November 9, 2013

Beavers stun #9 Franklin College on Senior Day

More news about: Bluffton

BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Beavers shocked the HCAC and the pollsters around the country by taking down the #9 ranked Franklin College Grizzlies on Saturday, Nov. 9, after a late 44-yard touchdown grab by Donovan Brown (Cincinnati/Purcell Marian) broke a 17-17 tie and helped the Beavers cap their first win over a top 10 opponent in school history, 24-17. 17 points are the fewest the Grizzlies offense, which averaged 51.3 points per game heading into Saturday, has scored all year, including contests with #1 Mount Union and Butler University. The defensive efforts of Mike Shroyer (Pataskala/Watkins Memorial) and Josh Runda (Lima/Bath) were a huge factor as both seniors racked up 16 tackles on Senior Day.

Bluffton got on the board first after senior Shawn Frost (Mt. Gilead) caught a screen pass from freshman quarterback Connor Sheehan (Monroeville, Ind./Heritage) and took it 73 yards to paydirt. Sophomore Zach Rader (Van Buren) converted the PAT and the Beavers took a 7-0 lead into the second quarter.

In the second period, Rader answered a Franklin field goal with one of his own, connecting from 25 yards out to give the Beavers a 10-3 spread at the 6:08 mark. Franklin was able to answer with 22 seconds left in the half on a Jonny West rush from nine yards out to knot the score at 10-10 heading to the break.

Bluffton held Franklin scoreless again in the third quarter and took the lead after Sheehan went in from a yard out on a quarterback sneak which helped the Beavers to a 17-10 lead heading into the final 15 minutes of action.

It wasn't until late that Franklin was finally able to tie the score again when Kole Stogner found the end zone on a three-yard run with 3:44 remaining in the game. The Beavers were only able to run 1:43 off the clock before having to punt the ball, giving the Grizzlies possession on their own 26 yard-line with 1:57 on the clock and three timeouts remaining.

West completed 4-of-5 passes to help Franklin get to their own 45 before the quarterback fumbled a snap into the arms of Bluffton defensive end Ryan Leopold (Ottawa/Ottawa-Glandorf), giving the Beavers possession on their own 47 yardline with 1:04 left on the clock.

After an incomplete pass on the first play of the drive and a 13-yard toss to senior C.J. Sewell (Lima/Shawnee) on the second, Sheehan heaved a long ball down the left side of the field for a closely guarded Brown. The defender got a hand on the ball, but it bounced Brown's way and landed safely in his arms as he carried it across the goal line for the go-ahead touchdown. Senior Austin Sweeney (Adrian, Mich./Whitmer) converted the extra point to cap a crazy drive, putting the Beavers ahead 24-17 with just 27 ticks left on the clock.

West completed two short passes to All-American Kyle Linville, moving the Grizzlies to their own 48 yardline with six seconds left and time for just one play. West took the snap and rolled to his right, only to be chased down by freshman lineman Linkoln LaRoche (Dola/Hardin-Northern) for a 14-yard sack with no time left on the clock, helping the Beavers become the first team to hand Franklin's seniors a Heartland Conference loss in four seasons.

Sheehan finished the day completing 23-of-38 passes for 260 yards and two touchdowns. Frost and Brown hauled in five of those passes apiece. Frost finished with 126 yards and a touchdown while Brown chipped in with 86 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Sheehan's two TD passes helped him add to Bluffton's single-season record as the Beavers have 22 now with one game to play. Eric Fox (Brunswick) led the Beaver rushing attack with 26 yards on 15 carries. The junior also added 21 receiving yards on eight receptions.

Aside from Shroyer and Runda, junior Wyatt Herman (Edgerton) and sophomore Ryan Aelker (New Bavaria/Holgate) had big defensive days while constantly pressuring West, racking up 10 and nine tackles, respectively. Travaun Reeves (Berkely, Mich.) finished with six tackles and a big interception that he returned 25 yards, while Leopold, Ben Schamp (St. Marys/Memorial) and Josh Hadley (Harper Woods, Mich.) also recovered fumbles for the victors.

Although the Grizzlies racked up 463 yards of offense, the Bluffton defense came up huge with four takeaways and nearly a fifth if not for a penalty on the other side of the field that negated a fumble recovered by the Beavers late in the fourth quarter. The Beaver victory will likely force Franklin to defeat rival Hanover College next Saturday to claim a slice of its fifth consecutive Heartland Conference title (with Rose-Hulman) and berth in the NCAA Division III tournament.

The Beavers (3-6, 3-4) will play their final game of the season next week in Defiance at 1:30 p.m., looking to finish at an even 4-4 mark in the conference. Bluffton has had the upper hand recently, winning the last three contests with the rival Yellow Jackets.

-BEAVERS-

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Belhaven at Millsaps
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
12:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
Audio
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
Video Audio
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
Audio
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
Audio
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Video Audio Audio
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
McPherson at Nebraska Wesleyan
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Video Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Denison at Marietta
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Video Live Stats Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
8:30 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
Live Stats
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats