Bluffton 21, Defiance 16
Beavers wrap up 2010 with exciting 21-16 win over rival Defiance
November 13, 2010
By: Josh Bruner, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University football hosted long-time rival Defiance College at Salzman Stadium for their 2010 season finale on Saturday, November 13. Bluffton took an early 13-0 lead after one quarter of play thanks to a pair of Defiance turnovers. The Beavers entered the half with a 21-6 lead over the Yellow Jackets before Defiance's defense pulled together to hold Bluffton scoreless in the third quarter. The Yellow Jackets added a field goal, making it 21-9 going into the final quarter. Defiance made a run at the lead and added another seven before Bluffton stopped them on fourth down with just over a minute to play for the 21-16 win. The victory pushed Bluffton to 4-6 overall, the Beavers' best record since 2004, and 3-5 in the HCAC. The Yellow Jackets fell to 6-4 overall with a 6-2 HCAC mark.
The Beavers held the Yellow Jackets to just three downs while forcing a punt on the first drive of a game. Christopher Byrd (Detroit, Mich./Detroit University Prep) broke loose for a 24-yard scamper to move the chains. The Beavers were stopped just short on a third and three attempt, and were forced to kick a field goal after an illegal motion penalty on fourth and one. The Beavers took an early 3-0 lead just three minutes into the quarter.
The Beavers regained the ball when Airic Steagall (Hillsboro) forced a fumble on the ensuing return. Bluffton took over on the Defiance 26-yard line. The Beavers quickly make use of the field position as Steagall pounded the ball into the end zone from a yard out to take a 10-0 lead with seven minutes left in the quarter.
The Beaver defense came up with another turnover when Jacob Luthy (Ida, Mich./Ida) recovered a fumble. The Beavers slowly drove the ball down the field. The 11-play, 57-yard possession ended when freshman Austin Sweeney hit his second field goal of the afternoon, this time from 22 yards, putting the Beavers up 13-0 as the first quarter came to a close.
The teams both struggle to manage any offense to start the second period. The Beaver defense came up big with an Oscar Vazquez-Dyer (Findlay/Carey) interception return 66 yards for a touchdown. Tyler Wright (Troy) connected with Ryan Sabin (Canal Winchester) for the two-point conversion which gave the Beavers a commanding 21-0 lead with just under eight minutes left in the half.
The Defiance offense finally put a scoring drive together late in the half as quarterback Rick Powell went in from the one-yard line for a touchdown. The Yellow Jackets attempt a two point conversion and came up short as the Beavers went to the break leading 21-6.
The defenses prove to rule the third quarter as neither team managed to gain a first down for the first four drives. The Yellow Jackets offense awoke midway though the period, putting together a 75-yard drive before the Beavers held the visitors to a 23-yard field goal from Tom Foos. The chip shot pulled Defiance back with 12 as they trailed 21-9 going into the fourth quarter.
They Yellow Jackets added another long drive in the fourth quarter, this time the drive ending with another rushing touchdown from Powell. The touchdown was set up by a 20-yard Rashad Hunt reception.
The Yellow Jackets took over one final time with seven minutes remaining in the game. Defiance methodically moved the ball down the field. They connected on several catches for small yardage and were at the Bluffton 13-yard line with just over one minute left in the contest. The Yellow Jackets had their fourth down pass sail out the back of the end zone as the Beavers defense came up with the stop it needed. Bluffton used the victory formation to waste the last minute of clock in the Beavers' 21-16 win over Defiance.
Wright led the team with 74 yards of passing, completing 11-of-16 attempts and adding 13 yards of rushing. Steagall led the rushing game for the Beavers with 72 yards and one touchdown. The Beaver receivers were led by Shane Swisher (FIndlay/McComb) with 22 yards on two catches. Alex Carter (Troy) added 18 yards on three catches.
The Bluffton defense was paced by junior Steven Sealscott (Van Wert) with 10 stops. Shane Hubbard (Johnstown/Big Walnut) and Justin Crosier (Columbus/Hamilton Township) each added nine stops for the Beavers. Sophomore Dominique Chester (Mansfield/Comprehensive) added eight stops and one interception for the Beaver defense.
The Beavers ended the season with a tremendous victory for the program while saying goodbye to six seniors. Dearl Goins (Detroit, Mich./John J. Pershing), offensive lineman; Renus Henry (Elyria), running back; Benjamin Ilnicki (Indianapolis, Ind./Brebauf Preparatory), wide receiver; Alex McClelland (Oakland Township, Mich/Rochester Adams), defensive back who passed away last year; Colin Stoffel (Findlay/Van Buren), defensive back; and Aaron Wladischkin (Sterling Heights, Mich.), tight end.