Rose-Hulman 21, Bluffton 14
Bluffton falls to Engineers at Rose-Hulman, 21-14
October 13, 2007
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - A pair of Greg Mason (Cleveland/Collinwood) touchdown carries sparked the Bluffton University football team, but two Rose-Hulman interceptions proved to be the difference as the Engineers held on for a 21-14 victory over the Beavers on Saturday, October 13, 2007. Bluffton fell to 0-6 overall and 0-3 in Heartland Conference action while RHIT improved to 5-2 with a 2-2 mark in the HCAC.
On the Beavers second possession of the game, Steve Hawkins picked off Kyle Coleman (Etna/Watkins Memorial) and returned it 42 yards to put Rose up 7-0 with over 10 minutes to play in quarter one.
The Beavers refused to hang their heads and they were rewarded with one of their best drives of the season which knotted the score at seven. A steady dose of Cameron Campeau (Pfafftown, N.C.) on the ground along with a 22-yard Coleman to Mike Brown (North Wales, Penn./Calvary Christian Academy) completion set up Mason's first score of the year, an 11-yard scamper into the end zone.
Rose-Hulman wasted little time reclaiming its one touchdown advantage as the Engineers went 75 yards in nine plays and capped the drive with an 11-yard scoring strike from Derrick Eitel to Reed Eason with 2:14 to play in the opening quarter. The home team put together a five-minute drive in the second quarter but came up empty when Drew Lovelace (Trumansburg, NY/Charles U. Dickerson) knocked down Eitel's fourth down pass intended for Nate Richter, giving Bluffton the ball on its own 46-yard line. An otherwise uneventful second stanza allowed Rose to take its 14-7 lead into the break.
To open the second half, the Engineers fashioned a 13-play, 70-yard drive that Tyler Thornton capped with a four-yard touchdown run. RHIT moved the chains five times thanks to a Bryan Wong led rushing attack that was efficient and time consuming as the Engineers used up 6:23 off the game clock.
Bluffton went back to Campeau on the ground and short Coleman passes on its ensuing possession before the Engineers forced a Bluffton fumble with the Beavers only five yards from cutting the deficit in half. Rose recovered with 3:27 to play in the third quarter, but the Bluffton defense stuffed the Engineers and forced a punt from the home 10-yard line.
A poor RHIT punt gave Bluffton the ball on the home 29 after Lovelace's six yard return. Coleman found Brown for a 12-yard completion and Mason picked up 15 yards before his two-yard scoring run made the score 21-14 in favor of the Engineers.
The Beavers had their chances in the fourth quarter as Rose struggled to move the ball, but a Bluffton incompletion at the home 11 on fourth and four stopped the visitors midway through the final period. On their next possession, the Beavers nearly had their drive halted when Rose appeared to have come up with an interception. The ball ended up in Coleman's hands for a three yard gain before Hawkins picked off Coleman's next offering with 1:46 left in the game.
Bluffton had one more chance but it was unable to go the required 83 yards it needed to send the game into overtime as Rose held on for a 21-14 victory over the Beavers.
The Beavers picked up 17 first downs compared to 15 for the home squad. For the game, Rose gained 322 total yards, 165 on the ground and 157 through the air. Bluffton threw for 169 yards and rushed for 98. Both teams struggled on third down as Bluffton converted on 2-of-10 opportunities and Rose cashed in on 4-of-14 chances. Penalties slowed Rose as the Engineers racked up eight infractions for 65 total yards while Bluffton committed only three offenses for 18 yards.
Campeau and Mason picked up 48 and 30 yards, respectively, to lead the Bluffton ground game. Coleman completed 15-of-30 passes for 169 yards, but he also threw two costly interceptions. Brown led the Bluffton receivers with three catches for 47 yards. Joel Sienicki (Goshen, Ind./Northridge) and Lovelace also hauled in three receptions for the Beavers. Senior linebacker Sam McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) paced the Bluffton defense once again with 16 tackles, including 10 solos. Taylor Iceman (Lucas/Lucas) added seven stops while sophomore Brandon Herr (Bluffton/Bluffton) and freshman Mitch Dunlap (St. Mary's/St. Mary's) chipped in with six tackles each.
Bluffton returns to Salzman Stadium for its 2007 Homecoming game after close HCAC road contests the past two weeks. The Beavers welcome Anderson University on Saturday, October 20, for a 1:30 p.m. start.