BEREA, OHIO -- The Baldwin Wallace University football team had a bevy of strong performances in all facets of its game as it defeated Bluffton University, 45-13, on Community & Family Day before 5,025 fans on Tressel Field at The George Finnie Stadium.
BW junior, transfer wide receiver Cory Lanterman (Streetsboro), playing his first game as a Yellow Jacket, earned the annual Dick Miller Most Outstanding Player of the Game Award. He transferred to BW last winter from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and ran track for the Yellow Jackets last spring. Lanterman led the receivers with three catches for 72 yards with a pair of TDs.
With its win, BW is 1-0 overall and travels next Saturday to University Heights to play Ohio Athletic Conference and Cleveland cross-town rival John Carroll University, also 1-0 overall, in the Annual Battle for the Cuyahoga Gold Bowl Trophy at Don Shula Stadium at 6:00 p.m. It is the OAC opener for each team. BW leads the all-time series, 24-23-4, and the Gold Bowl series, 12-11, following a thrilling, 43-35 win in Berea a year ago. Bluffton is now 1-1 overall.
Today's game will be telecast by SportsTime Ohio on Monday, Sept. 10 at 12:00 noon.
Offensively, BW senior quarterback Ryan O'Rourke (Avon) completed 12-of-16 passes for 216 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. On the ground, freshman running back Isaac Reed III (Lehigh Acres, Fla./Lehigh) ran for a team-high 94 yards in nine attempts with a TD and senior RB Tyler Lohr (Kent/ Roosevelt) had 82 yards in 17 attempts with a TD. Defensively, senior linebacker Cory Meeks (Eastlake/ Willoughby South), juniuor LB Michael Stacchiotti (Girard) and junior defensive tackle Addison Carbone (Hudson) led the way with five tackles each. Stacchiotti and Meeks each had a QB sack, and senior defensive end Joe Fitch (Elyria/Elyria Catholic) had three tackles, including 2.5 sacks.
Bluffton junior QB Tyler Wright completed 11-of-21 passes for 119 yards with a TD and an interception and was sacked five times. Freshman RB Calib Alexander led the Beavers on the ground with 71 yards in seven attempts. Junior WR Shawn Frost led all receivers with five catches for 53 yards and a TD. The defense was led by junior LB Joe Runda had a game-high eight tackles and one-half QB sack.
The Yellow Jackets led 3-0 after one quarter, 24-0 at halftime and 38-0 after three quarters.
In the first quarter, BW gained a 3-0 lead when junior placekicker Chris Mohler (Kent/ Roosevelt) kicked a 26-yard field goal at the 5:01 mark. The score capped a seven-play and 13-yard drive. The score was set up when Meeks blocked a Bluffton punt.
In the second quarter, BW extended its lead to 10-0 at the 10:42 mark when O'Rourke threw a 35-yard TD pass to Lanterman to cap an 8-play and 80-yard drive. Mohler tacked on the PAT. That score was setup when senior safety Tom Goebel (Parma/ Padua Fransiscan) forced a Bluffton receiver to fumble the ball at the BW one yard line and into the endzone where he recovered it.
The lead grew to 17-0 at the 5:24 mark when sophomore running back Nolan Sordyl (Gurnee, Ill./ Warren Township) scored on a 2-yard run and Mohler added the PAT kick. The score capped an 8-play and 63-yard drive.
O'Rourke threw his second TD pass to Lanterman, this one of 21 yards, with 2:02 left before the intermission and Mohler kicked the PAT for a 24-0 lead. The play capped a six-play and 83-yard drive that followed a defensive stand by BW on a 4th-and-1 situation.
In the third quarter, BW increased its lead to 31-0 at the 14:43 mark when junior utility-man Kevin Johnson (Maple Heights/ Cleveland St. Ignatius), who plays WR, cornerback and returns kicks, ran the second half kickoff back 94 yards for the second kick return TD of his career. Mohler tacked on the PAT.
The lead grew to 38-0 at 12:51 when Lohr, a first-team All-Ohio Athletic Conference player a year ago, raced 18 yards to paydirt and Mohler made his fifth PAT kick.
Bluffton finally got on the scoreboard with 9:54 to play when Wright passed 30 yards to Frost to complete a 10-play and 66-yard drive. Sophomore PK Josh Mattoon added the PAT kick to make it 38-7. Bluffton again cut into the deficit with 6:45 left and made the score 38-13 when backup QB Nick Sheehan threw a 9-yard TD pass to junior TE Drake Harrington, but Matton's PAT failed.
BW scored its final TD with 4:52 left when Reed III ran 10 yards to the endzone and capped a 4-play and 67-yard drive in which he accounted for all 67 yards. Mohler's sixth PAT of the day made the score 45-13.
Following its game at JCU next Saturday, BW travels to New Concord to face OAC-rival Muskingum University on Sept. 22 at 1:30 p.m. and next plays at home on Saturday, Sept. 29 versus Otterbein University on Shriners' Day at 1:30 p.m.
FOR MORE BW SPORTS INFORMATION, please contact Sports Information Director Kevin Ruple by telephone at 440-826-2327 and e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or Assistant SID Jeff Miller by phone at 440-826-2780 and email at email@example.com. Fans can access the latest BW athletics information at www.BWyellowjackets.com and we invite you to join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bwyellowjackets and Twitter at http://twitter.com/bwathletics.