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May 26, 2020

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Panthers knock off Pirates

Bluffton visits local rival Allen East on Friday

By Cort Reynolds
BLUFFTON - The Bluffton football team was upset 21-9 by visiting Paulding in a Northwest Conference ground battle to spoil Homecoming Friday night at Harmon Field.

Their second consecutive loss dropped the Pirate record to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the NWC. The Panthers improved to 2-4 and 1-2 in league play as they ended a two-game losing skid.

After a scoreless opening period, Paulding got on the scoreboard first. Senior running back Jacob King plunged into the end zone from a yard out with nine minutes left in the first half to give the visitors a lead they would not relinquish.

The extra point kick by Evan Edwards made it 7-0, Paulding.

Bluffton scored with just 21 seconds to go in the second quarter when Kyle Koontz booted a 26-yard field goal, slicing the deficit to 7-3 at halftime.

But a two-yard TD run by King just 2:18 into the second half, followed by an Edwards PAT kick, put the Panthers ahead 14-3.

Bluffton sophomore quarterback Nate Schaadt scored on a one-yard run to pull the Pirates within 14-9 with just 5:18 left to play in the game.

Yet the two-point conversion run attempt by Tucker Neff came up short to keep the deficit margin at five points.

Paulding then put the game out of reach when King scored his third TD on a three-yard run with 2:59 left to play. Edwards finished the scoring with his third straight successful extra point boot.

Notes and stats
The Panthers out-gained the Pirates 261-215 in total offense. Paulding ran 53 plays for an average gain of 4.9 yards per play. Bluffton got off 54 plays for an average gain of four yards.

The Panthers totaled 18 first downs while the Pirates amassed 14 first downs.

Bluffton rushed for 157 yards on 45 carries (3.5 avg.). Paulding ran for 159 yards on 44 tries (3.6) in the evenly-matched ground battle. The Panthers threw for 102 yards, while the Pirates managed 58 aerial yards.

Schaadt completed three of eight passes for 21 yards with one pick-off. Tyson Shutler completed his only pass for 37 yards to Baylor Garmatter.

Panther QB Payton Beckman completed six of nine aerials for 102 yards with two interceptions.

Jacob Deisler led the Paulding ground attack with 101 yards rushing on 22 carries. King netted 30 yards on nine rushes with three short TD runs. Junior Fernando Garcia netted 43 yards on seven carries.

Schaadt rushed 23 times for 74 yards to lead Bluffton. Neff netted 64 yards on 14 carries. Shutler added 17 yards on five runs, and he also caught two passes for 20 yards.

Caleb Manz pulled down three Beckman tosses for 41 yards to pace the Panther receivers. Seth Dysinger added two grabs for 43 yards.

Paulding committed two turnovers compared to one by the Pirates. The Panthers possessed the ball for 25 minutes while Bluffton held it for 23 minutes.

Paulding converted on six of 11 third downs, and Bluffton made good on five of 12 third down tries. The Pirates lost 60 yards in penalties on six flags. Paulding was whistled three times for 40 yards.

    1    2    3    4    F
Bluf    0    3    0    6    9
Pau    0    7    7    7    21

Pirates at rival Mustangs Friday
Bluffton visits local rival Allen East (5-1, 2-1 NWC) Friday in a week seven NWC battle.

The Pirates are 2-0 on the road this season. AE (2-1 home) whipped Delphos Jefferson 54-8 Friday, and maintains high league and playoff hopes.

Bluffton hopes to play a spoiler role vs. AE as the blue and white are sixth in the Region 23, Div. VI computer rankings. But the Mustangs have only played one team with a winning record so far, and that resulted in a 21-7 week five loss to Spencerville.

The Mustangs won 35-7 at Bluffton last year. In 2017 at Goodwin Field in Harrod, the Pirates came away with a 28-14 triumph.