Mount St. Joseph moves to 3-0 with 31-10 win at Bluffton
September 25, 2010
By: Josh Bruner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team welcomed the College of Mount
St. Joseph to Salzman Stadium on Saturday, September 25, 2010. The contest proved
to be even throughout the first half. The teams ended the first quarter in a 7-7 tie,
but the Lions pulled ahead by 10 going into the break. A pair of second half scores
gave MSJ the victory, as they defeated Bluffton 31-10. The win bumped the Lions to
3-0 overall, with a perfect 2-0 mark in the HCAC. The loss dropped Bluffton back to
1-3 overall, and 0-2 in the HCAC.
Bluffton's defense was struggling to get the MSJ offense off the field as they converted
on two third downs and a fourth down during their first drive. The Lions powered the
ball to the Bluffton 31, where the visitors passed the ball on first down. Sophomore
Justin Hahn (Rocky River) read the pass perfectly, picking it off and taking it to the house
for a 70-yard interception return for a Bluffton touchdown.
The Lions immediately responded and on the next drive Chris Howland connected with Derick Tabar for a 44-yard reception resulting in an MSJ touchdown. The Beavers were then forced
to punt on their next drive, but the Lions were unable to take advantage thanks to
another Bluffton pickoff, this time by Oscar Vazquez-Dyer (Findlay/Carey). Bluffton drained the clock on its next drive as they moved the ball
down to the MSJ 23, where Tyler Wright (Troy) threw an interception on a second down pass attempt.
The Beaver defense then forced a three-and-out from the MSJ offense. The ensuing possession
lasted just one play, as the home team fumbled the first snap, giving the Lions the
ball right back on the Bluffton 16. The Beaver defense proved strong again, holding
the Lions to only three yards and a 30-yard field goal. Bluffton once again fumbled
the snap on its next drive, giving the ball to MSJ at the Bluffton 41. The Lions took
advantage of the field position this time, as they drove it into the end zone for
seven more points before the half. The Beavers went into the intermission trailing
Bluffton came out of the half moving the ball effectively as they drove it to the
MSJ three-yard line, but the Lions held the Beavers to a 20-yard field goal from Austin Sweeney (Adrian Mich./Whitmer) which pulled Bluffton back within a touchdown at 17-10. MSJ
pounded the ball down the field, taking seven minutes off the clock en route to a
Jake Davis two-yard score. The touchdown put the Lions up 24-10 with just over three minutes
left in the third. The Beavers fumbled the ball and MSJ recovered it right before
the end the third.
The Bluffton defense once again managed to hold the MSJ offense, as they forced a
punt on the first drive in the fourth. The Lions also showed their defensive strength
as they forced a three-and-out by the Beavers. MSJ quickly moved the ball down the
field and capped the scoring with another Jake Davis scoring plunge which capped an
eight-play, 73-yard drive for the 31-10 final score.
The Beavers and Lions rushed for 160 and 157 yards, respectively, but the MSJ passing
game proved to be the difference, as they threw the ball for 213 yards, completing
20-of-27 attempts, while Bluffton only threw for 47 yards on 8-of-15 passing. Each
team committed six infractions throughout the game. The three fumbles came back to
haunt the Beavers as MSJ turned them into 10 points while helping the Lions to over
36 minutes of possession time for the offense. The Lions were outstanding on fourth
down conversions, moving the chains on three of their four attempts. The Lions also
completed 9-of-17 tries on third down, while Bluffton converted on 4-of-9 attempts.
Wright led the Beaver offense, running for 86 yards on 17 attempts and throwing for
22 yards. Chris Byrd (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Univ. Prep) was close behind, rushing for 71 yards on 11
carries and throwing for 25 yards on 5-of-11 passing. The Beaver receiving corps was
led by Alexander Carter (Troy) who pulled in three catches for 15 yards. Jason A. Johnson (Lansing, MI. /Lansing Eastern) added 15 yards on two catches. Shane Swisher (Findlay/McComb) grabbed two passes for 11 yards, and Todd Trotter (Cincinnati/Aiken University) finished off the receiving with one snag for six yards.
Hahn led the defense with 8.5 tackles (seven solos) and one interception returned
for the only Bluffton touchdown. Geoff Yost (North Canton/Jackson) and Justin Crosier (Columbus/Hamilton Township) each stopped the Lions seven times. Steve Sealscott (Van Wert), Josh Runda (Lima/Bath), and Jacob Luthy (Ida, MI/Ida) each added four solo stops with Sealscott and Luthy tallying four and
three assists, respectively. Crosier finished with 3 TFL's for 14 yards, including
a nine-yard sack.
The Beavers will pick up action again next Saturday, Oct. 2, when they travel to Earlham
College for another HCAC matchup with the Quakers. The contest is scheduled to begin
at 1:30 p.m. in Richmond, Indiana.