Bluffton Defeats Quakers

Bluffton Defeats Quakers
RICHMOND, Ind. — The halftime deficit proved to be too big for the Earlham College football team to overcome on Saturday afternoon as the Quakers fell 26-7 to Bluffton University in Darrell Beane Stadium.

Bluffton (2-3, 1-2) scored a touchdown on the opening drive of the first quarter and two more in the second period to lead 20-0 by the intermission of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference contest.

“We got better doing some things offensively and we got better doing some things defensively,” Earlham Head Coach Gerry Keesling said. “But we have to finish drives and we have to get our opponents off the field.”

Earlham punted on its first four possessions of the contest and then added two lost fumbles and an interception by the end of the second quarter.

“I keep looking for the positives,” Keesling said. “I’m a glass half-full kind of guy. I believe in these guys and I believe we can be a good football team. We’re just going to keep fighting and battling.”

The third quarter was scoreless with each team having three opportunities to move the ball, but neither squad could sustain anything on the soggy field.

The Quakers finally got on the scoreboard early in the final stanza. Earlham quarterback James Mees (North Ridgeville, OH, North Ridgeville) and L.V. Plummer (Eads, TN, Christian Brothers) hooked up for a 61-yard touchdown pass to make it 20-7 with 14:00 minutes remaining.

“Mees is going to get better every single time out,” Keesling said. “We have high aspirations for him.”

“We had some first downs and I thought he got the ball where it needed to go,” Keesling said of Mees, who was making his first start of the season. “We had to bail on our running game early. Trying to run in the rain when you’re behind that many points is hard to do.”

Bluffton added the final score of the contest with at 31-yard touchdown pass with 2:00 left.

Mees completed 25-of-38 passes for 334 yards and the one touchdown to Plummer. Kyle Ripperger (Richmond, IN, Richmond) led the receivers with nine catches for 65 yards. Bryant Foreman (Mechanicsburg, OH, Northeastern) finished with five grabs for 63 yards. Plummer had two receptions for 66 yards.

Sean Gardner (Connersville, IN, Connersville) led the Quakers with 13 tackles, while Collin Draine (Trotwood, OH, Trotwood-Madison) added 10 tackles. Dakota McElley (Lawrenceburg, IN, Lawrenceburg) had an interception.

Earlham (0-5, 0-3) visits Hanover College next Saturday. The HCAC contest gets underway at 1:30 p.m.

Box Score