Bluffton vs. Adrian football preview
When: Saturday, September 16, 2006 at 1 p.m.
Where: Adrian, Michigan - Multi-Sport Performance Stadium
On the Radio: Listen live to Bluffton University football on WDOH 107.1 FM.
Bluffton University returns to action following a bye week when it travels to face the Adrian College Bulldogs who opened their 2006 campaign with a 10-0 loss to fellow Heartland Conference member Defiance College on Sept. 9.
The Head Coaches
Greg Brooks enters his fourth year at the helm of the Bluffton University football team. The Beavers have accumulated a 10-21 mark during Brooks' tenure as the head coach. Brooks previously served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for Bluffton, leading the Beavers to their best offensive seasons in school history.
Bulldog head coach Jim Lyall is entering his 16th season at Adrian College. The University of Michigan graduate has led the Bulldogs to a 21-9 record over the past three seasons. The all-time winningest coach in Adrian history, Lyall has won one MIAA championship as well as having coached seven All-Americans during his tenure at Adrian.
Bluffton-Adrian Series History
The Bulldogs hold a 10-3 advantage in the all-time series with the Beavers, and they
have been victorious in six of the last seven contests. Following a twenty seven-year
hiatus in the series, Adrian and Bluffton resumed their rivalry in 2004 with the Bulldogs
claiming victories the past two seasons.
Last Season's Contest
Bluffton jumped out to a 7-0 advantage with five minutes to play in the first quarter when senior quarterback Jared Owens (Van Wert/Crestview) snuck across the goal line from one yard out. Chris Clay evened the score for Adrian when he went into the end zone from the nine-yard line four minutes later. Jared Owens led the next two Beaver scoring drives giving Bluffton a 21-7 lead with less than six minutes to play in the first half. He hit sophomore Aaron Whitlock (Grove City/Central Crossing) for a 37-yard touchdown and followed that with a two-yard touchdown run himself capping Bluffton's scoring for the day. The momentum quickly swung in the Bulldog's favor on the ensuing kickoff when Joel Mussielewicz ran it back 92 yards to the Bluffton seven yard line. Chris Clay pushed it into the end zone three plays later to cut the Beaver lead to seven going into halftime.
Adrian took a lead they would not relinquish when All-American linebacker Taz Wallace picked off a Bluffton pass deep in Beaver territory and returned it for a touchdown. Adrian widened the lead early in the fourth quarter when a near-sack turned into a 65-yard scoring pass from Randy Hutchinson to DJ Howard. Hutchinson capped off a clock draining 94-yard drive with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Phil Widzinski to put the game out of reach as the Bulldogs opened up a 38-21 margin with five minutes to play. Tim Bruce finished the scoring for the day as he took a handoff and went 21 yards for the score.
Ben Dodds (West Liberty/Bellefontaine) led all rushers in the game as he carried the ball 23 times for 111 yards. Jared Owens completed 9-21 passes for 152 yards and one touchdown. Aaron Whitlock caught two passes for huge gains as he picked up 75 yards. Junior Jeremy Anderson (South Rockwood, Mi./Airport) led the Beaver defense with 11 tackles, including eight solos. Sophomore linebacker Sam McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) contributed with nine tackles. Sophomore defensive back Taylor Iceman (Lucas/Lucas) intercepted two Adrian passes to stop Bulldog drives.
Leading the Beavers
Senior Jared Owens completed 12-of-19 passes for 79 yards against a stingy Centre defense in week one. The Beavers' ground game was led by freshman running back Andrew Ramthun (Springfield/Southeastern) who picked up 60 yards on 21 carries. Anthony Bryant (Reynoldsburg/Reynoldsburg) hauled in five receptions for 33 yards to lead the receiving corps against the Colonels.
Junior linebacker Sam McCullough picked up eight tackles, including five solos in the loss at Centre. Sophomore Kyle Rode (Delphos/Jefferson) found his way into the backfield for two sacks and three TFL's in the first week of action. Senior Bryan Lloyd (Elida/Bath) posted seven tackles and a quarterback sack for a nine-yard loss.
Next up for the Beavers and Bulldogs
Bluffton will welcome Kalamazoo College to Salzman Stadium for the 2006 home opener on Saturday, September 23, 2006. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Adrian will travel to Westminster on September 23, for a 1:30 p.m. start.