anderson 27, bc 9
Big plays lift Anderson over Bluffton 27-9 in HCAC opener
September 29, 2001
Just by taking a glance at the statistics, one could guess that 27-9 would have been the final score from Anderson, Indiana on Saturday. What one wouldn't be able to guess, however, is that it was the Anderson University Ravens that walked away with the victory to send Bluffton College to a 0-1 start in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference and a 1-3 mark overall.
The Beavers owned the football for 38 minutes during the game, compared to just 21 for the hosts and outgained Anderson 324 to 303, but it was the big-play Raven offense that put up the points as the BC offense scored on just two of their ten possessions despite sustaining long drives on several of them.
A 27-yard field goal by Bluffton's Adam Burgess just before halftime put Bluffton on the scoreboard as the Beavers trailed 7-3 at the intermission. Anderson would add three more touchdowns in the second half compared to just one for BC, which was a one-yard run by sophomore fullback T.J. Phlipot early in the fourth quarter.
Bluffton sophomore tailback Jovan Johnson rushed for a career-high 195 yards on 41 carries, but was held without a touchdown in the game thanks in part to what the officials ruled as a fumble as Johnson crossed the goalline with 4:36 left in the game, which would have brought the score to within five points. Anderson would go on to score twice more to put the game out of reach.
BC junior quarterback Brad Moore completed eight of 18 passes for 120 yards, but left the game late in the fourth quarter from a neck injury. His status is questionable for next Saturday's game at Mount St. Joseph.
Seven of Bluffton's ten possessions took over three minutes off the clock, including a 13 play drive to start the game that resulted in a field goal and an 18 play drive to end the first half.
BC ran 76 plays during the game, compared to just 45 for Anderson. Bluffton forced five Anderson punts, while punting just twice themselves.
Several of those plays, however, went for big gains, including a 43-yard pass to set up AU's lone TD of the third quarter and a 72-yard run on their final drive to set up the final score of the game.
Anderson entered the game as the league's top passing team, averaging over 330 yards per game through the air. On Saturday, however, the Ravens attempted just 16 passes and completed 10 for 132 yards. AU didn't commit a turnover.
Sophomore middle linebacker Chris Sommers led the defense with eight tackles, while senior outside linebacker Jon Richardson collected six stops.
Bluffton will go for their first HCAC win of the season next Saturday against the College of Mount St. Joseph at Cincinnati Elder High School.