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BW Opens Football Season With 38-26 Loss at Bluffton

Tyler Moeglin
Tyler Moeglin
BLUFFTON, Ohio -- Senior quarterback Tyler Moeglin (Canton/ St. Thomas Aquinas) accounted for 335 yards of offense but the Baldwin Wallace University football team opened its 2015 season with a 38-26 loss at Bluffton University at Dwight Salzman Stadium. It was the first-ever victory for the Beavers against the Yellow Jackets. BW leads the all-time series, 5-1.

BW led 7-0 after one quarter, 13-10 at halftime but trailed 24-20 after three periods. The Beavers outgained the Yellow Jackets, 460-428, including 264-225 through the air.

Offensively, Moeglin completed 19 of 29 passes for 225 yards and ran for a game-high 116 yards in 20 attempts with three TD's. His top receiver was junior wide receiver Tyler Wolf (Fremont/ Ross) who caught six passes for a game-high 138 yards.  Defensively, sophomore outside linebacker Sam Groff (Waynesburg/ Sandy Valley) had a team-high 10 tackles, junior safety Brock Hull (Youngstown/ Boardman) had nine stops and junior Andy Schultz (North Royalton) had seven stops, including two QB sacks.

Bluffton was led on offense by junior QB Connor Sheehan, senior RB Devate Thomas-Wright and sophomore WR Micah Roberson. Sheehan completed 23 of 33 passes for 257 yards with three TD's and one interception. Thomas-Wright ran for a game-high 103 yards in 20 carries with a TD. Roberson caught a game-high 12 passes for 95 yards with a TD. The Beaver defense was led by senior end Ryan Aelker and senior LB Brad Swavel with eight tackles each.

BW gained a 7-0 lead at 11:09 and on its first possession of the game when Moeglin ran eight yards to the end zone to complete a 7-play and 55-yard drive in 3:51. Simonis added the point-after-touchdown (PAT) kick.

In the second quarter, Bluffton closed the gap to 7-3 at 13:12 when sophomore placekicker Jordan Watkins booted a 27-yard field goal to complete a 12-play and 67-yard drive. BW increased its lead to 13-3 with 1:45 left when Moeglin ran 13 yards for a TD but the PAT kick failed. The run capped an 8-play and 66-yard drive. The Beavers then went 75 yards in nine plays when Thomas-Wright scored on a 2-yard run 19 seconds before the intermission and Watkins made the PAT boot.

BW had one more chance to score before halftime. Following a kickoff that went out-of-bounds and gave the Jackets the ball at their own 40-yard line, Moeglin completed a 39-yard pass and Wolf made a "circus-like" catch at the Bluffton 21-yard line. But after two incompletions, Simonis failed on a 38-yard field goal attempt to end the half.

In the third quarter, Bluffton gained the lead at 17-13 at 8:42 when junior RB Dustin Fisher scored on a 1-yard run and Watkins made the PAT kick to cap a 9-play and 63-yard drive.  The Beaver lead grew to 24-13 at 4:18 when Sheehan and freshman RB Lorenzo McLaurin hooked up on a 30-yard screen pass on a third-down and 20 play that went for a TD. Watkins added the PAT to complete a 7-play and 44-yard drive following a short BW punt.

BW came right back to cut its deficit to 24-20 at 1:13 when sophomore RB Austin Smith (Broadview Hts./ North Royalton) scored on a 2-yard run and Simonis added the PAT to cap a 10-play and 60-yard drive.

Bluffton opened the fourth quarter by taking a 31-20 lead at 13:01 when Sheehan tossed an 11-yard TD pass to Roberson and Watkins tacked on the PAT to complete an 8-play and 70-yard drive in just more than three minutes. Again BW came right back and drove 68 yards in eight plays to score at 9:19 when Moeglin had his final TD run of 10 yards and make the score 31-26. The two-pont coversion play was unsuccessful.

The Beavers scored at 4:12 when Sheehan threw a 6yard TD pass to a wide open freshman WR Raphael Dell and Watkins added the PAT to complete a 9-play and 51-yard drive.

The Yellow Jackets open OAC play next Saturday, Sept. 19 when they travel to Ada to play Ohio Northern University at 7 p.m. BW opens its home schedule on Saturday, Sept. 26 when it hosts Cleveland cross-town rival John Carroll University in the battle for the Cuyahoga Gold Bowl Trophy on Family & Community Day on Tressel Field at The George Finnie Stadium at 2 p.m.