(BLUFFTON) - Some journeys are longer than others. For the Bluffton football squad, it’s been a rocky road in the six weeks since they chalked up a win. For the Western Reserve Academy Pioneers, they had a long, 154 mile trip back home after a stinging 61-13 defeat at Harmon Field Saturday night. Bluffton put a mark in the win column for the first time since a Week 1 defeat of Cory-Rawson. The win snapped a six game losing streak for the Pirates as they improved to 2-6. Western Reserve falls to 5-2 on the year.
The Pioneers were ready for the out-of-the-ordinary Saturday evening kickoff as they scored on their first two possessions to take a 13-7 lead. The second touchdown was a 74 yarder, reminiscent for the Pirates long runs by Spencerville up the middle just a week ago. However, the Pirate defense shut out WRA the rest of the way setting the stage for the Pirate offense to take over. Defensively, freshman Kaleb Jefferson had six tackles to lead the way. Dylan Alt had a big game with 5.5 tackles, including one for loss and an interception. Dustin Falk also picked off a Pioneer pass.
The Bluffton offense really got clicking in the middle two quarters as they put up 40 points. Clay Wilson scored the first of his two scores in the first quarter. The next two Pirate scores were passes from Mitchell Ault to Austin Bricker. The first pass covered 29 yards on a slant pattern. Bricker caught the pass on the move and weaved his way to the far right pylon. The second was just 90 seconds later and covered 46 yards over the middle. Bricker ended the night with 7 catches for 144 yards and two scores. Sophomore Dustin Falk zipped up the middle for a 41 yard touchdown drive on Bluffton’s next possession to make the score 28-13 at halftime.
Junior quarterback Mitchell Ault threw to Dylan Alt for a 13 yard pass out of the tight end spot midway through the third quarter, capping a big night for the senior. Jefferson bulled into the end zone twice in the third quarter as he continued his coming of age, and suddenly it was 47-13. Jefferson was 7/8 on PAT’s for the evening as well. Brady Basinger closed out the game with a 21 yard scamper with 3:18 left.
Ault had an efficient evening completing 12 of 19 passes for 224 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Levi Kistler hauled in 3 passes for 39 yards. Clay Wilson rushed for 56 yards on 14 totes with two scores. The senior added a 28 yard first half reception as well. Jefferson rushed 8 times for 53 yards. Falk added 4 carries for 46 yards. The Pirates outgained the Pioneers 404 – 277 and had 10 first downs compared to just 4 for the visitors.
Bluffton will host Paulding Friday at 7:30. The Panthers are 1-7 and coming off a 42-0 defeat at the hands of Columbus Grove.
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