DEFIANCE, Ohio - The Defiance College Yellow Jackets fell to rival Bluffton University on Senior Day Saturday afternoon 17-10. The Yellow Jackets close out 2013 with a 3-7 record overall and a 3-5 record in Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
The Yellow Jackets took the lead in the second quarter with a touchdown run from Lawrence Austin that capped a 10 play, 57 yard drive for Defiance. The drive proved costly for the Yellow Jackets however, as starting quarterback Alex Larson left the game with an injury.
The Yellow Jackets took a 7-3 lead into the halftime break after holding the Beavers to a field goal in the first half.
In the third quarter, Bluffton took advantage of a failed chance by Defiance on a fake field goal attempt and capitalized on the turnover on downs. Bluffton used a quick strike, covering 62 yards on three plays for a touchdown and a lead it never relinquished. The touchdown came on a 5-yard pass play to go up 10-7.
Bluffton followed it up with another touchdown early in the fourth quarter, capitalizing on a DC muffed punt. The Beavers drove 21 yards with a 2-yard touchdown run to go up 17-7.
The Yellow Jackets made a comeback effort late in the fourth quarter. Spencer Saunders made it a one-score game after finishing off an 83-yard drive with a field goal. Saunders finished 1-of-3 on the day after Bluffton blocked two first quarter field goal attempts from 42 and 32 yards.
On the drive, senior Brian Mircovich eclipsed the 100 reception and 1000-yard mark for his career. Mircovich needed five catches and 35 yards in the game. On the drive, he caught his fourth and fifth passes of the game, with his final catch of 25 yards, giving him 58 total yards for the game.
After a defensive stop, the offense took over and drove 30 yards before Bluffton sealed the game with an interception at 1:25 remaining.
Larson finished 6-of-9 for 65 yards with 28 yards rushing before leaving the game. Sean Washington, who finished the game for DC, completed 14-of-26 passes for 151 yards. He also had 30 yards rushing.
Senior Bryan Weaver led all Yellow Jackets with 117 yards receiving on four catches. Weaver's long catch of 55 yards came off of a reverse pass from running back Cody Wilson.
Fellow senior Aaron Spence also had a big trick play in the game. The former Yellow Jacket quarterback and punter connected with Trey White on a 31 yard fake-punt pass to extend a DC drive.
Senior Blaine McGowan led Defiance with nine tackles on defense in the game. Jorry Matherson had an interception for the Yellow Jackets as well.
Defiance out gained Bluffton on the ground and in the air. DC held Bluffton to 33 yards rushing and 207 yards passing while the offense rushed for 114 yards and threw for 302 yards.
However, Defiance had 16 penalties in the game for 127 yards while Bluffton had four penalties for only 35 yards. Each team finished with two turnovers in the game.