Bluffton at Defiance preview
Bluffton University at Defiance College
When: Saturday, November 10, 2007, at 1 p.m.
Where: Defiance, Ohio - Justin F. Coressel Stadium
On the Radio: Listen live to Bluffton University football on WDOH 107.1 FM.
Bluffton University (0-9, 0-6 HCAC) travels to long-time rival Defiance College (5-4, 4-2 HCAC) for the 2007 finale
The Head Coaches
Greg Brooks is currently in his fifth year as the head coach of the Bluffton University football team. The Beavers have put together a 13-36 mark during Brooks' tenure at the helm. He previously served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Bluffton, leading the Beavers to their best offensive seasons in school history.
The 2007 campaign is Robert Taylor's fifth season at the helm of the Yellow Jacket football program and 10th overall with Defiance College. Prior to taking over the reigns of the program, Taylor spent five seasons as the team's defensive coordinator. The Yellow Jackets have shown steady improvement under Taylor's guidance and turned in a 7-3 mark in 2006, one year after posting the largest single-season improvement in school history.
Bluffton-Defiance Series History
Bluffton makes the short trip to Defiance for the 83rd meeting between the two backyard rivals. The Yellow Jackets lead the series 42-38 with a pair of ties. Defiance has claimed victories in four of the last five games, including a pair of dominating wins at Salzman Stadium the past two seasons.
Last Week's Contests
The Mt. St. Joseph football team found the end zone three times in the first quarter and put it on cruise control, improving to 8-1 overall and 6-1 in Heartland Conference action with a convincing 28-0 shutout of Bluffton University at Salzman Stadium on Saturday, November 3, 2007. The Beavers fell to 0-9 overall and 0-6 in the HCAC with their loss to the Mount on Family Day at Bluffton.
An interception by Rocky Siegel on Bluffton's first possession gave MSJ the ball on the Bluffton 15-yard line less than three minutes into the contest. The Lions needed only five plays to take the early 7-0 lead when Kevin Cocanougher, who ended the day with three touchdowns, went in from one yard out with 10:17 to play in the opening stanza.
Bluffton generated only 11 yards on its next two possessions as Mt. St. Joseph also went three-and-out on its second drive. The Lions took over at their own 35-yard line following a Jonathan Thompson (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) punt and needed only one play to push their lead to 14-0. Cocanougher took the handoff, changed directions and went to the house for a 65-yard scoring run with 6:04 to play in the first quarter.
The Beavers' next drive netted only five yards following a MSJ sack of Kyle Coleman (Etna/Watkins Memorial), forcing another Bluffton punt. With the Lions facing a 3rd and 12, junior quarterback John Barbour found Tim Meiner for a 43-yard pick-up to the home one-yard line. Fullback Ben Widolff used an MSJ surge at the line to make the score 21-0 with just over a minute to play in the opening quarter.
Both teams had long drives come to a screeching halt early in the third quarter as a result of fumbles on running plays. Bluffton then fumbled on fourth down following an MSJ sack, giving the Lions excellent field position at the home 42-yard line. The Lions returned the favor again, tossing an interception to Gordon Hagen (Toledo/Libbey) who took it back to the Bluffton 44.
The Mount tacked on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Barbour to Cocanougher with 4:19 to play for the 28-0 final over the Beavers.
MSJ picked up 13 first downs compared to 10 for the home team. Despite running 72 plays to only 60 for the Lions, MSJ gained 330 yards, including 218 on the ground, while limiting the Beavers to only 153 total yards. Both teams struggled to move the chains on third down as the Lions went 3-of-12 while Bluffton converted on only 3-of-18 opportunities. Bluffton had possession of the ball for over 34 minutes, nearly 10 minutes more than the Mount, but MSJ won the battle on the scoreboard, 28-0.
Sophomore Greg Mason (Cleveland/Collinwood) led the Beavers with 64 yards on the ground. Cameron Campeau (Pfafftown, N.C.) and A.J. Ramthun (Springfield/Southeastern) chipped in with 37 and 24 yards, respectively. Junior tight end Joel Sienicki (Goshen, Ind./Northridge) hauled in three receptions for 18 yards while Campeau added a pair of catches for 21 yards.
Senior linebacker Sam McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) continued to impress, racking up 14 tackles for the Beavers. Adding nine stops on the day was senior Taylor Iceman who also picked off his fifth pass of the year. Seniors Erick Buddin (Ypsilanti, Mich./Ypsilanti) and Jeremy Hanson (Oakwood/Paulding) chipped in with eight and seven tackles, respectively. Senior Gordon Hagen (Toledo/Libbey) finished the game with six tackles.
Franklin 55, Defiance 22
Keith Snyder tied a Defiance College single-game record with three interceptions and Luke Dillon added two more records, but it was not enough to keep pace with a potent Franklin squad. The No. 21 Grizzlies ended DC's HCAC title hopes by handing the Jackets a 55-22 loss on Saturday.
Franklin reached the end zone three times in the opening quarter to build a 21-3 lead and Defiance would never get any closer than 12 points from that point on. Lewis Caralla, Luke Dillon and Christopher Khoma all recorded touchdowns for DC in the loss.
Dillon led all DC players with six catches for 78 yards and a touchdown. With that performance, Dillon took sole possession of the all-time DC receiving record with 27 career touchdowns and set the school's single-season mark with 89 receptions. The standout senior will try for two more records in his final collegiate game, as he needs 24 yards and two touchdowns against Bluffton to break both single-season records.
Snyder piled up 10 tackles to lead all players and also forced a fumble to go with his trio of interceptions. Snyder's first interception came early in the first quarter and his 20-yard return led to an eventual Yellow Jacket field goal which trimmed the deficit to 7-3.
R.J. Chidester also forced a fumble and recorded nine tackles and Dustin Supan and Travis Guisinger each added six hits. Chris Tietje had the only tackle for lost yardage on the day for Defiance and totaled four stops.
Leading the Beavers
Sophomore tailback Greg Mason leads the Bluffton rushing attack with 348 yards and two touchdowns. Cameron Campeau has netted 264 yards on the ground with three scores. Junior quarterback Kyle Coleman has completed 72-of-164 passes for 773 yards and two touchdowns. Joel Sienicki is pacing the Bluffton receivers with 27 receptions for 243 yards and one of the Beavers' four receiving touchdowns. Drew Lovelace (Trumansburg, NY/Charles U. Dickerson) and Mike Brown (North Wales, Penn./Calvary Christian Academy) have 17 catches each. Lovelace has two touchdown receptions.
Two-time first team All-HCAC linebacker Sam McCullough has a conference-high 133 stops, including 55 solos, six sacks, two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a blocked punt. Senior safeties Taylor Iceman (Lucas/Lucas), who has five interceptions on the year, and Ryan Christy (Snellville, Ga./South Gwinnet) have chipped in with 74 and 40 tackles, respectively. Kyle Rode (Delphos/Jefferson) has anchored the defensive line with 39 tackles, including eight sacks for a loss of 64 yards, an 86-yard interception return for a touchdown at Hanover and a fumble recovery. Senior linebacker Gordon Hagen has 48 tackles while sophomore defensive back Brandon Herr (Bluffton/Bluffton) has added 43 stops.
Next up for the Beavers and Yellow Jackets
Bluffton's battle with the Yellow Jackets will bring the 2007 football season to a completion for both of the Heartland Conference foes.