By: Joseph Watkins, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team struggled to move the ball in a 28-10 loss to Hanover College on a comfortable Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. Bluffton fell to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the Heartland Conference, while the Panthers (1-2, 1-0 HCAC) earned their first victory.
Hanover jumped out to a quick 14-0 advantage midway through the opening quarter after a 32-yard TD reception from Conner Gibson and a 37-yard run by Shawn Coane. The Beavers finally found the scoreboard with 5:32 to play in the second quarter when Adam Duncan (Northwood/Lake) hit a 34-yard field goal to cut the lead to 21-3. With 2:31 left in the game, junior Trenton Besgrove (Millbury/Cardinal Stritch) hit Caleb Heilman (Tipp City/Tippacanoe) for a 9-yard TD pass to make the finalscore 28-10.
Bluffton mustered only 197 total yards on the offensive side of the ball. Sophomore signal-caller Plummie Gardner (Lima/Perry) went 12-of-25 for 120 yards. Senior Drake Campbell (Trenton/Edgewood) had a solid day on the ground, running 15 times for 59 yards with a long carry of 18 yards. Senior Thaddeus Phillips (South Bend, Ind./Riley) had 2 receptions for 29 yards.
The Panthers went for 365 total yards of offense in their victory. Doniven Clark (Toledo/Bowsher) led the team with 11 tackles, which included some key stops throughout the afternoon. Sophomore Stephan Kosakowski (Cleveland/Benedictine) had nine tackles, while Brian Coleman Jr. (Toledo, Ohio/St. Francis DeSales) picked off the Panthers twice in addition to his seven solo tackles.
Hanover moved the chains 19 times, compared to just eight first downs for the home team. The Beavers finished with a five-minute edge in time of possession (32:28-27:32).
Bluffton is back at Alumni Field one week from today on Saturday, Sept. 29, when the Beavers welcome Mount St. Joseph. Kickoff is slated for 1:30 p.m. Come out and support your Beavers!