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Yellow Jacket Football Opens Season With Bluffton on Community Day

Yellow Jacket Football Opens Season With Bluffton on Community Day

Baldwin Wallace Yellow Jackets host Bluffton Beavers
Saturday, September 8, 2012
3:00 p.m.
Tressel Field in The George Finnie Stadium 
Community and Family Day

Download the complete Yellow Jacket Games Notes in .pdf format by clicking HERE.

TELEVISION/ SPORTSTIME OHIO --  The BW versus Bluffton game will be taped by S&S Video Productions and televised by SportsTime Ohio on Monday, September 10 at 12:00 noon. Three of BW's 10 games this season will be broadcast by STO.  BW has televised more football, soccer and basketball games on regional cable TV than any other Division III school in the country. Veteran sportscaster Ryan McNaughton will call the play-by-play and 2012 BW graduate and current WKNR Radio personality Chris Terlop will offer the color analysis. SportsTime Ohio at

Radio --  BW campus radio station WBWC, 88.3 FM, broadcasts all home and away Yellow Jacket football games. You also can listen to the games live via the WBWC Internet Web site at  The pregame show generally starts 20 minutes prior to kickoff. For more information, please call the station offices at (440) 826-2145 or its listening line at (440) 826-2187. Senior Kelly Rosemond is the Sports Director.

Today's Game --  The Yellow Jackets enter the 2012 season ranked 19th nationally in the Top-25 preseason poll. BW finished 8-2 a year ago and actually came two plays from having a 10-0 mark. The Jackets are picked to finish second in the OAC this fall and return 33 lettermen and 10 starters from a year ago.

The Beavers are coming off a 20-0 shutout victory against Kenyon College in their opener last Saturday, September 1 in Bluffton.  Bluffton had a 5-5 record last season, including five victories in their final six games. Bluffton enters this game with a two-game winning streak dating back to last season and has high hopes of competing for its first HCAC title in football.  The Beavers return 75 veterans from a year ago.

Series Notes -- The Yellow Jackets and Beavers have met twice on the gridiron with BW winning both games by shutout. The Jackets beat the Beavers, 26-0, in 1933 in Bluffton and then triumphed 34-0 in 1934 in Berea.

Last Meeting:  The last time Baldwin Wallace and Bluffton met in football was in 1934 in Berea.  The Yellow Jackets defeated the Beavers 35-0 behind an attack known at that time as the "Aerial Circus". BW was one of the first collegiate football teams to utilize both the run and the pass to create a high-octane offense. Art Goldsmith and Norm Schoen each scored a pair of touchdowns and Ken Noble had the other one as the Yellow Jackets scored five times on the ground. Defensive end Gordon Splete was the defensive star as he recovered three Beaver fumbles, including two that led to BW scores. BW finished 7-1 that season and outscored its opponents, 172-28. Information for this update came from Bill Nichols' book "...And We Must Excel".

Scouting the Yellow Jackets -- BW returns 33 lettermen and 10 starters from last year's team that finished 8-2 overall and was ranked 24th in the final Division III national poll.

Offensively, the Yellow Jackets averaged 30.2 points per game and 370.1 yards of total offense, including 196.8 rushing and 173.3 passing yards.  Senior quarterback Ryan O'Rourke (Avon) runs the offense. A year ago, O'Rourke completed 129-of-221 passes for 58.4 percent with 1,611 yards and 12 TD and eight interceptions. He also ran the ball 47 times for 117 yards and a TD. In the backfield, senior first-team All-OAC pick Tyler Lohr (Kent/Roosevelt) will get the bulk of the carries as he ran for a team-high 924 yards and seven TD. The receiving corps will be led by juniors Josiah Holt (Elyria/ Grafton Midview) and Gabe Adams (Hudson), who tied for the team-lead with 23 catches in 2011. In addition, look for both sophomores Sebastian Zuluaga (Naples, Fla./ Gulf Coast) and Nolan Sordyl (Gurnee, Ill./ Warren Township) to carry the ball and for senior tight ends Aaron Manders (Toledo/Cardinal Stritch) and Josh Masters (Akron/ Hoban) and juniors Cory Lanterman (Streetsboro), Brandon Mahaffey (Avon) and Mike McGervey (Canton/ St. Thomas Aquinas) to all have passes thrown their way. The line is anchored by senior  tackle Clay Wolf (Parma Heights/ Padua Franciscan) and junior guard Jason Cook (Streetsboro)

