Manchester improves to 3-0 in the HCAC with 23-7 win over Beavers
October 17, 2009
By: Josh Bruner, sports information assistant
Click here for box score
NORTH MANCHESTER, Ind. - The Bluffton University football team traveled to Manchester
College for a conference matchup. The Beavers played a strong three quarters, down
only seven with 15 minutes to go, but the Spartans managed to put up nine points in
the fourth as the visitors fell by a final score of 23-7 on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2009.
Bluffton dropped to 0-6 overall and 0-3 in the Heartland Conference, while Manchester
moved to 3-3 and 3-0 in the HCAC.
Manchester drove in for their first touchdown with just under nine minutes to go in
the opening quarter. They took possession on the Bluffton 14-yard line after Jeff McDonald blocked a Bluffton punt. The Spartans needed just five plays to put it in the end
zone for a 7-0 lead following a Kurt Monix one-yard rush to paydirt. Manchester then put together a 12-play, six-minute drive
before the end of the first that was capped on Justin Minnich's four-yard scoring run.
The second quarter consisted of more defense until Bluffton's Brock Miller (Cincinnati/Oak Hills) connected with Jason G. Johnson (Cleveland/Collinwood) for a 39-yard touchdown pass to pull the Beavers within seven
going into the half.
The defenses also ruled in the third quarter as both teams were held scoreless. A
Bluffton interception at their 13-yard line by junior Mitch Dunlap (St. Marys/Memorial) prevented a Manchester score.
To start the fourth quarter, Bluffton's defense held Manchester to a field goal after
the home team returned an interception by Josh Kapla to the Bluffton 22. The 25-yard Brandon Wells chip shot made the score 17-7 with
just under 11 minutes left in the fourth. Manchester's defense struck again, taking
another interception back to the Bluffton 16 with two minutes left in the game. The
Spartans quickly scored with one rush by Brandon Wells for 16 yards to end the scoring
with the home team on top, 23-7.
The offense was very even as Bluffton held a slight edge with 250 yards, compared
to Manchester's 247. Bluffton threw for 229 yards (22-of-41), while Manchester completed
15-of-24 passes for 129 yards. The Spartans' rushing was the difference as they carried
the ball 41 times for 118 yards, while the Beavers only ran for 21 yards on 30 carries.
Six Manchester sacks played a large part in Bluffton's poor showing on the ground.
Bluffton was whistled for just one penalty, while the Spartans had six infractions
for 70 yards. Both squads struggled on third downs, with Bluffton moving the chains
five times and Manchester six times. Bluffton converted 1-of-4 fourth down tries,
while the Spartans did not attempt any fourth down conversions. The Beavers picked
up 16 first downs, one more than the Spartans.
Miller went 21-of-38 for 219 yards and a score while John Hazen (Cardington/Cardington-Lincoln) finished the afternoon 1-of-2 for 10 yards. Ross Shoup (Apple Creek/Waynedale) led the Beaver receiving corps, catching seven passes for
81 yards. Jason G. Johnson hauled in six catches for 89 yards and a 39-yard touchdown.
Todd Trotter (Cincinnati/Aiken University), Shane Swisher (Findlay/McComb), Dan Chipka (Waterville/Anthony Wayne) and Tevin Hale (Latty/Wayne Trace) all added two receptions for the Beavers.
Justin Crosier (Columbus/Hamilton Township) led the Bluffton defense with 14 tackles, seven of which
were solos. Shane Hubbard (Johnstown/Big Walnut) added 10 tackles and David Himmeger (Grove City/Central Crossing) had eight stops for the Beaver defense. Jesse Herr (Bluffton/Bluffton) and Stephen Miller (Logan/Logan) added five tackles apiece. Dunlap had Bluffton's interception midway
through the third stanza.
The Beavers will be back in Salzman Stadium next Saturday, Oct. 24, when they host
Rose-Hulman for a Heartland Conference meeting. The contest is slated to start at