Football off to strongest start since 1999

By Tyler Avila

The Bluffton University Football Team is off to its strongest season start of 3-0 since 1999. In addition to tallying wins, new records have been set for passing touchdowns for a single game and career receptions.
The Beavers hosted their opening game Sept. 3 at Alumni Field against Wilmington (Ohio) College.

“Hopefully we just come out and play well and play with some emotion and play with some fire,” said Denny Dorrel, head football coach at Bluffton University, before the Sept. 3 game. “I think that there have been some times where we played them last year and we were flat and made mistakes and allowed a team to hang in and turn round and they beat us. So hopefully you see a team that comes out and jumps on a team early and plays very, very, very well for sixty minutes.”

And the Beavers did just that. They started the first half strong and rolled to a 49-20 win.

In a combined effort, Conner Sheehan and Colby Speice tied the passing touchdown record in a single game with five touchdowns through the air.

The previous record holder was Nick Sheehan who threw five touchdowns against Defiance in 2014, said Bill Hanefeld, sports information director at Bluffton University.

Bluffton traveled to Angola, Ind., Sept. 10 to take on Trine University. It was a hard-fought win, which came down to the final play for the Beavers.

“I find the accomplishments of the team thus far to be very gratifying,” said Phill Talavinia, Bluffton University’s athletic director. “They have worked hard and have been focused at the task at hand each day.”

While the record from the previous week was tied, a new record was set.

“Micah Roberson broke the career catches mark of 163 by Eric Metz at Trine on Saturday night,” said Hanefeld. “He currently has 169 receptions.”

Eric Metz’s record of 163 career receptions was set during his 1996-99 career at Bluffton. Metz totaled 2,677 receiving yards, averaged 16.4 per reception and tallied a total of 16 career touchdowns.

“Micah again has worked very hard for any of the accolades that he has received,” said Talavinia. “I am not surprised that he has broken the record and has the opportunity to continue to add to it.”

The Beavers opened their conference schedule Sept. 17 with a home win against Mount St. Joseph Lions, from Cincinnati. The Beavers moved to 3-0 on the year for the first time since 1999.

Micah Roberson, since his freshman year in 2013, has totaled and broken the career receptions record with 180. Roberson so far has 1,924 receiving yards, averages 10.7 yards per reception and has tallied 16 career touchdowns with many more to come.

The Beavers go on the road this weekend to Franklin (Ind.) College to take on the Grizzlies in a conference game. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m.

“Franklin is the top team in our conference for many years now,” said Dorrel. “We are going to have to play our best game of the season to give ourselves a chance at victory.”

Bluffton next plays at home Oct. 15 against Hanover (Ind.) College as part of Homecoming Weekend. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Live audio coverage of the game will be streamed on Bluffton University’s 96.1 The Wit.

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