By: Joseph Watkins, sports information assistant
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team played host to conference foe Franklin College on Saturday, Nov. 9, in what was the final home contest of the year for the Beavers. The Bluffton offense struggled on ofense, not scoring a point during the contest which resulted in a 10-0 Franklin victory. Bluffton fell to 2-7 overall and 2-4 in the Heartland Conference, while Franklin improved to 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the HCAC.
If you were looking for an offensive shootout, Saturday's game was not the game for you. Franklin got on the board first when kicker Carter Brown nailed a 38-yard field goal to make it 3-0 Grizzlies with 7:19 left in the first quarter. Although both teams would get close to finding the end zone in the first half, neither side would as they went to the break with the score 3-0 in favor of the Grizzlies.
The second half was almost identical with respect to scoring. The only touchdown of the game came with 7:39 in the third quarter when Franklin running back Austin Grunden would scamper in for a 19-yard touchdown to make it 10-0 following a successful PAT try. Interceptions ended three Bluffton drives and a lost fumble made it four Bluffton turnovers on the day as Franklin made their 10 points hold up.
Bluffton totaled 212 yards of total offense with 132 yards passing and 80 yards in the rushing attack. Keel Watson IV (Detroit,MI/Harrison) and Zachary Nobis (Bryan) went a combined 16-of-32 for 132 total yards and three interceptions. Darian Greeley (Belleville,MI/Chippewa Valley) paced the ground game with 10 carries for 81 yards with a long of 28 yards.
Franklin put up 260 yards of total offense, including 110 through the air and 150 on the ground. Bluffton was 4-of-14 on third downs while Franklin went 5-of-15. The Grizzlies led time of possession by nearly 10 minutes with 34:59, compared to the Beavers 25:01.
Antonio Crossty (Wooster) led the way for the Beaver defense with 10 tackles on the afternoon. Keith Holmes Jr. (Toledo/St. Francis DeSales) checked in with eight tackles of his own, including two huge sacks for the Beavers. Senior Dylan Shaffer (Shelby) also had eight tackles and a sack.
Bluffton will be back in action next Saturday, Nov. 16, when they travel to Defiance to take on "that other purple school" in a HCAC clash that will be the final game of the year for both sides. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m.