By: Joseph Watkins, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team played host to conference foe Anderson University in what was a cold and rainy afternoon on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2019. The Beaver defense came up big late in the game and stuffed a fourth down try by the Ravens that would help propel Bluffton to its first victory of the season, 24-17. Bluffton improved to 1-6 overall and 1-3 in Heartland conference play while Anderson fell to 3-5 overall and 1-4 in the HCAC.
Anderson would strike first when Reggie Lipscomb punched it in from 1 yard out to put the Ravens on top 7-0 with 9:56 left in the first. They would score again on an 80-yard touchdown run by Johnell Wortham which made it 14-0 Anderson after one quarter. With the Beavers down by two scores, they were looking to find the end zone and get back into the game.
With 13:48 to go in the second quarter, Ryan Markoff (Centerville/Valparaiso University) hauled in a 24-yard pass from freshman Keel Watson IV (Detroit, MI/Harrison) for a touchdown to put the Beavers on the board and make the score 14-7. Junior workhorse Darian Greeley (Belleville, MI/Chippewa Valley) hit paydirt on a 4-yard scamper to tie it up at 14-14 with 7:23 left in the first half. A Jake Baumgartner (Toledo/Start) field goal put the Beavers up 17-14 at the end of the third quarter.
The Ravens answered back with a field goal of their own, knotting the score at 17 apiece with 6:07 remaining in period three. Bluffton would then respond with a touchdown from Watson that made it 24-17 at the 2:27 mark and when the fourth quarter saw a pair of zeros on the scoreboard, Bluffton walked away with its first win of the season!
Bluffton totaled 353 yards of offense with 141 yards passing and 212 yards on the ground. Watson went 12-of-27 for 141 yards and one touchdown in his first collegiate start. The rushing attack was led by Greeley who ran for a career-high 220 yards on 34 carries for the day. It marked the most yards by a Bluffton back since Eric Fox churned out 221 against Ohio Wesleyan in 2014! Markoff led all receivers with 71 yards receiving and one touchdown.
Anderson totaled 286 yards of offense with 104 through the air and 182 in the rushing attack. Both teams went 5-of-15 on third down conversions. The Ravens were 2-for-2 on red zone chances while the Beavers were 3-for-6.
Bluffton is back in action next Saturday, Nov. 2, when the Beavers travel to North Manchester, Ind., to take on the Spartans in a Heartland Conference clash. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.