Defensively, the Yellow Jackets allowed 14.7 points per game and 312.6 yards of total offense per game, including 109.5 rushing and 203.1 passing yards. BW has forced 29 turnovers and produced a +10 in the giveaway-takeaway category. The defense is led by returning senior All-OAC tackle Max Wagner (Mentor), junior tackle Addison Carbone (Hudson), senior end Joe Fitch (Elyria/ Elyria Catholic) and senior cornerback Brandon Russo (Olmsted Falls). Wagner had 40 tackles, 5.5 QB sacks and 8.5 tackles for lost yardage.

On special teams, BW brings back two of the top kickoff returnmen in Division III in Holt and fellow junior and starting CB  Kevin Johnson (Maple Heights/St. Ignatius). Holt averages 30.0 yards in 27 career returns with three TD. Johnson averages 26.3 yards in 32 returns with one TD. Junior backup CB Kory Gillissie (Parma/ St. Ignatius) and senior backup WR Pat LaGuardia (Brunswick/ Padua Franciscan) return punts. Gillissie averaged 14.8 yards in 14 attempts with a TD last season and LaGuardia ran back 16 for a 10.4-yard average. Junior Chris Moehler (Kent/Roosevelt) will be the kicker after making 27-of-32 PATs and 2-of-5 field goals a year ago. Junior Matt Harmon (Canfield) is the punter after averaging 38.0 yards per punt and leading the OAC with 20 punts downed inside the opposition's 20-yard line in 2011.

Scouting the Beavers  --  Bluffton opened its season with a 20-0 victory against Kenyon College last Saturday at home and has won six of its last seven games dating back to last season. The Beavers were 5-0 overall and 5-3 in the HCAC and returns 75 student-athletes who saw playing time a year ago.

Offensively, Bluffton scored 20 points last week versus Kenyon and averaged 23.8 ppg. and 345.7 yards of total offense last season, including 180.2 rushing and 165.5 passing yards. Against Kenyon, Bluffton had 422 yards of offense. The Beavers can either go with the I-formation or split backfield and like to utilize four and five-receiver sets. Balance is a key for Bluffton. Look for junior QB Tyler Wright to lead the offense. He completed 24-of-32 passes for 75% with 255 yards with one TD versus Kenyon. He also ran for 20 yards in 10 attempts with a TD. In the backfield, the duo of Robert Beaver (10 rushes for 22 yards) and Airic Steagall (15 rushes for 76 yards) carry the load. Look for Wright to throw to junior WR Shawn Frost (5 catches for 60 yards), Steagall (4 grabs for 46 yards), junior Javelle Eaton (4 catches for 17 yards) and others, including freshman RB Calib Alexander, who caught a 43-yard scoring strike from him. A veteran line also returns from a year ago.

Defensively, Bluffton lost almost its entire starting lineup from last season when it allowed 28.4 ppg. and 378.7 yards of total offense per game, including 140.7 rushing and 238.0 passing. The Beavers allowed Kenyon just 145 yards of offense and just six first downs. Look for junior tackle Ben Schamp (one QB sack) and senior end Nick Smith (six tackles) to lead the line, senior Joe Maldonado (six tackles) and junior Josh Runda (six tackles) to lead the linebackers and sophomore safety Jeff Parker (one pass breakup and one fumble recovery) to lead in the secondary.

On special teams, look for junior PK Austin Sweeney and senior punter Heath Underwood to be key. Sweeney had a pair of field goals in the win versus Kenyon and Underwood averaged 38.7 yards in six punts. Frost is the top punt return specialist and sophomore safety Travaun Reaves is a dangerous kick return specialist.