CINCINNATI, Ohio – The Mount St. Joseph University football team played host to the Bluffton Beavers on Saturday in a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup. The Lions came into the game sporting the nation's top passing attack and an undefeated record. In recent weeks thought the Lions have added a dynamic running game, with Cornell Beachem Jr. (Cincinnati, Ohio/Winton Woods) making the move to the backfield.
The Lions got the ball first and quickly moved to the red zone, but Chaiten Tomlin (Mt. Orab, Ohio/Western Brown) threw just his second pick of the season ending the drive. After a quick defensive stop the Lions got the ball, and Beachem would get the Lions on the board. He took a handoff up the gut and raced 62-yards untouched to put the Lions ahead 7-0. This was the start of another dominant performance for Beachem, he would end the day with 14 carries for 181 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the team in receiving catching eight passes for 79 yards.
The Lions offense kept click through the rest of the first half. With Tomlin finding Austin Brock (Gainesville, Ga./East Hall) on a 13-yard score. After a first half in which the Lions dominated they entered the half time break leading 28-0.
Coming out of the half time break the Lions got the ball and continued to march down the field. They took the ball down to the Bluffton 1-yard line, but the offense stalled. So coach Hopperton turned to senior kicker Spencer Dufresne (Dayton, Ohio/Chaminade-Julienne) who drilled a chip-shot 18-yard field goal.
The Bluffton defense made some adjustments and stifled the Lions offense the rest of the game. Keeping the Lions off the scoreboard the rest of the game, which is no small task. The defense though continued to play well, despite allowing Bluffton to score a pair of touchdowns. Spencer Kandra (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) led the defensive effort with eight total tackles, two sacks and three tackles for loss. Linebackers Sean Sullivan (Covington, Ky./Holmes) and Julius Fisher (St. Mary's, Ohio/St. Mary's) each registered seven total tackles.
The Lions did score another touchdown as return ace Troy Speakman (Grove City, Ohio/Central Crossing) returned a fourth quarter kickoff 69-yards for a touchdown.
Despite being slowed in the second half the Lions still managed 483 yards in the game, which was more than double what they allowed the Beavers to gain. Beachem ended the day with 22 total touches for 260 yards and three touchdowns. For the second week in a row, he alone outgained the opposing offense. In the end, the Lions secured a 38-14 win, moving to 6-0 on the season and to 4-0 in HCAC play.
The Lions get into the meat of their HCAC schedule over the next two weeks, this week they will go on the road again and travel to Terre Haute, Indiana to take on the Fightin' Engineers of The Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology (4-2, 3-1 HCAC). Then the following week they will welcome the HCAC preseason favorite Hanover to Schueler Field for senior day. Should the Lions come out of this stretch still unbeaten they set themselves up well for an HCAC Championship. The Rose-Hulman game is scheduled to get underway at 4:00 PM, tune into MSJsports.com for all of your live game coverage.