Franklin 24, Bluffton 21
Franklin uses turnovers to defeat Bluffton 24-21
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., sports information director
November 5, 2005
BLUFFTON, Ohio -The Bluffton University football team (3-6, 2-3 HCAC) lost a close game to the Franklin College Grizzlies (4-5, 2-3 HCAC) by a final score of 24-21 on Saturday, November 5, 2005.
Bluffton jumped out to an early 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game when it took only four plays to convert on the fumble caused by sophomore defensive end Cody Walters (Pataskala/Licking Heights). Junior tight end Jeremy Haselman (Leipsic/Leipsic) picked up his second touchdown of the year on a 15-yard toss from senior quarterback Jared Owens (Van Wert/Crestview). The Grizzlies used great field position following a Bluffton fumble and a blocked field goal attempt to take a 14-7 lead with 12 minutes to play in the first half. Ben McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) capped a nine-play 68-yard drive with a two-yard scoring run late in the first half to send the Beavers into halftime tied at 14.
The Beavers used a defensive stand on Franklin's first possession of the second half
to set up their third score of the day. Bluffton took over in Franklin territory and
promptly marched 48 yards in only five plays, including a 27-yard Owens scoring run,
to go up 21-14 early in the third quarter. That lead was short lived as Danny Sears returned the Seth Burkholder (Bluffton/Bluffton) kickoff 91 yards to knot the score at 21. Another Bluffton fumble
deep in Grizzly territory would be the last chance for the Beavers in the red-zone
as the Franklin defense took over late in the game. Good Grizzly field position allowed
Franklin field goal kicker Beau Zoeller to give his team the victory when he connected from 45 yards out with two minutes
to play in the game.
The Beavers put up 392 total yards of offense, including an outstanding 272 on the ground. They held the Franklin offense to 270 yards, but turnovers cost Bluffton a chance to move to 3-2 in conference play. Senior tailback Ben Dodds (West Liberty/Bellefontaine) went over the 1000-yard mark for the second time while at Bluffton as he picked up 93 yards on 18 carries. Owens completed ten passes for 120 yards and one touchdown while also gaining 86 yards on the ground. Sophomore running back Terence Clayton (Napoleon/Napoleon) went for 64 yards on 12 rushes. Haselman caught three passes for 37 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown, to lead the Bluffton receivers. Sophomore Aaron Whiltlock (Grove City/Central Crossing) also hauled in three catches for 34 yards. Sophomore linebacker Sam McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) picked up 12 tackles, including eight solos, while senior defensive tackle Bryan Lloyd (Elida/Bath) recorded two sacks to lead the Bluffton defense.