Anderson 13, Bluffton 10 (2OT)
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., interim sports information director
October 15, 2005
BLUFFTON, Ohio -The Bluffton University football team (2-4, 1-1 HCAC) dropped a heartbreaker to rival Anderson (4-2, 2-1) in the 2005 Homecoming contest on October 15 by a final score of 13-10 in double overtime.
The Beavers jumped out to a 7-0 lead less than four minutes into the game when tailback Ben Dodds (West Liberty/Bellefontaine) took a short pass from quarterback Jared Owens (Van Wert/Crestview), changed direction and left the Anderson defense in the dust as he raced 66 yards for the touchdown. That advantage held up until the twelve minute mark of the final quarter when Klint Rupley capped an 11-play, 75-yard drive with a 12-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Chris McKee knotting the score at seven.
During the first overtime Jeremy Anderson (South Rockwood Mi./Airport) recovered a Chris Mckee pitch to put the Beaver offense on the field with a chance to win, however, two Bluffton penalties took them out of their rhythm and the Ravens picked off an Owens pass to bring the first overtime to a close.
Bluffton began the second overtime with a Jeremy Haselman (Leipsic/Leipsic) reception to quickly secure a first down at the Anderson 12. The Raven defense did not give in though and it forced Bluffton to settle for a 21-yard Seth Burkholder (Bluffton/Bluffton) field goal. On Anderson's ensuing possession Hyman Smith took the handoff on a reverse from Denny Kimmel and broke loose for a 21-yard gain setting up a four-yard touchdown run by Clifton Jones which gave the Ravens a 13-10 victory.
Owens completed 10 passes for 160 yards and one touchdown while picking up 74 yards on the ground. Ben Dodds led Bluffton with three receptions for 84 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown in the first quarter. He also finished with 70 yards rushing. Haselman and sophomore wide receiver Anthony Bryant (Reynoldsburg/Reynoldsburg) both hauled in three receptions for the Beavers.
Sophomore linebacker Sam McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) slowed the high-powered Raven offense as he picked up a team-high 16 tackles, including two for losses, while also forcing an Anderson fumble. Jon Mershman (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) picked of a McKee pass late in the fourth quarter halting a nine-play, 65-yard drive and helping send the Beavers to overtime. Senior Brett Cordy (Archbold/Archbold) also picked off a Raven pass in the third quarter and returned it 22 yards.
The balanced Beaver offense finished with 313 total yards, but they were outgained
by an Anderson team that put up 435 yards, including another outstanding effort by
all-purpose back Denny Kimmel who went for 207 yards on the ground.
Bluffton will return to action on Saturday, October 22 when they travel to face HCAC rival Hanover. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.