Franklin 54, Bluffton 7
Beavers suffer 54-7 defeat at the hands of Franklin College
September 29, 2007
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team struggled to match the Franklin playmakers as the Grizzlies dominated the home team from start to finish in the Heartland Conference opener on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2007. Franklin piled up 613 total yards, including Chad Rupp's 387 through the air, while plastering Bluffton at Salzman Stadium, 54-7.
Despite a 2 to 1 time of possession disparity in favor of the Beavers in the opening half, Franklin found the end zone on five of its six possessions for a 35-7 lead at the break. Rupp delivered three touchdown passes of over 55 yards, including a 57-yard scoring strike to standout running back R.J. Hartsfield who also found paydirt twice on the ground.
Down 21-0 late in the first quarter, junior quarterback Kyle Coleman (Etna/Watkins Memorial) directed one of Bluffton's best drives of the season, completing five passes while going 75 yards in 13 plays. Coleman capped the possession with a 23-yard strike to Drew Lovelace (Trumansburg, NY/Charles U. Dickerson) who dove across the goal line to cut the deficit to 14 points with 10:31 to play in the first half.
Three playe later, Rupp hooked up with Austin Gorrell for a 56-yard touchdown. The third touchdown of the afternoon by Hartsfield, who picked up 112 yards on the ground and 92 yards receiving, made the score 35-7 in favor of the visitors at the half.
A huge Kyle Rode (Delphos/Jefferson) sack for a loss of 17 yards gave Bluffton hope early in the third frame, but a botched punt return set up another Gorrell touchdown reception and the rout was on, 42-7, less than five minutes into the second half.
With Rupp on the sideline, Franklin used its ground game to put 12 more points on the board as the Grizzlies opened HCAC play with a convincing 54-7 victory over the Beavers while setting up a Franklin-Mt. St. Joseph showdown in Cincinnati on Saturday, October 13.
Greg Mason (Cleveland/Collinwood) led the Beavers with three receptions for 19 yards. Chipping in with two receptions were Joel Sienicki (Goshen, Ind. Northridge), Drew Lovelace and Cameron Campeau (Pfafftown, N.C.) who also rumbled for 32 yards on nine carries. Coleman completed nine of 15 passes for 128 yards and one touchdown. Sam McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) once again led the Beavers with 10 stops. Senior safeties Ryan Christy (Snellville, Ga./South Gwinnet) and Taylor Iceman (Lucas/Lucas) added nine and eight tackles, respectively.
Franklin picked up 613 yards on the afternoon compared to a season-high 201 for the Beavers. On the ground, the Grizzlies churned out 249 yards on 42 rushes while the defense limited Bluffton to 41 yards.
Bluffton returns to action on Saturday, Oct. 6, when it travels to Manchester College to do battle with the Spartans. The contest is slated to start at 1:30 p.m.