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-

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 4: All times Eastern
8:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Tex. A&M-Commerce
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Anna Maria at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
7:00 PM
Albright at Kean
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
WPI at Curry
7:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Bridgewater State
7:00 PM
William Paterson at SUNY-Maritime
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Ursinus at TCNJ
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
Video
7:30 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
Waldorf at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats
Sep. 6: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
12:00 PM
Dickinson at Hobart
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Holland College (PEI, Canada) at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Otterbein at St. John Fisher
12:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
12:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at MIT
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Johns Hopkins
1:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Coast Guard
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Wesley
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton State
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Averett
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wilmington at Olivet
1:00 PM
Adrian at Defiance
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
1:00 PM
Alfred State at Morrisville State
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Brockport State
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Montclair State
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Methodist
1:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Bluffton
1:00 PM
Marietta at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Cortland State at Buffalo State
Audio
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
1:00 PM
Sewanee at DePauw
1:30 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:30 PM
Alma at Heidelberg
1:30 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
1:30 PM
Bridgewater (Va.) at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
St. Vincent at John Carroll
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Bethany
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
Audio
2:00 PM
Franklin at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Rhodes at Austin
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
UW-Platteville at Buena Vista
2:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Washington U.
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at St. John's
2:00 PM
Crown at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Simpson at Iowa Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Audio
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Rockford
2:00 PM
Aurora at Illinois College
2:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
2:00 PM
Coe at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Presentation at Luther
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Maranatha Baptist
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Culver-Stockton
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Dakota Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
Ripon at St. Scholastica
2:00 PM
Hendrix at Westminster (Mo.)
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
3:00 PM
St. Norbert at Carthage
4:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Puget Sound
4:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Whitworth
4:00 PM
College of Idaho at Pacific
4:30 PM
Arizona Christian at George Fox
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Salisbury at Christopher Newport
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Case Western Reserve
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Stevenson at N.C. Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Butler at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Taylor (Ind.) at Anderson
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Denison at Earlham
7:00 PM
Albion at UW-Stevens Point
7:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at North Park
7:00 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Howard Payne at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Millsaps
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas Lutheran
7:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at UW-Oshkosh
7:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Dubuque
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:30 PM
Central at Benedictine
8:00 PM
St. Olaf at Northwestern (Minn.)
8:00 PM
Hamline at Minnesota-Morris
8:00 PM
Lake Forest at Wisconsin Lutheran
8:00 PM
Wartburg at Augsburg
Audio
8:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Dec. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at UW-Whitewater 52, Mount Union 14
@ Salem Stadium; Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
UW-Whitewater 16, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 15
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 41, North Central (Ill.) 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos

What We're Reading