#22 Trine 41, Bluffton 24
Bluffton rally falls just short in 41-24 loss at Trine
September 10, 2011
ANGOLA, Ind. - The Bluffton University football team found its stride in the second half, but #22 Trine University held on for a 41-27 victory over the Beavers on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011. The Thunder stayed perfect at 2-0, while Bluffton slipped to 0-2.
The home team built a 34-0 lead over Bluffton with just under three minutes to play in the third quarter before three straight touchdowns by the Beavers made the score 34-20 with 5:09 to play in the game. A 67-yard scoring toss from Tyler Wright (Troy) to Todd Trotter (Cincinnati/Aiken University) was the only play Bluffton needed to get on the scoreboard after Trine went up 34-0.
An on-side kick by the Beavers set up their second touchdown in less than five minutes. Wright completed five passes on the drive before calling his own number from seven yards out to make it 34-14 with just over 13 minutes to play. With Wright and Airic Steagall (Hillsboro) moving the ball down the field, the Beavers made the score 34-20 when Wright hit Jason A. Johnson (Lansing, MI/Lansing Eastern) for a five-yard hookup at the 5:09 mark.
Trine added another toughdown to put the game out of reach before senior quarterback Chris Byrd (Detroit/University Prep) found Johnson for a 48-yard scoring strike on 4th and 10 with a minute to play, making the final score 41-27.
Bluffton picked up 90 yards on the ground, compared to a paltry 53 for the Thunder. Trine racked up 402 passing yards, compared to 258 by Bluffton. The visitors finished with 455 yards of total offense, while Bluffton went for 348. The Beavers converted on 7-of-16 third down chances and 2-of-4 on fourth down. Trine scored on 5-of-6 red zone attempts and Bluffton converted on 2-of-3 opportunities inside the 20-yard line.
Wright completed a sterling 14-of-15 passes for 175 yards and two touchdowns. He carried the ball eight times for 37 yards. Steagall picked up 63 yards on 24 rushes. Todd Trotter paced the Beaver receivers with six catches for 84 yards and a score. Jason A. Johnson hauled in five receptions for 75 yards and two touchdowns.
Jacob Luthy (Ida, Mich.) finished with a team-high eight tackles. Fellow senior Oscar Vazquez-Dyer (Findlay/Carey) added seven stops. Junior safety Justin Hahn (Rocky River), senior nose tackle Justin Crosier (Columbus/Hamilton Township) and senior linebacker Shane Hubbard (Johnstown/Big Walnut) chipped in with six tackles each. Crosier had 2.5 TFL's, including 1.5 sacks, and Hahn finished with 1.5 TFL's.
The Beavers open Heartland Conference play when they host Franklin College on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. The contest in Salzman Stadium is slated for 1:30 p.m.