Centre College 27, Bluffton University 20
Football drops 2005 season opener on the road at Centre College
By Ben Risinger, sports information director
September 3, 2005
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team (0-1) was defeated 27-20 by Centre College (1-0) on September 3rd. The loss was the first season opening defeat for the Beavers in three years. Bluffton defeated Centre 33-24 in 2004 and Hiram 35-14 in 2003.
Senior running back Ben Dodds (West Liberty/Bellefontaine) posted all three of the Beaver's touchdowns on the day with runs of 14, 56 and 16 yards. Dodds led all Bluffton rushers in the game with 185 yards off of 23 carries. He also led the Beaver receivers with five catches for 44 yards from the air. Senior kicker Seth Burkholder (Bluffton/Bluffton) converted 2-of-3 PAT's as his second was blocked by the Colonels. Senior quarterback Jared Owens (Van Wert/Crestview) completed 12-of-20 passes for the contest for 95 total yards in his first game back since missing the final nine games of the 2004 campaign. Sophomore linebacker Sam McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) led the defensive effort with 14 tackles (7 solo, 7 assisted) and three tackles-for-a-loss for five yards.
Bluffton started the game in good fashion as they posted two unanswered touchdowns by Dodds in the first quarter to lead 13-0. Centre shifted the momentum of the contest in the second quarter as they scored a late 16-yard touchdown run with four minutes left and a 31-yard field goal with 1:32 left in the half. The Beavers held onto a slim 13-10 lead as they headed into the locker rooms for halftime.
Bluffton then widened their lead to 20-10 midway through the third quarter as Dodds picked up his third touchdown of the day. The Colonels came straight back two minutes later as Chris Thompson kicked his second field goal of the contest to make the score, 20-13. The fourth quarter would be all she wrote for the Beavers as Centre posted two unanswered touchdowns (6-yard pass, 16-yard run) for the final score of 27-20.
Statistically the game was very even as Bluffton posted 18 first downs to Centre's 17. The Colonels led in total yardage with 332 yards (248 rushing, 84 passing) to Bluffton's 305 yards (210 rushing, 95 passing). Both squads posted six penalties as Centre was penalized 258 yards and the Beavers 232 yards. The Colonels were 5-of-5 from the red zone with Bluffton going 2-for-2 in scoring chances.
The Beavers will be back on the road next Saturday, September 10 when they travel to Hiram College. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.