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September 23, 2018

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Beavers carve up Ravens on Homecoming

By Colton Steiner, sports information assistant
The Bluffton University football team scored a school-record 35 points in the second quarter en route to the 56-14 demolition of Anderson University on Homecoming Saturday.

Bluffton improved to 2-3 on the season and more importantly, 2-1 in the Heartland Conference, while Anderson slipped to 1-5 and 1-3 in the HCAC. Great defense and efficient offence was the difference as the home team rolled off 56 unanswered points.

Anderson would get on the board in the first quarter at the 8:52 mark off a 2-yard touchdown run by BLAKE LEVY. The Beavers answered with a 3-yard plunge into the end zone by DARIAN GREELEY (Mt. Clemens, Mich./Chippewa Valley) to tie it up less than a minute into the second period. The Beavers hit paydirt again three minutes later when junior BRANDON KOCH (West Harrison, Ind./East Central) found MICAH ROBERSON (Ada), who made a great catch in the corner of the end zone, giving Bluffton a 14-7 advantage.

With fourth and 10 in Anderson territory, the Beavers faked a punt and put the ball into the hands of ISAAC ZICKAFOOSE (Middlebury, Ind./Northridge) who scampered 17-yards for the first down! Bluffton wouldn’t be done with the trickery just yet as freshman PLUMMIE GARDNER (Lima/Perry) took the lateral from Koch and connected with KEYON CAMDEN (Wayne/Elmwood) for the 21-yard touchdown.

Leading 21-7, Zickafoose would get a hand on an Anderson punt and KAY BOAKYE (Westerville/South) rumbled to the house for a 28-yard score. The Beavers capped off the first half with a touchdown strike to a wide-open ADAM DUNCAN (Northwood/Lake) down the seam for a commanding 35-7 lead at the break.

Bluffton’s first score of the third quarter came with pressure from Zickafoose who forced a fumble on his sack and returned it for another Beaver touchdown. Back-to-back rushing tallies by senior CAIDEN DICKE (Lima/Perry) and freshman DONNY JOHNSON (Hamler/Patrick Henry) put the home team up 56-7. Anderson made it 56-14 following a harmless 5-yard pass touchdown pass in the final minute.

The Beavers were led by Brandon Koch who went 16-of-32 for 218 yards with two TD's and an interception in his first collegiate start. Darian Greeley led Bluffton on the ground with 13 rushes for 52 yards and a score. Senior Micah Roberson hauled in seven catches for 77 yards and a touchdown. A total of 379 yards on offense, 4-of-5 in the red zone and 2-of-2 on fourth down conversions were key components of the offense production.

Junior Isaac Zickafoose had an all-time great performance for the Beavers starting with four TFL's for 34 yards, including three monstrous sacks that set the Ravens back 32 yards! He forced a fumble with his third sack and picked it up for six points midway through the third quarter. Zickafoose blocked a punt that Kay Boakye scooped up and ran back for another Bluffton score. He finished with six solo tackles, a QB hurry and a pass breakup. To round out his afternoon, Zickefoose ran for 17 yards on a fake punt to keep the chains moving in the second quarter!

Also coming up big for the Beavers was DYLAN SHAFFER (Shelby) who wrapped up 11 tackles and a pass breakup while TYLER SHOWALTER (Haviland/Wayne Trace) collected six tackles with 1.5 sacks. The Beaver defense was a powerhouse as it allowed only 178 yards of offense with a paltry four total rushing yards thanks to six Bluffton sacks (57 yards). Totaling six sacks and 10 tackles for loss, the Beaver defense had its best showing of the season. 

Bluffton will hit the road next Saturday, Oct. 14, as the Beavers take on Hanover at 1:30 p.m. You can follow all the updates by live stats or on twitter @Bluffton_Sports.