Bluffton battles Defiance for 'The Hammer'

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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 B-W, dropping a 45-13 decision to the Yellow Jackets before opening HCAC action at Earlham with a 28-20 road win. The Beavers fashioned their first win (14-7) over MSJ since 2001 and knocked off RHIT 37-34 in Bluffton's first-ever 3-overtime game. A 40-13 loss to Hanover set up a much-needed bye week. Bluffton shut down Anderson 13-0 before falling at #21 Franklin by a 23-9 margin on Saturday.

ALL-TIME SERIES - Defiance holds a slim 44-41-2 margin in the all-time series with Bluffton. The Beavers have been victorious in the last two meetings with the Yellow Jackets, including a 46-27 thrashing at Defiance a year ago and a 21-16 win when the teams last met in Salzman Stadium.

LEADING THE BEAVERS - Junior Airic Steagall and freshman Calib Alexander have formed an outstanding one-two punch in the backfield, combining for 954 yards and eight TD's. Junior Shawn Frost has 32 receptions for 458 yards with three scores while junior QB Tyler Wright is 98-of-153 for 1,231 yards and six touchdowns. Junior Josh Runda leads the Beavers with 90 tackles and he has 11 TFL's, two forced fumbles and a recovery. Ben Kaufman has stuffed opposing offenses with 76 tackles. Kaufman has two pickoffs, while Mike Johnson and Justin have five breakups. Hahn, Tyler Hensley, Derek Woods and Jeff Parker all have two INT's.

LAST CONTEST - The Beavers held their own with #21 ranked Franklin College on Saturday, Nov. 3, but the Grizzlies overcame two late turnovers deep in their own territory en route to a 23-9 victory. Bluffton moved to 5-4 on the season with a 4-3 mark in the Heartland Conference.