Bluffton 36, Earlham 21
By: Evan Skilliter, sports information assistant
Sept. 21, 2013
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Beavers tallied their first win of the season on Saturday, Sept. 21, after Donovan Brown's (Cincinnati/Purcell Marian) three-touchdown performance led Bluffton to a 36-21 victory over the visiting Earlham Quakers. The win moved the Beavers to 1-2 overall, but 1-0 in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Bluffton's first score came at the 11:39 mark in the first quarter when Nick Sheehan (Monroe Ind./Heritage) found Brown through the air for a 14-yard touchdown. The lead was extended five minutes later when Brown hauled in his second touchdown of the day, this time from 25 yards out. Austin Sweeney (Adrian Mich./Whitmer) converted the extra point, pushing the Beavers' lead to 14-0.
The Quakers put up the only points of the second quarter, scoring nine on a touchdown and a field goal, sending the teams into the half with Bluffton holding a 14-9 lead.
Devante Thomas-Wright (Clinton Township Mich./Chippewa Valley) helped the hosts extend the lead to 21-9 with a 15yard rush to pay-dirt on the first drive of the second half. Earlham was unable to answer until the fourth quarter when Tre Stephens ran into the end zone from three yards out, making the score 21-15 with 12:27 left in the game.
On the following possession, Sheehan found Brown in the end zone for the third time on the day, pushing the Bluffton lead to 29-15. Another touchdown pass, this time from Sheehan to Shawn Frost (Edison/ Mt. Gilead) in the corner of the end zone, put the Beavers up 36-15. The visitors were only able to score one more time in the final minute, giving the Beavers their first win of the season.
Sheehan finished the game 23-of-39 passing with 210 yards and four touchdowns. Frost caught eight of those passes for 80 yards and a score while Brown and C.J. Sewell (Lima/Shawnee) finished with six catches apiece for 71 and 43 yards, respectively.
Calib Alexander (Ocala Fla./ St. John Lutheran) led the ground game, racking up 65 yards on 13 carries. Thomas-Wright finished with 51 yards on nine carries. Sewell chipped 27 yards on 10 carries and Eric Fox (Brunswick) finished with 27 on seven carries.
Josh Runda (Lima/Bath) led the Beaver defense with 11 tackles. Ben Schamp (St. Marys/Memorial) finished with seven tackles and half a sack while Mike Shroyer (Pataskala/Watkins Memorial) tallied six stops. Ryan Aelker (New Bavaria/Holgate) finished with five tackles, including an impressive two sacks and three tackles-for-loss (16 yards).
The Beavers finished with 381 total yards of offense, compared to Earlham's 325. 210 of Bluffton's 381 yards came through the air.
Bluffton will be back in action next week when they travel to Cincinnati to take on HCAC rival Mount St. Joseph. The next home contest will be October 12 as the Beavers welcome the Rose-Hulman Fightin' Engineers as part of the Homecoming weekend festivities.