Manchester vs. Bluffton preview
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., interim sports information director
September 27, 2005
When: Saturday, October 1, 2005 at 1:30 p.m.
Where: North Manchester, Indiana - Carl W. Burt Stadium
On the Radio: Listen live to Bluffton University football on WDOH 107.1 FM.
Bluffton University (1-3) dropped their second straight home contest to Adrian College last week by a score of 45-21. Manchester College also enters the contest at 1-3 on the season. The Bulldogs are coming off of a 40-7 defeat at the hands of Olivet College last week. The Beaver-Spartan contest is part of Hall of Fame Day and Parent's Weekend at Manchester.
The Head Coaches
Head coach Greg Brooks enters his third year at the helm of the Bluffton University
football team. Brooks' teams have collected eight wins during his tenure as head coach
of the Beavers. Prior to assuming the head coaching duties at Bluffton, Brooks was
the quarterbacks' coach and offensive coordinator for the Beavers.
The Spartans are led by Shannon Griffith who is returning for his second season as the head coach at Manchester. Griffith was an All-State quarterback for Northrop High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He continued his football career at Ball State University where he led the Cardinals to the Mid-American Conference championship in 1989. Prior to taking over at Manchester, Griffith served as an assistant coach at Ball State for eight years.
Bluffton-Manchester Series History
Bluffton holds a 28-22 advantage in the all-time series over Manchester. The Beavers
defeated Manchester in 2004 by a score of 35-13 at Salzman Stadium.
Last Week for the Beavers and Spartans
The Beavers could not hold on to a first half lead as they were defeated by a talented Adrian team 45-21. The final score was not indicative of the game as Bluffton trailed by only ten points with six minutes to play. The Beaver offense put up 345 yards against an Adrian team that held Defiance to 87 total yards in its' previous contest. Senior quarterback Jared Owns rushed for two scores and threw for another as he passed for 152 yards. Senior running back Ben Dodds broke through the line numerous times as he went for 111 yards on 23 carries. Junior defensive back Jeremy Anderson led the Beavers with 11 tackles and picked up 82 yards on three kickoff returns on his way to being named Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference special teams' Player-of-the-week. Sophomore safety Taylor Iceman picked off two Bulldog passes to stop Adrian drives.
Manchester gave up all 40 of Olivet's points in the second half as the Spartans went down by a final score of 40-7 on September 24. Junior running back Brent Ash rushed for 96 yards to lead the Manchester offense. Javon Joyner caught two passes for 30 yards while Justin Wolf picked up his first collegiate touchdown on a ten-yard toss from quarterback Joel Hawkins. Jared Markham and Nick Nicodemus led the Spartan defense with eight tackles apiece.
Last Season's Contest
The Beavers knocked off Manchester 35-13 during the first Bluffton University homecoming game. Running back Ben Dodds led the offense for Bluffton as he rushed for 123 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Terence Clayton also pushed it across the goal-line twice and finished with 52 yards on the ground. Linebacker Scott Steiner plugged up the middle in recording a team-high 17 tackles while cornerback Jeremy Anderson picked off a Spartan pass and returned it for a touchdown.
Manchester quarterback Joe DaCraene completed 25 passes on the day for 284 yards,
however, the Beavers managed to intercept him three times. William Cardwell was the
recipient of six of those passes as he racked up 80 yards receiving against Bluffton
last year. B. J. Edwards led the Spartan defense with 11 tackles for the game.
Leading the Beavers
Senior Ben Dodds leads the Bluffton rushing attack with 82 carries for 477 yards and four touchdowns through the first four games. Junior fullback Ben McCullough has gained 173 yards on 36 carries while reaching the end zone twice. Quarterback Jared Owens has thrown for 339 yards on 33 completions.
Sophomore linebacker Sam McCullough leads the Beaver defense with 38 tackles (12 solos,
26 assists), including 5 TFL's for a total loss of 12 yards. Senior safety Jon Mershman
has recorded 24 tackles including 10 solos through the first four games.
Next up for the Beavers and Spartans
Bluffton will host Anderson University on Saturday, October 15 for their 2005 Homecoming game. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Manchester travels to Hanover College on October 8 to face the Panthers. The game is scheduled for a 1:30 p.m. start.