Mount St. Joseph 28, Bluffton 17
Mount St. Joseph posts 28-17 win over Beavers
September 24, 2011
CINCINNATI, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team jumped out to a 10-0 lead before 28 unanswered by the Lions sent Mount St. Joseph to a 28-17 victory over the visitors. Bluffton slipped to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in the Heartland Conference while MSJ stayed perfect at 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the HCAC.
The Beavers used a 33-yard Tyler Wright (Troy) strike to Jason A. Johnson (Lansing, Mich./Lansing Eastern) to set up Austin Sweeney's (Adrian, Mich./Whitmer) 24-yard field goal with 6:55 to play in the first quarter. A Mount three-and-out gave Bluffton the ball at the Bluffton 45-yard line two minutes later. Wright found senior wideout Todd Trotter (Cincinnati/Aiken University) for a six-yard gain and a 15-yard reception before he called his own number and took it 15 yards to the house for a 10-0 advantage at the end of the first period.
The defenses ruled much of the second quarter until a 29-yard James Clay touchdown run got MSJ on the scoreboard with 2:51 left. A Beaver turnover at the home 33-yard line gave Mount St. Joseph the ball and it took just three completions by Brian Pitzer to make the score 14-10 in favor of the Lions. Both teams traded turnovers late in the half as MSJ took its 14-10 lead into the break.
Clay got loose for a 54-yard rush and a 19-yard run to start the third quarter before taking it in from seven yards out with 8:54 to play in the third stanza. His touchdown made the score 21-10. A Bluffton fumble late in the third quarter set up the Lions fourth score of the day when James Clay ran it in from the Bluffton 13 to give MSJ a comfortable 28-10 margin.
Bluffton took over with 2:26 to play and fashioned a nine-play, 80-yard scoring drive that culminated with a 27-yard touchdown reception from Chris Byrd (Detroit, MI/Detroit University Prep) to Jason A. Johnson. The Beavers attempted an on-side kick, but the home team recovered and ran one play before time expired in the Lions 28-17 win.
Both teams picked up 20 first downs, but MSJ finished with a 452-322 edge in total offense. The Lions gained 285 on the ground, compared to 130 for the Beavers. The visitors converted on 5-of-12 third down tries, while MSJ was good on 7-of-13 opportunities. The Mount controlled the ball for 31:49.
Wright and Byrd both went 9-of-14 on passing for 97 and 95 yards, respectively. Byrd threw for a touchdown while Wright rushed for a score. Trotter had five catches for 46 yards and Shawn Frost (Edison/ Mt. Gilead) finished with four catches for 38 yards. Jason. A. Johnson tallied 66 yards and a TD on three receptions.
Justin Crosier (Columbus/Hamilton Township) and Ben Kaufman (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf) led the Bluffton defense with six tackles each. Crosier had two TFL's for three yards. Spenser Smith (Wilmington) came up with a pick and Mike Johnson (Browns Mills, NJ/Pemberton Township) had a 10-yard TFL.
The Beavers return to action on Saturday, Oct. 1, when they welcome Earlham College for Homecoming. The contest is slated for 1:30 p.m. in Salzman Stadium.