bc at manchester
Bluffton aims to regroup Saturday at Manchester
October 17, 2001
Setting the scene
Bluffton College hopes to jump back into the upper half of the Heartland Conference standings on Saturday as the Beavers travel to Manchester College. With four weeks remaining in the season, the 2001 HCAC title is still a long way from being decided, and a BC win on Saturday will keep Bluffton in the thick of things as to who will represent the HCAC in the playoffs.
Bluffton leads the all-time series against Manchester 26-20 since their first meeting back in 1932. Bluffton has won the past three meetings against the Spartans, outscoring them 95-33. Their last meeting in Manchester's Carl W. Burt Memorial Stadium was in 1998, when the Beavers scored touchdowns on their first two offensive plays en route to a 42-23 win.
BC Head Coach Carlin Carpenter is 97-117-1 in his 23rd season at Bluffton College. He is 10-9 against Manchester, who is led by Head Coach Dave Harms, who owns a 21-45 record in his 7th season with the Spartans.
October 21, 2000: Bluffton 27, Manchester 0. The BC defense intercepted four Manchester passes and allowed just 183 yards total offense in shutting out the Spartans 27-0 last season in Salzman Stadium. Senior tailback Tyson Goings scored all four Bluffton touchdowns, three coming on the ground and one through the air from quarterback Brad Moore, who was 8-19 passing for 128 yards.
Freshman linebacker Pat Craun tied a BC record with three interceptions in the game. He totaled 39 return yards and added a caused fumble and eight tackles. Junior Josh Slaughter also picked off a pass and Senior Greg Ditz led the BC defense with 12 tackles, while senior Greg Bruns and sophomore Matt Scholz both recorded two quarterback sacks. Manchester was just four of 13 on third-down conversions.
Bluffton suffered a 34-15 loss last Saturday to Hanover in a rematch of the last year's HCAC co-champs. Hanover passed for 410 yards and three touchdowns to put a damper on Bluffton's homecoming festivities. BC's Jovan Johnson rushed for 188 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries and Brad Moore completed 13 of 24 passes for 139 yards and a touchdown, but the Hanover defense kept the Beavers out of the endzone in the fourth quarter as BC attempted a comeback.
Manchester went on the road last Saturday and fell to HCAC leader Defiance College 38-20 for Spartans' fourth loss in a row. Manchester gave up 394 yards through the air to Defiance, who entered the game as the league's top rushing outfit.
These two teams bring solid rushing attacks into Saturday's game, with Bluffton ranked second in the league with 194.8 yards on the ground per game and Manchester ranked third with 133.8 yards per game. Bluffton looks to Jovan Johnson for most of those rushing yards, as the sophomore leads the conference in rushing with 633 yards. Manchester, meanwhile, gives the football to David Barrett, who has accumulated 402 yards so far this season, which ranks fifth in the HCAC.
If that facet of the game balances out, then the passing game could be where the winner is determined. Heading into last week's games, Defiance ranked last in the league in passing yardage but put up 394 yards through the air on the Manchester defense, which ranks last in the HCAC in that department, giving up 269.7 yards passing per game. Bluffton now enters this week's games with the fewest passing yards in the league, although quarterback Brad Moore does rank fifth among HCAC quarterbacks in efficiency.
Third down situations will also be a big factor in the game. The Bluffton offense is successful on over 45% of their third down opportunities, but Manchester is allowing their opponents to convert on only 33% of those chances, which ranks second in the league.
Other HCAC rankings
Bluffton's Jovan Johnson ranks second in the HCAC in kickoff return average (25.8 ypr), and Jon Spradling is tied for second in punt return average (9.6 ypr).
Bluffton kicker Adam Burgess leads the HCAC in kick scoring (5.3 ppg) and field goals made (7) and ranks third in PAT kick percentage (64%).
Bluffton has been penalized for the fewest amount of yards in the league (190).
This will be the third straight week that Bluffton has participated in someone's homecoming. On October 6 Bluffton was the guest at Mount St. Joseph's homecoming, then last week Bluffton hosted their own homecoming. In both cases, the visiting team was victorious.