averages 93.3 yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry. Mark Gable leads the receivers with 30 receptions for 422 yards and five touchdowns. Gable currently averages 52.8 yards per game and 14.1 yards per catch. Leon Payne has caught 24 passes for 364 yards and three touchdowns. Scott Steiner leads the defensive effort for the season with 110 tackles (47 solo, 63 assist), 5.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions and seven pass break ups.
Leading the Jackets
Defiance quarterback Nate Fitton has thrown 75 completions for 756 yards and three touchdowns in 2004. He holds a 54 percent completion percentage and is averaging 108 yards per game. Darin Lomason leads the rushers with 154 carries for 550 yards and a lone touchdown. Jason Brown leads the Yellow Jacket receivers with 34 catches for 295 yards. Mike Haydon leads the defense with 64 tackles, three interceptions and five pass break ups.
Last Year's Contest
The Defiance Yellow Jackets defeated the Bluffton Beavers 37-19 in the 2003 football finale for both teams.
The game started off on a positive note as the Beavers received the opening kickoff. Sophomore Ben Dodds ran the kickoff 67 yards to start the drive. Two plays later, quarterback Jared Owens completed a 31-yard pass to Dodds for the touchdown to go up 6-0 after a failed PAT. Defiance would answer right back two minutes later to take the lead 7-6. At the 9:06 mark in the first quarter, Dodds would post a 2-yard run for the second Beaver touchdown to give Bluffton the lead once more 12-7 (2-point conversion failed).
Over the course of the next two quarters Defiance would score three more times to widen the lead to 21-12. In the third quarter junior Mark Gable would catch a 48-yard pass from Owens to tighten the game to 24-19 (Carrion kick good). Defiance would score twice more in the contest to give the final of 37-19.
Hurting the Beavers were two critical plays, the first one was with 2:32 left in the first half when Bluffton found themselves at the Defiance 3-yard line for first and goal when Dodds fumbled the ball for the loss. The second crucial play was early in the fourth quarter when Owens would find his pass intercepted at the Bluffton 3-yard line to be run back for the touchdown. Ending the day, Defiance went 4-for-4 in the red zone, with the Beavers going 1-for-4.
Next up for Bluffton and Defiance
The contest on Saturday will mark the conclusion of the 2004 football campaign for Bluffton University. Defiance College will play a rescheduled game on Nov. 20 at Bethany College in West Virginia.