Franklin College 24, Bluffton University 14
Franklin uses strong second half to take game from Bluffton
By Ben Risinger, Sports Information Director
November 6, 2004
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team (4-5, 2-3 HCAC) was defeated by Franklin College (5-4, 3-2 HCAC) 24-14 in their 2004 home finale at Salzman Stadium.
Both Franklin and Bluffton entered the 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 (Oakwood/Paulding) 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 (Alvordton/Hilltop) found the 8-yard pass from quarterback Tim Koontz (Goshen, Ind./Concord). The point after kick by Burkholder would give the final of
Statistically, both teams posted 19 first downs in the contest. Franklin had 344 total yards (142 rush, 202 pass) compared to Bluffton's 327 total yards (129 rush, 198 pass). The Beavers had trouble deep in Franklin territory as they went 1-for-5 off of red zone chances compared to Franklin going 3-for-4 deep in Bluffton territory. The Beavers held the ball for 33 minutes to Franklin's 26 minutes.
Junior quarterback Tim Koontz threw for a career high on Saturday as he posted 16 completions for 198 yards and one touchdown. Junior Ben Dodds (West Liberty/Bellefontaine) led the ground game for the Beavers with 26 carries for 139 yards. Junior Mark Gable led the receivers with six catches for 106 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, senior Scott Steiner (Berne, Ind./South Adams) led the team with 14 tackles (5 solo, 9 assist), 1.5 tackles for loss, one interception and one pass break up.
Bluffton University will be back in action for their final game of 2004 next Saturday at rival Defiance College. Kickoff for the game is scheduled for 1 p.m.