Rose-Hulman 40, Bluffton 13
RHIT rides strong first half to 40-13 win over Beavers
October 23, 2010
By: Josh Bruner, sports information assistant
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. - The Bluffton University football team saw Rose-Hulman score 26 unanswered points to snap a 7-7 tie en route to a 40-13 win over the Beavers on October 23, 2010. Bluffton dipped to 3-5 overall and 2-4 in the Heartland Conference, while RHIT upped it mark to 4-3 and 3-2 in the HCAC.
Rose recovered their onside kick to start the game, taking over at their own 43-yard line before an eight-play, 57-yard drive gave the home team a quick 7-0 lead. The Beavers responded with their own eight-play scoring drive following a 25-yard Todd Trotter (Cincinnati/Aiken University) kickoff return. Chris Byrd (Detroit, Mich./Detroit University Prep) directed the offense, rushing four times for 32 yards and passing for 19 before Airic Steagall (Hillsboro) took it in from seven yards out to knot the score at seven.
A 55-yard Calvin Bueltel return on the ensuing kickoff set up the Engineers for another score when Mitch Snyder found Reed Eason for a six-yard strike. Bluffton went three-and-out on three straight touches, but the defense held firm while RHIT added on just a field goal early in the second quarter.
A Rose sack of Byrd in the end zone gave Rose two more points and the Engineers wasted little time making it 26-7 when Bueltel capped a 48-yard drive with a six-yard scoring plunge with 3:17 to play in the half. The Beavers were unable to get into scoring range, taking their 26-7 deficit to the break.
On Bluffton's first possession of the second half, the Beavers went 43 yards on nine plays, but a sack of Tyler Wright (Troy) on fourth down gave Rose the ball on their own 31-yard line. The visitors moved the chains three times on their next two possessions while not allowing an RHIT first down.
The Engineers finally broke through late in the third stanza after Bueltel took it 29 yards to paydirt for a 33-7 lead when Nick Schneider's extra point split the uprights. A 25-yard touchdown pass from Byrd to Shane Swisher (Findlay/McComb) capped a quick six-play, 67 yard drive that lasted just 51 seconds and made it 33-13.
Bluffton stopped the Engineers on their next touch before Scott Eaton came up with a pickoff and took it back 32 yards for a touchdown and 40-13 final margin of victory.
Rose picked up 20 first downs on its way to 436 total yards of offense. The Engineers went for 195 on the ground and 241 through the air. Bluffton finished with 271 yards (224 passing) and 13 first downs. Rose controlled the clock, handling the ball for over 40 minutes. The home team converted on 8-of-18 third down opportunities, while Bluffton went 4-of-14. The Engineers capitalized on 4-of-5 trips to the red zone.
Chris Byrd completed 16-of-33 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown. Todd Trotter led all receivers with nine catches for 81 yards, while Alex Carter (Troy) hauled in six receptions for 46 yards. Antwane Miller (Canton/Timken) added three catches for 72 yards.
Omoyele Gonzalez (Canton/McKinley) paced the Bluffton defense with 10 tackles, all solos. Justin Crosier (Columbus/Hamilton Township) notched eight stops, including three TFL's. Geoff Yost (North Canton/Jackson), De'Juan Rutledge (Cleveland/John Adams) and Jake Luthy (Ida, Mich./Ida) added six tackles apiece while Josh Runda (Lima/Bath) came away with an interception.
Bluffton returns home for another Heartland Conference matchup with Hanover College on Saturday, October 30, 2010. The contest is slated for 1:30 p.m. in Salzman Stadium.