September 28, 2012

Bluffton looks to stay perfect in HCAC when it hosts Manchester

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BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team picked up where it left off in 2011 when the Beavers won five of their last six contests, including a first-ever victory over Rose-Hulman. Bluffton equaled the school record with five conference victories, tying for second place in the Heartland Conference. The Beavers handled Kenyon College in Salzman Stadium on Sept. 1, posting a 20-0 shutout of the Lords. Bluffton then traveled to #17 Baldwin-Wallace, dropping a 45-13 decision to the Yellow Jackets before opening HCAC action at Earlham with a 28-20 road win. The Beavers first win (14-7) over MSJ since 2001 has Bluffton atop the HCAC standings heading into this week's home contest with Manchester. Homecoming is slated for Oct. 13 when Bluffton hosts Hanover College. A bye week and trips to Anderson and Franklin lead up to the season finale, a home contest with rival Defiance College on Nov. 10.

ALL-TIME SERIES - Bluffton leads the all-time series with Manchester University, which dates back to 1932, by a 32-25 count. The Beavers have won the last two contests by nearly identical scores after three straight Manchester victories. Bluffton's first-ever overtime win came at North Manchester a year ago.
 
LEADING THE BEAVERS - Freshman Calib Alexander and junior Airic Steagall have formed an outstanding one-two punch in the backfield, combining for 551 yards and five TD's on 109 carries. Junior Shawn Frost has 11 receptions for 116 yards with a score while junior QB Tyler Wright is 49-of-78 for 557 yards and three touchdowns. Junior Josh Runda leads the Beavers with 27 tackles and he has a breakup. a forced fumble and a recovery. Fellow linebackers Ben Kaufman and Mike Johnson have chipped in with 25 and 21 tackles, respectively. Kaufman has a pickoff, while Johnson has 3 breakups. Justin Hahn, Tyler Hensley and Jeff Parker all have two INT's.
 
LAST CONTESTS - The Beavers defeated Mt. St. Joseph 14-7 at Salzman Stadium. It marked the first time the Beavers (3-1, 2-0 HCAC) had beaten the Lions since 2001, a string of 10 straight setbacks at the hands of MSJ. It is the first time since 2000 that Bluffton has opened the season 3-1 and 2-0 in the HCAC. A 19-point second half left Manchester just short of a big comeback at RHIT Satuday as the Engineers held on for a 28-26 victory over the Spartans.
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Dec. 13: All times Eastern
Final
at Mount Union 70, Wesley 21
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Final
at UW-Whitewater 20, Linfield 14
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Final
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@ Salem, Va.
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