/seasons/2012/contrib/201209010dgx2c

Bluffton shuts down Kenyon 20-0 in season opener

More news about: Bluffton

BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team started the 2012 season off on the right foot Saturday, Sept. 1, posting a 20-0 shutout against the visiting Kenyon College Lords. A balanced offense and stout defense helped pace the Beavers (1-0) despite rainy conditions and a lightening delay that lasted an hour. It marked the first blanking by a Bluffton football squad since 2004 when the Beavers routed rival Defiance 30-0.

After recovering a fumble deep in Kenyon territory, junior quarterback Tyler Wright (Troy) took the ball into the end zone on a nine-yard scamper. Austin Sweeney (Adrian, Mich./Whitmer) tacked on the extra point to give the Beavers a 7-0 lead just four minutes into the game.

The defenses held until Wright completed passes of 11 and 25 yards to Ryan Sabin (Canal Winchester) and Drake Harrington (West Bloomfield, Mich.), respectively. Those completions set up a 27-yard field goal by Sweeney, extending the Bluffton lead to 10-0 early in the second quarter.

On the ensuing Kenyon possession, Preston Huddleston (Benton Harbor, Mich./Eau Claire) and Hunter Bosch (Elida/Shawnee) stopped Kenyon running back Dan Shannon short of the first down marker on fourth. The turnover on downs set up what would be the longest play of the game when Wright connected with freshman running back Calib Alexander (Ocala, Fla./St. John Lutheran) for a 43-yard touchdown pass down the left sideline. After another successful extra point, the Beavers led 17-0 with 10 minutes remaining in the half.

Neither team would score again until Sweeney's 25-yard field goal attempt went through the uprights with 12:09 remaining in the fourth quarter. That kick proved to be the final score of the game as the Beaver defense held the Lords to just 29 total fourth quarter yards and no points, sealing the 20-0 victory.

Wright led the way for the Beavers, completing 24 of 32 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown. It marked the first 250-yard passing game for Bluffton since John Hazen threw for 259 against Kalamazoo in 2009. Wright also managed 20 rushing yards and a touchdown on 10 carries. Junior Airic Steagall (Hillsboro) led the Bluffton rushing attack with 76 yards on 15 carries while junior C.J. Sewell (Lima/Shawnee) and Robert Beaver (Detroit, Mich./Andover) rushed for 29 and 22 yards, respectively. Shawn Frost (Edson/Mt. Giliad) led the Beavers in receiving yards with 60 on five catches. He also racked up 56 yards on eight punt returns

Defensively, Josh Runda (Lima/Bath), Joe Maldonado (Dade City, Fla./Zephyrhills), and Nick Smith (Troy) each tallied six tackles while four of Runda's were of the solo variety. Ben Shamp (St. Marys/Memorial) racked up two solo tackles and a sack for the Beavers.

Bluffton dominated the Lords with 422 total yards, compared to just 145 for the visitors. The Beavers posted a marked 255-20 edge on passing yards. The home team finished with a 36:18 to 23:42 edge in time of possession and converted 7-of-18 third down opportunities, with Kenyon just 2-of-14. Bluffton moved the chains 24 times and the Beaver defense limited Kenyon to just six first downs.

The Beavers will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 8 (3 p.m.) at Baldwin-Wallace. The next home game for Bluffton is slated for Saturday, Sept. 22, against Mount St. Joseph. Game time will be 1:30 p.m.

Oct. 12: All times Eastern
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at Guilford 28, Ferrum 27
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Westfield State 41, at Fitchburg State 27
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Husson 56, at Alfred State 14
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Manchester 21, at Bluffton 17
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John Carroll 49, at Ohio Northern 17
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Merchant Marine 17, at Springfield 14
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Hampden-Sydney 42, at Bridgewater 21
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Endicott 66, at University of New England 38
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Berry 35, at Hendrix 14
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Augustana 41, at North Park 7
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Louisiana College 35, at McMurry 23
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Eureka 44, at Concordia-Chicago 14
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Carleton 36, at Augsburg 34
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Rockford 37, at Lakeland 20
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Millikin 32, at Carthage 29
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Knox 28, at Grinnell 7
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Austin 34, at Millsaps 23
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Adrian 28, at Alma 23
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Anderson 63, at Earlham 0
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LaGrange 43, at Greensboro 16
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Mary Hardin-Baylor 55, at Howard Payne 0
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at Delaware Valley 23, Lycoming 16
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Muhlenberg 34, at Thomas More 31
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Brockport 52, at Alfred 0
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at Frostburg State 56, William Paterson 0
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Wesley 54, at Kean 6
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Wittenberg 41, at Allegheny 14
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Trine 50, at Olivet 49
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at Case Western Reserve 37, St. Vincent 7
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Mount Union 77, at Capital 3
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John Carroll 49, at Ohio Northern 17
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Berry 35, at Hendrix 14
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at Washington and Jefferson 50, Geneva 43
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at St. John's 40, St. Thomas 20
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at Washington U. 17, Wheaton (Ill.) 10
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at Illinois Wesleyan 44, Elmhurst 28
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UW-Whitewater 45, at UW-Eau Claire 0
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at Hardin-Simmons 48, Sul Ross State 27
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at UW-Oshkosh 31, UW-Platteville 10
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at Whitworth 55, Pacific Lutheran 13
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at Linfield 43, Lewis and Clark 26
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at North Central (Ill.) 59, Carroll 0
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