(BLUFFTON) - For the fifth straight season, Bluffton defeated Cory Rawson and moved to 1-0. This year, the Pirates put 54 points on the board and the defense limited the Hornets to just 74 total yards and zero points. Second year Pirate head coach Kyle Cutnaw was pleased with his squad’s output. “We came out focused and followed our game plan. The boys did not let up on the pedal and played well throughout the game. I’m proud of our guys.”
Bluffton quickly put the game out of reach as the offense scored touchdowns on all six first half possessions. Meanwhile, the Cory Rawson offense went three and out on four of their six first half possessions and turned it over the other two. This disparity led to a 41-0 halftime lead for the host Pirates.
Bluffton’s first half drives were filled with big plays. Senior quarterback Mitchell Ault threw long to classmate Sam Crisp for 50 yards setting up the season’s first touchdown, scored by running back Kaleb Jefferson from four yards out. Fellow sophomore Dakota Bricker scampered 27 yards on the next drive, again setting up Jefferson to plow in from 17 yards out to make it 13-0. BHS needed just one play to score on the next drive. Ault threw an arcing long ball to Dustin Falk. The speedy junior raced underneath and covered the 69 yards to paydirt to make it 20-0. Ault found a wide open Brady Basinger for a 47 yard score on the next Pirate possession.
Bricker continued to be all over the field as he intercepted a Hornet pass to give BHS the ball back. The shifty H-back then ran for 14 yards and three plays later dove into the end zone to make it 34-0. On the last play of the half, Ault found Bricker for a 21 yard score to make it 41-0. Bricker also opened the second half scoring with a five yard run and then proceeded to rest for the remainder of the night. “Mitch and Dakota, and all our guys, really did a great job preparing and then sticking to the game plan,” Cutnaw said. Senior kicker Carrick Lancaster connected on field goals from 28 and 32 yards out to round out the second half scoring. Per OHSAA rules, since the spread was greater than 30, the running clock rule was instituted for the second half.
Ault started his senior year in style with 333 passing yards, connecting on 12 of 15 attempts. The third year starter threw three scores and no interceptions. Dakota Bricker was all over the field as he gained 44 yards on the ground, caught 3 balls for 45 yards, scored 3 touchdowns, picked off a pass and recovered a fumble. Zach Little also recovered a fumble forced by Owen Bischoff for the stingy Bluffton defense. “I loved our defensive effort. We have a simplified defensive mindset this season and it really allowed our guys to just sit down and play tonight,” Cutnaw said post game. Kaleb Jefferson led the way on the ground with 53 yards. Dustin Falk had 109 yards through the air and Bret Rumer added 54. Rumer, playing for the first season, also returned a punt for a touchdown but it was called back on a block in the back penalty.
Defensively, the Pirate linebackers shone. Brady Basinger gathered four tackles including one for loss. Jefferson had 2.5 and two for loss. Owen Bischoff and Rumer also added tackles for loss on the night. For Cory-Rawson, Mason Warnimont completed 5 of 13 passes, gaining 67 yards. The Hornets gained just 7 yards on 23 rushing attempts. In comparison, Bluffton gained 517 total yards in the contest.
Up next on the schedule for the Pirates is Van Buren. The Black Knights lost 41-19 in week one action to Allen East. The Pirates will be seeking revenge for a 9-7 loss last season in a game that concluded on Saturday afternoon after lightning suspended play Friday evening. Cory-Rawson will host Upper Scioto Valley who fell 69-28 to Ada Friday evening. The Pirate junior varsity squad also opened the season with a win, by a 60-0 score Saturday morning.
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