Muddy Mess of a Loss


(BLUFFTON) – The conditions Bluffton football found itself in Friday night against Spencerville brought to mind the penultimate scene in “Christmas Vacation” where Clark W Griswold Jr. goes on his famous rant calling his boss every name in the book. You know how it goes, “…what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life…” The adjectives escalate from there but it’s as if Clark can’t even find the lousiest of words to describe him. (We need not repeat the remainder of the quote in this space!)  That mindset perfectly described the weather and mood Friday evening as Spencerville was able to capitalize on a Pirate team running on fumes and left town with a 47-0 victory.  Bluffton was able to gain but one first down on the night, late in the fourth quarter.

For the first time this season, rain infiltrated a game. This was not just a pattern of sprinkles but sheets of the wet stuff, driven by a wind that never let up in 40 degree temperatures.  On the personnel side, the Pirates were short handed.  The team’s leading rusher, Deandre Nassar, was on the sidelines as was leading receiver and second leading rusher Logan Rhodes.  Additionally, Baylor Garmatter who provides the team’s heart and soul on defense, in addition to picking up more and more yardage over the past few weeks, was injured during the game and did not return.

Spencerville is a punishing running team and leads the Northwest Conference in ground yardage.  The Bearcats didn’t divert from the usual game plan and amassed 316 yards on the ground.  The trio of Bearcat running backs did the big damage.  Joel Lotz picked up 133 yards on 15 carries and 1 touchdown and Canaan Johnson totaled 131 yards and 3 scores.  The Pirates limited the leading rusher in the NWC, Kale Lee, to just 43 yards but he also found the end zone.  Neither team completed a pass on the evening. 

The Pirates totaled 42 yards for the evening, all on the ground. Freshman quarterback Nate Schaadt picked up 22 yards, senior Tucker Neff had 15 and Baylor Garmatter 3.  Neff led the team with 8 tackles including 1 for loss.  Tyson Shutler added 6, Mickey Ault 5 and Jason Althaus 4.  Neff had a remarkable night punting the football averaging 37.6 yards per punt in the miserable conditions. 

Bluffton forced a stop on the initial Spencerville drive of the game but the Bearcats scored on their next five possessions and took a 33-0 lead into halftime.  

The Pirates host Ada this coming Friday evening.  The Bulldogs are 2-6 and have not won since a Week 4 triumph over Delphos Jefferson, a team that Bluffton also defeated.  Kickoff is set for 7:00. 


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